Valentine’s Day Cards, Roses, and Chocolates: What Are Their Water Footprints?

Valentine-waterfilter February 14th is Valentine’s Day. Did you know that the day is named after one or more early Christian martyrs named Valentine, and was established by Pope Gelasius I in 500 AD? Most likely, the day was named after Valentine of Rome was a Roman priest who was martyred around AD 269. He was buried on the Via Flaminia, an ancient Roman road leading from Rome over the Apennine Mountains. His relics were later moved and now rest at the Church of Saint Praxed in Rome.

In more modern times, Valentine’s Day is celebrated with the exchange of cards and gifts. Paper Valentines became popular in England in the early 19th century. Companies in the UK began to notice that about half of the population was spending money on valentines, and thus businesses started to cater to this new demand. Increasing in popularity by the mid-19th century, companies started producing fancier Valentine cards, and many were hand made with lace and ribbons. In the second half of the 20th century, the practice of exchanging cards was extended to other types of gifts in the United States. Such gifts typically include roses and chocolates.

The holiday card, flower, and chocolate industries all have something else in common besides gifts given on Valentine’s Day: their manufacturing processes are all dependent on quality treated water. Suppose you were asked to rank these three gift ideas - a dozen roses, a 1-lb heart-shaped box of chocolates, or a Valentine’s Day card – according to the amount of water that was used during the production process. What would your answer be? How many gallons of water do you think it takes to make each gift?

To give you time to think about the answers, we'll briefly point out a few unique gift ideas that you might like to consider giving to your sweetie this Valentine’s Day. You can choose from 11 different colored insulated stainless steel water bottles. And doesn't everyone love a long, hot shower? Enjoy it more by using a shower head filter or bath filter that helps to reduce chlorine that causes dry skin and brittle hair. And our last gift ideas includes simple and economical ways you can enjoy your filtered water: either right from your tap, which includes faucet filters, or from filtered water pitchers. Ok, so was that enough time to come up with your answers to the above question? Let's see how well you did –

  • The typical Valentine’S Day card is made from various types of card stock, perhaps wood pulp or maybe even part "rag" (textile waste) for a more sturdy, and fairly expensive, paper. The manufacturing process for that piece of card stock paper would only require about 3 gallons of water, the smallest water footprint of the three.
  • A staple for Valentine’s Day is a dozen red roses – Not taking into account the water used to fill any vases, you might have thought that flowers would have the largest water foot print of the three, but this is not the case. One study found that it takes about 18 gallons of water to produce 12 red roses.


  •  Next we'll look at chocolate – a popular choice for many years, but to produce that 1-lb heart-shaped box of chocolates requires a staggering 2800 gallons of water !

Happy Valentine’s Day from !

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