Point/Counterpoint | What is the worst Valentine’s Day gift?

With Valentine's Day rapidly approaching, Sophia Meador and Sam Knupp debate on what not to give your valentine this year.

February 12, 2023


How is your flower bouquet from last Valentine’s Day holding up?

Sure, flowers are pretty. They smell nice, and above all, they show your friends and coworkers that you have a valentine in your life.

But flowers are an unsustainable gift and an honest waste of money. This year, skip the cheap bouquet of roses and buy your valentine something that will last longer than a week.

According to the Green Business Network, more than 80 percent of flowers sold in the U.S. are imported from other countries. To maintain quality, flowers are refrigerated to prevent wilting.

Most refrigerated containment systems emit hydrofluorocarbons — a type of greenhouse gas. The Green Business Network estimates that Walmart, America’s leading retail corporation, emits more than 2.8 million metric tons of hydrofluorocarbons each year. That is the energy equivalent of powering all households in San Francisco.

In addition, fresh cut flowers are often treated with synthetic pesticides, which pollute waterways and pose health risks for harvesters and insects.

Cut flowers are not just bad for the environment but they’re also bad symbology for your valentine.

On average, flower bouquets only last 7-12 days. That means two weeks after Valentine’s Day, the “thoughtful” gift you gave your valentine will be a bouquet of shriveled up flowers sitting in their trash can. That’s not a great symbol of your love and affection.

Skip out on flowers this year, and get your valentine something they can keep forever. Personally, I’ll be hoping for a Dyson Airwrap this Valentine’s Day.

Columns reflect the opinions of the authors and are not necessarily those of the Editorial Board, The Daily Iowan, or other organizations in which the author may be involved.


Candy Hearts

The worst Valentine’s Day present you can get anyone is definitely those awful heart shaped candies with love messages on them.

You know the ones. The ones with messages like, “I love you,” “You are loved,” “XOXO,” and “Cutie Pie.”

Getting this for your grandkid says, “I don’t love you enough to get good candy.” Getting this for your partner says, “I have a strong feeling about you — and that feeling is apathy.”

The Valentine’s Day heart candies aren’t bad. They actually taste okay. But that’s something I’d expect from a fifth-grade teacher, not the love of my life.

If my girlfriend took the time to get me this candy … I’d honestly eat all of it. But it’s not because I’d love the gift. It would more likely come from a place of, “I’m craving something sweet, and we don’t have anything better in the apartment, so I’ll eat the Lil Wayne of candies.”

It was palatable in 2009. But now it doesn’t have much to bring to the table, and no one cares about it.

Some of you might be reading this thinking, “I’d like to know if there is an objective reason that I shouldn’t buy this.” No, there’s not. The candy is low in calories and not that high in sugar, but boy does its lack in flavor and character make you feel sad.

If this is all you get for your significant other, you might as well break up with them now because you presumably lack the mental fortitude to open your heart up and say something original to them.

Columns reflect the opinions of the authors and are not necessarily those of the Editorial Board, The Daily Iowan, or other organizations in which the author may be involved.


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