It’s that time for the year. Love is in the air. Love is loud, love is flashy and glittery. Love is personal. But is love disconnected?  Gone are the days of romance when you could sing na chahu sona chandi na chahu hira moti/ ye mere kis kaam ke/ na mangu bangla baadi na mangu ghoda gadi/ye to hai bas naam ke/deti hai dil de badle me dil ke/deti hai dil de badle me dil ke/khel khel khel mere sahiba pyar me sauda nahi/khel khel khel mere sahiba pyar me sauda nahi (I don’t ask for gold or silver/ I don’t ask for diamonds or pearls/ They don’t serve any purpose/ I don;t ask for a bungalow or car or a horse cart/ they are just in name/ I am giving you my heart, you give me yours/ Play with me my love, but there is no transaction in love)  – Song from the movie Bobby

So, how does  one make a love connection, after all we are nor romancing in reel life? How do you show your love, after all we have always had a gifting culture? How can we be responsible for our well meaning actions, this Valentine’s Day? 

Ordering some love

“I am currently in a long distance relationship,” says Vishwanath. “I live in Hyderabad and my partner in Mumbai, and we work long hours, we do take some weekends off but sometimes we do have to miss spending time together on special days.  I am glad that we have online retailers to the rescue. And so, I am going to order some flowers from a florist, some take away food so that my partner doesn’t have to cook, will order a cake separately from her favourite cake shop and some chocolates and perhaps order some assortment of gifts – a dress, a cosmetic, some candles and maybe a phone or some jewellery from one of the sites. This is so much better than physically visiting different shops to make the purchases and I must say the price is extremely competitive”.  

But what about the partner? After Valentine’s Day has ended, she will be left with the polypropylene sheet used to wrap the bouquet, the withered flowers,  the cardboard box from the cake, the multilayer wrapping of the chocolates, the bubble wrap  and the other packaging – more plastic and perhaps cardboard from the online retailer – for each item ordered separately.

 So, is it even possible to make the love season more environmentally friendly?  I spoke to Sustainability Champions, Shreya Krishnan and Surabhi Shastry.