We all love the surprise of flowers delivered to our home or office. And we all love the ease with which they can be sent from or picked up at a local store. But a look beyond their beauty and ease reveals some unsettling facts.
A whopping 70 percent of all flowers sold in the United States are grown in South America, where there are little, if any, regulations about the chemicals used to grow the flawless blooms. Workers there can be exposed to more than 30 pesticides and often have health issues as a result. There is also the distance the flowers must travel to reach the US to consider.
But don’t wilt; sustainable and locally grown varieties are blooming.
Now, emerging certifications and growing practices mean you can buy flowers with a good conscience. The next time you want to give or send flowers, consider these options for a greener bouquet:
- Look for flowers with origin labels designating where they were grown and opt for those as close to home as possible.
- Organic Bouquet www.organicbouquet.com and California Organic Flowers deliver green flowers nationally.
- Buy flowers at farmers’ markets.
- Look for certification labels like Florverde, EcoBlooms and Veriflora, which guarantee safer working conditions and less chemical use.
- Ask local florists if they offer flowers from local farms.
- Grow and give your own.