Credits and Offsets for Non-Green Valentines?

February 12th, 2008

Maybe you’ve heard of the pollution credits and carbon offsets made available to Big Business. Today I’m wondering about credits and offsets for non-green Valentines. You see, last week I blogged about Green Valentines, happily recalling the days when I enjoyed making simple homemade “green” Valentines with my son.

I expected to do the same this year. But this year I don’t have a preschooler. I have a BIG BOY kindergartner whose best friend is giving out Hot Wheels Valentines.

“They’re shaped like real Hot Wheels,” my son breathlessly explained, “and they say, ‘Hope you’re right on track for Valentines Day!’” By this point, dear readers, you know what’s coming, don’t you?

“Mama,” he pleaded, “please, please, I don’t want to make my Valentines this year. I want Hot Wheels Valentines.”

I was scandalized. After all, there I was, telling the entire blogosphere about the joys of making home made “Green Valentines” and my own son was begging me to buy commercial Valentines cards!

Fortunately, I’ve been a parent long enough not to say “no” right away, so I told him I would “think about it.” And think I did. I thought about how he was the kid at summer camp who told the other campers that their tunafish sandwiches were poisonous because of the mercury and other toxins in the tuna. He was the one who pointed out at birthday parties that the floating balloons would eventually end up in the ocean where they could hurt the fishies. Clearly, he’s an eco-aware kid – maybe even “too” eco-aware (if there is such a thing at this tender age).

Did I want him to grow up with a complex about Valentines Day? Flash forward twenty years. “Sorry, darling,” he would tell his fiancée, “I never celebrate Valentines Day because I hate it. I think it’s because as a kid my mother made me make these queer ‘green Valentines’ when all the other boys got to hand out Hot Wheel Valentines. Now I hate Valentines.” His fiancée would sob, break up the relationship, and there would go my future grandkids!

That’s when I started wondering about the offsets and credits. After all, based on the blog comments and emails I received, I know at least 10 women had decided to make Green Valentines with their kids. Didn’t I get some credit for that to offset the purchase of commercial kiddie Valentines?

You can take yourself as far as you want on the green journey, but what about your loved ones? As the saying goes, you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.

Sometimes, it’s hard to be green.

— Lynn

Copyright 2008 OrganicMania