I am not so fanatic of the St Valentine’s Day. Still, I understand the ones that consider it as an opportunity to express their love to their beloved persons, independently of the truth involved in this annual massive commercial emotional stimulation. After all, as Charles Schulz has said “All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt”.
Speaking about chocolate, statistics say that during St Valentine’s Day 36 million heart-shaped chocolate boxes will be sold. This is just a small part of the day’s massive spending and consumption. In fact, in the United States alone, the average Valentine’s spending has increased every year, from $108 a person in 2010 to $146 in 2016.
The figures are astonishing. Americans are expected to spend on Valentine’s Day almost $ 19 billion shared in different categories as shown below.
A small reminder for everyone: according the World Food Programme , 66 million primary school-age children attend classes hungry across the developing world, with 23 million in Africa alone. It is estimated that US$3.2 billion is needed per year to provide food to all these kids. The $ 19 billion that will be spent in USA only are enough to provide food to all 66 million hungry school-age children for the next 6 years!
Well, I am sure that no one will cancel his or her plans for February 14th because of this reminder, but if the astonishing figures above say something to you, please notice two more things.
If you plan to buy jewellery, please consider that Donald Trump intents to sign, within next days, a new memorandum that suspends a 2010 rule that discouraged American companies from funding conflict and human rights abuses in the Democratic Republic of Congo through their purchase of “conflict minerals.” In any case, at least read “The True Cost of Valentine’s Day Jewellery” and follow the rules of the No Dirty Gold campaign “Golden Rules” for more responsible sourcing of precious metals.
Last, but not least, before you buy your gifts read carefully the following piece by Matt Walsh:
“That’s our entire economic system: buy things. Everybody buy. It doesn’t matter what you buy. Just buy. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have money. Just buy. Our entire civilisation now rests on the assumption that, no matter what else happens, we will all continue to buy lots and lots of things. Buy, buy, buy, buy, buy. And then buy a little more. Don’t create, or produce, or discover — just buy. Never save, never invest, never cut back — just buy. Buy what you don’t need with money you don’t have… Buy like you breathe, only more frequently”.