As your love blossoms, make sure your blooms show a little love for the Earth. For Valentine's Day and for any occasion, you can rarely go wrong with flowers. But did you know you can express your love and save the world: what is more romantic than that? Be eco-conscious and learn more about just where and how those flowers are grown and how they get to your local store or loved one.
You may be aware of your own carbon footprint but try to consider the footprint of the things you purchase. Your trip to the florist is nothing compared to the trip many of the flowers make there every day. Flowers come from all over the world and Valentine’s Day is one of the biggest holidays for flowers and roses.
But did you know that many red roses come from regions such as South America, Asia, and Europe? In the United Kingdom for instance, almost 85 percent of all cut flowers are imported. That’s a lot of miles on trucks and planes before you even see them in the store.
So try and hit the local farmer’s market or look for flowers and arrangements that use local or regional flowers. You can support local growers and sellers while ensuring that your flowers aren’t globetrotting.
Fair trade is a movement that is gaining popularity around the world. Flowers are no different. Many flowers come from developing nations with poor working conditions. You can do your small part by looking for labels that say Fair Trade Certified. These arrangements usually pay the growers a more reasonable price for their products. Fair trade arrangements also benefit communities through improvements to health care, schools, or farm collectives
Flowers aren't organic? While they do grow naturally out of the soil, many flowers are treated with toxic pesticides and fungicides. And did you know some flowers get their amazing colors through a dye process? All of these chemicals run off into groundwater, lakes, and streams. Eventually, they can wind up in the oceans where they cause great damage to coral reefs and marine life.
But rest assured the industry is well aware of the growing green movement. The result is a wave of new, organically grown flower options. There is room for improvement but the industry is starting to set some standards. Keep an eye out for labels such as Veriflora and USDA Organic. Online retailers have also responded to the demand. Search for "organic" when you visit florists' websites or find out whether a portion of their proceeds are given to environmental charities.
Being more eco-conscious when it comes to your Valentines Day selections doesn’t have to be a thorn in your side. Check out your local farmers' markets, ask about organic bouquets, and learn about where your flowers are coming from. It requires just a little bit of research but who knows? Maybe your loved one will think your gesture is all the more special because it’s better for the planet.
Maybe you're looking to buy eco-friendly chocolate? Check out Sweet for the Planet.