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Petroleum in Real Life: Valentine’s Day

All you need is love – and some oil and natural gas

Valentine’s Day is upon us. That means roses, romantic evenings and Hallmark moments for millions of Canadian lovebirds.

But this annual day to celebrate love needs a bit more than Cupid and his arrow to make it memorable. February 14 just wouldn’t be the same without a little energy in the form of oil, natural gas and the benefits we derive from them.

Roses are red. Violets are blue…

Sending your special someone flowers on Valentine’s Day is a tradition as old as time.

But did you know that oil, natural gas and petroleum products play an important role in the bouquets you select? Think about machinery that cultivates the land or fuel that heats the greenhouses to grow flowers. The trucks and planes to transport them from the warmer climes where most flowers are grown to your local flower shop. The refrigeration systems at florist shops. All these rely on oil and natural gas.

Red roses are the perfect Valentine expression of love: oil and natural gas help make it possible.

And, if your arrangement comes in a flower pot, there’s a good chance that pot is made with high density blow mold polyethylene – a product of petrochemical hydrocarbons.

I like you a choco-LOT

Does your sweetheart have a sweet tooth? Then there’s nothing better than chocolate.

Every year, millions of Canadians indulge in chocolate treats and truffles on Valentine’s Day. But behind the scenes, there’s a petroleum angle to every chocolate-flavoured love story.

One of the critical final steps to turning cacao beans into the chocolate pieces we know and love involves a process called tempering. Chocolate is heated, cooled and then slightly re-heated in plastic and rubber moulds that are made with, you guessed it, petroleum products.

It’s date night

When you get ready for your big Valentine’s evening date, you are relying on petroleum products whether you know it or not. Think lipstick, deodorant, mascara, moisturizer, nail polish, perfumes and colognes, and shaving cream. All of these products are derived from hydrocarbon molecules to provide antistatic, plasticiser and viscosity properties. Oils in concentrations ranging from one to 99 per cent are found in most skin creams and lotions, body and face cleansers and sun protection and self-tanning lotions. And your closet is likely to contain a few items with petroleum-based polyester fibres.

So when you raise your glass in a toast to ever-lasting love this Valentine’s Day, also give a bit of love to the petroleum-based products that make February 14 possible.