For decades society has fought against large corporations and industries that polluted the environment and took no regard for the natural world in their quest for profit and product domination. Plastics pollute the oceans and the landfills. Chemicals are leeching into the water table and people are starving around the world while tyrants hoard riches and wealth. Now the love locks are pushing us back in regression to a time when over-consumption and self-indulgence were the norm and greed was everywhere. Why have the youth of today become so blinded by the manipulation of their media to vandalize and litter and create unnecessary strain on resources of a planet suffering from so many problems?

Look at the statistics and ask how we have gone from protecting the environment to holding it in such disrespect.

– 2.6 million love locks are attached per year globally
– $15,000,000 per year are spent buying love locks and love lock paraphernalia globally
– 125,000 kgs of metal per year are used to make love locks
– 80,000 kgs of plastics per year are used to make love locks
– 850,000 barrels of crude oil annually are required in the processing and manufacturing, shipping and packaging of love locks
– It will 12,000 trees 10 full years to remove the atmospheric pollution caused by love locks in one year
– $8,000,000 per year cost to repair damage and to remove love locks
– 27,000 kilograms per year of metal and plastic keys are thrown into rivers
– The annual amount spent by consumers purchasing love locks is the same as it would cost to build wells to provide drinking water to over 1 million people
– The annual amount spent by consumers purchasing love locks could provide food for over 1.5 million people
– 38 million dollars worth of fossil fuels is used every year to provide love locks for people who insist on buying them
– The carbon footprint of plastic (LDPE or PET, poyethylene) is about 6 kg CO2 per kg of plastic meaning that when you participate in the love lock game you are sharing responsibility of adding 480,000 kgs of CO2 into the atmosphere
– 150 acres are deforested annually to feed the consumer and material supply chain involved in love locks
– 200,000 acres of trees could be planted for the cost of love locks purchased annually
– 165,000 children could be fed annually for the amount of money people spend on love locks
– Every day, the lives of 452 children under the age of 5 could be saved if people used the money they spent on love locks to help children
– 8,600 children in third-world countries could attend elementary school for 5 full years for the same cost as what people spend on love locks in 1 year
– 46,875 small homes could be built for destitute families giving them a basic shower and toilet  as well as safety and security and a place to call home

You see? The statistics show that there is more involved to the love lock phenomenon than just a romantic prayer and a tribute to a loved one. Love locks are a temporary and self-indulgent way to honor someone especially given the toll the love lock imparts on the world.

Given the attention being focused on helping combat Climate Change, it is time that people take responsibility and to make changes to their own consumer based lifestyles and refuse to follow trends that encourage consumption and the senseless use of resources.

Hundreds of thousands of people protest Climate Change and insist on initiatives to stop the unfettered use of fossil fuels and pollution causing technologies yet many of these same people will refuse to change their own behavior. The emissions caused by the manufacturing, delivery, shipping, advertising and packaging of love locks contributes to the very global problem people protest about.

Knowing how much good could be done with the money and time that people waste on love locks makes it seem impossible that anyone could ever have been tricked in to playing this social-media fueled game of consumerism on display.

Visually disturbing to many, love locks make the most beautiful scene look decrepit and chaotic like graffiti on a museum wall or broken windows in a church. Pollution and garbage swirls around us, clogs the oceans and harms wildlife and to be a part of the love lock craze is lacking in individual imagination and shows merely conformity and a tendency to be easily influenced to follow social trends despite the harm they do.

Some people argue that love locks are good for tourism but this argument is like saying that children are good for the sex trade tourist industry. Tourists who leave love locks and take pictures in vanity are not respecting their host country any more than someone who dumped a load of garbage in the street while on vacation would be respectful of the culture. When tourist leave the host is left with the cleanup, the expense and the disfigurement of their environment. Throwing pollution around and piling garbage under the banner of sentimentality is a travesty.

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