Looking to buy flowers for that special someone? Think twice! Flowers are wonderful to share with others, but let’s take off our rose-colored glasses and look at the reality of retail flowers.

Of all flowers sold in the U.S., about 78% are imported from Columbia, and 15% are imported from Ecuador. Because roses are transported such long distances in temperature-controlled carriers, they require a lot of energy: about 9,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions are generated to get approximately 100 million roses from field to sweetheart! 

Furthermore, growing cut-flowers can harm workers and their communities. Even with their protective equipment, floriculture workers are exposed to toxins found in fertilizers, insecticides, and preservatives. U.S. and Ecuadorian researchers found that children living near Ecuador’s floral greenhouses where pesticides had been used had altered short-term brain activity

To decrease your climate impact, consider going organic by checking for labels like “Sustainable,” “Fair Trade,” and “Organic” on your flowers, as well as labels like FlorEcuador and the US’s Veriflower. These labels measure flower-growing operations by specific standards for issues like water use, pollution, and worker benefits. It might cost more, but who’s to say you can’t spend a little more for your beau and the environment? Check out dried flower vendors like Coloriginz or sustainability-oriented floral design shops like Rose and ThornTry gifting flowers that can be re-planted, and remember to compost cut flowers when they begin to wilt. Happy Valentine's Day!

You need to be a member of SCOCO Network to add comments!

Join SCOCO Network

Email me when people reply –