Buying flowers in the dead of winter (at least in North America) means generating a larger carbon footprint. Flowers that are imported from tropical climes, such as roses or orchids, are flown by plane and use up large amounts of fuel and energy for travel, and stor
Socially Responsible Flowers
Tradition is a compelling force. For those die-hard romantics who must have a dozen red roses, there are options to buying somewhat more responsible choices. A good compromise is buying organic and/or Fair Trade flowers.
Organic flowers mean that pesticides, and chemical fertilizers are not used in the seeding, growing or preserving of bouquets. Certified organic flowers mean that the plants are certified by governing bodies that ensure pesticide use and diversion of water are not in use.
How To Find Sustainable Flowers
Some florists do offer environmentally and socially friendly options, such as certifying that a greenhouse or farm’s workers are not underage and are paid fairly. Among them, organizations that certify socially responsible blooms are Sierra Eco and VeriFlora.
If buying flowers online, FTD.com now offers an “eco-friendly” section. While not all of FTD’s flowers are certified organic, they do offer a sustainable bouquet of tulips, called the “Protect Our Earth Bouquet”. It is shipped with a vase made from a recycled used wine bottle, embossed with a unique design stating: “Earth…. nourish, protect’”.
Some environmentally friendly grocery chains throughout North America, such as Whole Foods now offer organic and USDA certified organic flowers. Check you local listing for your closest florist, and ask if they have any certified organic plants you could offer as a Valentine’s present.
Creative Eco-Friendly Flower Arrangements
Smaller bouquets means a smaller footprint – an option to fill a bouquet is to opt for dried flower arrangements, or offer a houseplant that can be kept indoors permanently. If watering plants and light gardening does not appeal to your sweetheart, another option that rests are silk flowers: Convincingly crafted, they can be made so realistic that they look like they need watering.
Romantic Alternatives to Bouquets or Plants
Modern flower arrangements now feature sculptures made from a combination of dried and artificial flowers, or combinations of beads and recycled found goods. Many florists are now listed as artistic flower sculptors, involving creating sculptures that combine organic materials with sustainable plants for a more lasting creation.
Another romantic alternative is to buy a sapling, and plant it together in the spring; it will form spring blossoms that will be remembered for years as it matures.
In all, the sentiment behind providing flowers is to show you care, and provide beauty during the winter months. If creative, even a basket of sustainable fruit can make a table setting attractive, and earth-friendly!