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7 Reasons to Use a Local Florist on Valentine’s Day

7 Reasons to Use a Local Florist on Valentine’s Day


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Written by Rob Cederstrom, floral designer at Gifts from the Heart Florist in North Babylon, New York, and florist on BloomNation.

It’s safe to say that if you want to stay out of the doghouse on Valentine’s Day, you should buy your Valentine flowers. During this romantic holiday, there are lots of places selling flowers, from the grocery store to the national franchise florists featuring promotions and deals, some of which are so compelling that the average person would have a hard time turning away.

However, the old adage “you get what you pay for” couldn’t be truer in the flower industry, and this season you should know the truth — that not all blooms are created equal!

Flowers Come From Many Different Places and in Many Different Grades

Did you ever wonder how the gas station can afford to sell a dozen roses for $20?

The U.S. Flower market comprises at least 60 percent imported flowers, primarily from South America. Growers will generally grow 15 to 20 species for export. When they sort and package them, they separate the flowers into grades and those flowers are sold at different prices to different wholesalers and retailers. The grades are divided into length and quality.

The wholesale price of a high grade, long-stem rose is about five times as expensive as a rose from a gas station or an online chain. The big guys get their flowers in huge bulk, which has its tradeoffs. The simple fact is that flowers from large retailers don’t match up in quality or “wow” factor to what your local florist buys.

Not All Fresh Flowers Are All That Fresh

Another cost-cutting measure employed by large franchises, supermarkets, and big box delivery services is to buy flowers that are past their primary market life. Those are the flowers that florists pass over and may have been sitting in a large refrigerator for weeks. When buying a quality rose, you can typically keep them for one to one and a half weeks from the point of retail purchase before they will wither. In the case of these late market and inferior flowers, you might be lucky to get five days out of them, though many are gone in less time than that.

Guaranteed Delivery? Not From the Big Guys!

Did you know that if you order from certain retailers during the two weeks leading up to Valentine’s Day, they will not guarantee delivery without charging you more? This means that your roses will either cost more to send or they might not deliver them when you want them — or worse, they might not deliver them at all! Don’t believe me? There are TONS of horror stories out there for you to find. In some cases, the delivered result is worse than a failed delivery.

When You Order From a National Wire Service, You Pay Commission

Wire services charge more than you typically spend at a flower shop and won’t necessarily deliver the best results. These services gather orders online and then send them to a local flower shop in your delivery area, but not before taking a commission fee off the top of the order. The local florist ends up with a percentage of the order’s value and fills your order for less money than the sender intended.

Going Direct to a Shop Takes Out the Guess Work

Florists can show you the quality of their work. They can give you a guarantee on their flowers, and make good in a hurry if a mistake was made. They can provide more precise delivery windows, and unlike larger retailers, will call ahead (unless you’re trying to surprise the recipient) before attempting a delivery. These shops live and die by their reputations, so it is in their best interest to do it right the first time, or to fix it fast if you aren’t 100 percent satisfied. National retailers or wire companies may take up to a week to fix an order, but you’ll probably settle for a partial refund long before that.

The Thought Really Is What Counts

Prompt, beautiful, long-lasting flowers take effort to care for, arrange, and deliver. The personalized touches and attentive service a florist can provide will be worth the extra money. If the price tag of such an item takes precedent over the result, then you will surely get what you paid for, and you wouldn’t be the first guy to take his lumps over it.

Knowing a Florist You Can Trust Is a Benefit You Can Enjoy Year Round

For birthdays, Mother’s Day, anniversaries, sympathy, and everyday cheer, you’ll be happy to have a relationship with your local flower shop. It is like having your own private gift consultant that will help you say just the right thing whenever you send flowers. You’ll get a fair deal, but, most importantly, you will send something stunning.


This Valentine's Day, Know Where Your Flowers Come From

St. Valentine's Day is upon us. But before you run out to buy a bouquet for your beloved, you might take note of some potential ethical concerns surrounding cultivated flowers, and some ways to make sure the flowers you buy are good for the planet and for the people who grow them.

Carbon Flower-Print

83 percent of the world's cut flowers are grown in the Netherlands, Colombia, Ecuador and Kenya. 73 percent of the world's cut flowers are imported by the United States, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Germany and France.

Here in the U.S., most of our flowers come from Colombia. This means your average bouquet of roses, tulips or petunias racks up jet-setter airmiles, leaving behind a significant carbon footprint.

But the environmental impact of cut flowers goes beyond travel. Fertilization, watering, refrigeration, and the methane released after flowers have been binned for storage and transportation all take a toll as well.

The True Cost Of Kenyan Flowers

In 2008, Food and Water Watch teamed up with The Council of Canadians to do a report on the conditions of Lake Naivasha, the site of most of Kenya's flower farms.

According to the report, not only are rose plantations siphoning water off the lake at unsustainable rates, but polluted runoff is also damaging the watershed.

Meanwhile, locals face food shortages, overcrowding and the many maladies associated with poor sanitation and ecological degradation.

Labor Conditions: Not Exactly Rosy

In 2005, the World Health Organization rated more than a third of chemicals used in Colombian flower farms as either "extremely" or "highly" toxic.

The International Labor Rights Forum reports that over 50 percent of flower farm employees in Colombia and Ecuador have suffered rashes, eye problems, respiratory problems, or miscarriages following prolonged exposure to these substances.

The Forum also reports high rates of sexual harassment, sexual assault, and forced pregnancy testing of female employees, who make up 65 percent of the flower industry's workforce in Colombia and 50 percent of the workforce in Ecuador.

Don't Trust Florverde

Many flowers exported form Colombia are sold under the "Florverde" label, which claims to be "good for the earth, good for the workers, good for you."

The International Labor Rights Forum, however, reports that the Florverde--an initiative of the Colombian Flower Exporters Association--funnels its revenues not into improving workplace conditions, but into defending Colombia's Free Trade agreement with the United States and into marketing Colombian flowers in the U.S.

What To Do?

If you want to buy fresh cut flowers for Valentine's Day, here are a few recommendations:


This Valentine's Day, Know Where Your Flowers Come From

St. Valentine's Day is upon us. But before you run out to buy a bouquet for your beloved, you might take note of some potential ethical concerns surrounding cultivated flowers, and some ways to make sure the flowers you buy are good for the planet and for the people who grow them.

Carbon Flower-Print

83 percent of the world's cut flowers are grown in the Netherlands, Colombia, Ecuador and Kenya. 73 percent of the world's cut flowers are imported by the United States, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Germany and France.

Here in the U.S., most of our flowers come from Colombia. This means your average bouquet of roses, tulips or petunias racks up jet-setter airmiles, leaving behind a significant carbon footprint.

But the environmental impact of cut flowers goes beyond travel. Fertilization, watering, refrigeration, and the methane released after flowers have been binned for storage and transportation all take a toll as well.

The True Cost Of Kenyan Flowers

In 2008, Food and Water Watch teamed up with The Council of Canadians to do a report on the conditions of Lake Naivasha, the site of most of Kenya's flower farms.

According to the report, not only are rose plantations siphoning water off the lake at unsustainable rates, but polluted runoff is also damaging the watershed.

Meanwhile, locals face food shortages, overcrowding and the many maladies associated with poor sanitation and ecological degradation.

Labor Conditions: Not Exactly Rosy

In 2005, the World Health Organization rated more than a third of chemicals used in Colombian flower farms as either "extremely" or "highly" toxic.

The International Labor Rights Forum reports that over 50 percent of flower farm employees in Colombia and Ecuador have suffered rashes, eye problems, respiratory problems, or miscarriages following prolonged exposure to these substances.

The Forum also reports high rates of sexual harassment, sexual assault, and forced pregnancy testing of female employees, who make up 65 percent of the flower industry's workforce in Colombia and 50 percent of the workforce in Ecuador.

Don't Trust Florverde

Many flowers exported form Colombia are sold under the "Florverde" label, which claims to be "good for the earth, good for the workers, good for you."

The International Labor Rights Forum, however, reports that the Florverde--an initiative of the Colombian Flower Exporters Association--funnels its revenues not into improving workplace conditions, but into defending Colombia's Free Trade agreement with the United States and into marketing Colombian flowers in the U.S.

What To Do?

If you want to buy fresh cut flowers for Valentine's Day, here are a few recommendations:


This Valentine's Day, Know Where Your Flowers Come From

St. Valentine's Day is upon us. But before you run out to buy a bouquet for your beloved, you might take note of some potential ethical concerns surrounding cultivated flowers, and some ways to make sure the flowers you buy are good for the planet and for the people who grow them.

Carbon Flower-Print

83 percent of the world's cut flowers are grown in the Netherlands, Colombia, Ecuador and Kenya. 73 percent of the world's cut flowers are imported by the United States, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Germany and France.

Here in the U.S., most of our flowers come from Colombia. This means your average bouquet of roses, tulips or petunias racks up jet-setter airmiles, leaving behind a significant carbon footprint.

But the environmental impact of cut flowers goes beyond travel. Fertilization, watering, refrigeration, and the methane released after flowers have been binned for storage and transportation all take a toll as well.

The True Cost Of Kenyan Flowers

In 2008, Food and Water Watch teamed up with The Council of Canadians to do a report on the conditions of Lake Naivasha, the site of most of Kenya's flower farms.

According to the report, not only are rose plantations siphoning water off the lake at unsustainable rates, but polluted runoff is also damaging the watershed.

Meanwhile, locals face food shortages, overcrowding and the many maladies associated with poor sanitation and ecological degradation.

Labor Conditions: Not Exactly Rosy

In 2005, the World Health Organization rated more than a third of chemicals used in Colombian flower farms as either "extremely" or "highly" toxic.

The International Labor Rights Forum reports that over 50 percent of flower farm employees in Colombia and Ecuador have suffered rashes, eye problems, respiratory problems, or miscarriages following prolonged exposure to these substances.

The Forum also reports high rates of sexual harassment, sexual assault, and forced pregnancy testing of female employees, who make up 65 percent of the flower industry's workforce in Colombia and 50 percent of the workforce in Ecuador.

Don't Trust Florverde

Many flowers exported form Colombia are sold under the "Florverde" label, which claims to be "good for the earth, good for the workers, good for you."

The International Labor Rights Forum, however, reports that the Florverde--an initiative of the Colombian Flower Exporters Association--funnels its revenues not into improving workplace conditions, but into defending Colombia's Free Trade agreement with the United States and into marketing Colombian flowers in the U.S.

What To Do?

If you want to buy fresh cut flowers for Valentine's Day, here are a few recommendations:


This Valentine's Day, Know Where Your Flowers Come From

St. Valentine's Day is upon us. But before you run out to buy a bouquet for your beloved, you might take note of some potential ethical concerns surrounding cultivated flowers, and some ways to make sure the flowers you buy are good for the planet and for the people who grow them.

Carbon Flower-Print

83 percent of the world's cut flowers are grown in the Netherlands, Colombia, Ecuador and Kenya. 73 percent of the world's cut flowers are imported by the United States, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Germany and France.

Here in the U.S., most of our flowers come from Colombia. This means your average bouquet of roses, tulips or petunias racks up jet-setter airmiles, leaving behind a significant carbon footprint.

But the environmental impact of cut flowers goes beyond travel. Fertilization, watering, refrigeration, and the methane released after flowers have been binned for storage and transportation all take a toll as well.

The True Cost Of Kenyan Flowers

In 2008, Food and Water Watch teamed up with The Council of Canadians to do a report on the conditions of Lake Naivasha, the site of most of Kenya's flower farms.

According to the report, not only are rose plantations siphoning water off the lake at unsustainable rates, but polluted runoff is also damaging the watershed.

Meanwhile, locals face food shortages, overcrowding and the many maladies associated with poor sanitation and ecological degradation.

Labor Conditions: Not Exactly Rosy

In 2005, the World Health Organization rated more than a third of chemicals used in Colombian flower farms as either "extremely" or "highly" toxic.

The International Labor Rights Forum reports that over 50 percent of flower farm employees in Colombia and Ecuador have suffered rashes, eye problems, respiratory problems, or miscarriages following prolonged exposure to these substances.

The Forum also reports high rates of sexual harassment, sexual assault, and forced pregnancy testing of female employees, who make up 65 percent of the flower industry's workforce in Colombia and 50 percent of the workforce in Ecuador.

Don't Trust Florverde

Many flowers exported form Colombia are sold under the "Florverde" label, which claims to be "good for the earth, good for the workers, good for you."

The International Labor Rights Forum, however, reports that the Florverde--an initiative of the Colombian Flower Exporters Association--funnels its revenues not into improving workplace conditions, but into defending Colombia's Free Trade agreement with the United States and into marketing Colombian flowers in the U.S.

What To Do?

If you want to buy fresh cut flowers for Valentine's Day, here are a few recommendations:


This Valentine's Day, Know Where Your Flowers Come From

St. Valentine's Day is upon us. But before you run out to buy a bouquet for your beloved, you might take note of some potential ethical concerns surrounding cultivated flowers, and some ways to make sure the flowers you buy are good for the planet and for the people who grow them.

Carbon Flower-Print

83 percent of the world's cut flowers are grown in the Netherlands, Colombia, Ecuador and Kenya. 73 percent of the world's cut flowers are imported by the United States, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Germany and France.

Here in the U.S., most of our flowers come from Colombia. This means your average bouquet of roses, tulips or petunias racks up jet-setter airmiles, leaving behind a significant carbon footprint.

But the environmental impact of cut flowers goes beyond travel. Fertilization, watering, refrigeration, and the methane released after flowers have been binned for storage and transportation all take a toll as well.

The True Cost Of Kenyan Flowers

In 2008, Food and Water Watch teamed up with The Council of Canadians to do a report on the conditions of Lake Naivasha, the site of most of Kenya's flower farms.

According to the report, not only are rose plantations siphoning water off the lake at unsustainable rates, but polluted runoff is also damaging the watershed.

Meanwhile, locals face food shortages, overcrowding and the many maladies associated with poor sanitation and ecological degradation.

Labor Conditions: Not Exactly Rosy

In 2005, the World Health Organization rated more than a third of chemicals used in Colombian flower farms as either "extremely" or "highly" toxic.

The International Labor Rights Forum reports that over 50 percent of flower farm employees in Colombia and Ecuador have suffered rashes, eye problems, respiratory problems, or miscarriages following prolonged exposure to these substances.

The Forum also reports high rates of sexual harassment, sexual assault, and forced pregnancy testing of female employees, who make up 65 percent of the flower industry's workforce in Colombia and 50 percent of the workforce in Ecuador.

Don't Trust Florverde

Many flowers exported form Colombia are sold under the "Florverde" label, which claims to be "good for the earth, good for the workers, good for you."

The International Labor Rights Forum, however, reports that the Florverde--an initiative of the Colombian Flower Exporters Association--funnels its revenues not into improving workplace conditions, but into defending Colombia's Free Trade agreement with the United States and into marketing Colombian flowers in the U.S.

What To Do?

If you want to buy fresh cut flowers for Valentine's Day, here are a few recommendations:


This Valentine's Day, Know Where Your Flowers Come From

St. Valentine's Day is upon us. But before you run out to buy a bouquet for your beloved, you might take note of some potential ethical concerns surrounding cultivated flowers, and some ways to make sure the flowers you buy are good for the planet and for the people who grow them.

Carbon Flower-Print

83 percent of the world's cut flowers are grown in the Netherlands, Colombia, Ecuador and Kenya. 73 percent of the world's cut flowers are imported by the United States, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Germany and France.

Here in the U.S., most of our flowers come from Colombia. This means your average bouquet of roses, tulips or petunias racks up jet-setter airmiles, leaving behind a significant carbon footprint.

But the environmental impact of cut flowers goes beyond travel. Fertilization, watering, refrigeration, and the methane released after flowers have been binned for storage and transportation all take a toll as well.

The True Cost Of Kenyan Flowers

In 2008, Food and Water Watch teamed up with The Council of Canadians to do a report on the conditions of Lake Naivasha, the site of most of Kenya's flower farms.

According to the report, not only are rose plantations siphoning water off the lake at unsustainable rates, but polluted runoff is also damaging the watershed.

Meanwhile, locals face food shortages, overcrowding and the many maladies associated with poor sanitation and ecological degradation.

Labor Conditions: Not Exactly Rosy

In 2005, the World Health Organization rated more than a third of chemicals used in Colombian flower farms as either "extremely" or "highly" toxic.

The International Labor Rights Forum reports that over 50 percent of flower farm employees in Colombia and Ecuador have suffered rashes, eye problems, respiratory problems, or miscarriages following prolonged exposure to these substances.

The Forum also reports high rates of sexual harassment, sexual assault, and forced pregnancy testing of female employees, who make up 65 percent of the flower industry's workforce in Colombia and 50 percent of the workforce in Ecuador.

Don't Trust Florverde

Many flowers exported form Colombia are sold under the "Florverde" label, which claims to be "good for the earth, good for the workers, good for you."

The International Labor Rights Forum, however, reports that the Florverde--an initiative of the Colombian Flower Exporters Association--funnels its revenues not into improving workplace conditions, but into defending Colombia's Free Trade agreement with the United States and into marketing Colombian flowers in the U.S.

What To Do?

If you want to buy fresh cut flowers for Valentine's Day, here are a few recommendations:


This Valentine's Day, Know Where Your Flowers Come From

St. Valentine's Day is upon us. But before you run out to buy a bouquet for your beloved, you might take note of some potential ethical concerns surrounding cultivated flowers, and some ways to make sure the flowers you buy are good for the planet and for the people who grow them.

Carbon Flower-Print

83 percent of the world's cut flowers are grown in the Netherlands, Colombia, Ecuador and Kenya. 73 percent of the world's cut flowers are imported by the United States, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Germany and France.

Here in the U.S., most of our flowers come from Colombia. This means your average bouquet of roses, tulips or petunias racks up jet-setter airmiles, leaving behind a significant carbon footprint.

But the environmental impact of cut flowers goes beyond travel. Fertilization, watering, refrigeration, and the methane released after flowers have been binned for storage and transportation all take a toll as well.

The True Cost Of Kenyan Flowers

In 2008, Food and Water Watch teamed up with The Council of Canadians to do a report on the conditions of Lake Naivasha, the site of most of Kenya's flower farms.

According to the report, not only are rose plantations siphoning water off the lake at unsustainable rates, but polluted runoff is also damaging the watershed.

Meanwhile, locals face food shortages, overcrowding and the many maladies associated with poor sanitation and ecological degradation.

Labor Conditions: Not Exactly Rosy

In 2005, the World Health Organization rated more than a third of chemicals used in Colombian flower farms as either "extremely" or "highly" toxic.

The International Labor Rights Forum reports that over 50 percent of flower farm employees in Colombia and Ecuador have suffered rashes, eye problems, respiratory problems, or miscarriages following prolonged exposure to these substances.

The Forum also reports high rates of sexual harassment, sexual assault, and forced pregnancy testing of female employees, who make up 65 percent of the flower industry's workforce in Colombia and 50 percent of the workforce in Ecuador.

Don't Trust Florverde

Many flowers exported form Colombia are sold under the "Florverde" label, which claims to be "good for the earth, good for the workers, good for you."

The International Labor Rights Forum, however, reports that the Florverde--an initiative of the Colombian Flower Exporters Association--funnels its revenues not into improving workplace conditions, but into defending Colombia's Free Trade agreement with the United States and into marketing Colombian flowers in the U.S.

What To Do?

If you want to buy fresh cut flowers for Valentine's Day, here are a few recommendations:


This Valentine's Day, Know Where Your Flowers Come From

St. Valentine's Day is upon us. But before you run out to buy a bouquet for your beloved, you might take note of some potential ethical concerns surrounding cultivated flowers, and some ways to make sure the flowers you buy are good for the planet and for the people who grow them.

Carbon Flower-Print

83 percent of the world's cut flowers are grown in the Netherlands, Colombia, Ecuador and Kenya. 73 percent of the world's cut flowers are imported by the United States, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Germany and France.

Here in the U.S., most of our flowers come from Colombia. This means your average bouquet of roses, tulips or petunias racks up jet-setter airmiles, leaving behind a significant carbon footprint.

But the environmental impact of cut flowers goes beyond travel. Fertilization, watering, refrigeration, and the methane released after flowers have been binned for storage and transportation all take a toll as well.

The True Cost Of Kenyan Flowers

In 2008, Food and Water Watch teamed up with The Council of Canadians to do a report on the conditions of Lake Naivasha, the site of most of Kenya's flower farms.

According to the report, not only are rose plantations siphoning water off the lake at unsustainable rates, but polluted runoff is also damaging the watershed.

Meanwhile, locals face food shortages, overcrowding and the many maladies associated with poor sanitation and ecological degradation.

Labor Conditions: Not Exactly Rosy

In 2005, the World Health Organization rated more than a third of chemicals used in Colombian flower farms as either "extremely" or "highly" toxic.

The International Labor Rights Forum reports that over 50 percent of flower farm employees in Colombia and Ecuador have suffered rashes, eye problems, respiratory problems, or miscarriages following prolonged exposure to these substances.

The Forum also reports high rates of sexual harassment, sexual assault, and forced pregnancy testing of female employees, who make up 65 percent of the flower industry's workforce in Colombia and 50 percent of the workforce in Ecuador.

Don't Trust Florverde

Many flowers exported form Colombia are sold under the "Florverde" label, which claims to be "good for the earth, good for the workers, good for you."

The International Labor Rights Forum, however, reports that the Florverde--an initiative of the Colombian Flower Exporters Association--funnels its revenues not into improving workplace conditions, but into defending Colombia's Free Trade agreement with the United States and into marketing Colombian flowers in the U.S.

What To Do?

If you want to buy fresh cut flowers for Valentine's Day, here are a few recommendations:


This Valentine's Day, Know Where Your Flowers Come From

St. Valentine's Day is upon us. But before you run out to buy a bouquet for your beloved, you might take note of some potential ethical concerns surrounding cultivated flowers, and some ways to make sure the flowers you buy are good for the planet and for the people who grow them.

Carbon Flower-Print

83 percent of the world's cut flowers are grown in the Netherlands, Colombia, Ecuador and Kenya. 73 percent of the world's cut flowers are imported by the United States, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Germany and France.

Here in the U.S., most of our flowers come from Colombia. This means your average bouquet of roses, tulips or petunias racks up jet-setter airmiles, leaving behind a significant carbon footprint.

But the environmental impact of cut flowers goes beyond travel. Fertilization, watering, refrigeration, and the methane released after flowers have been binned for storage and transportation all take a toll as well.

The True Cost Of Kenyan Flowers

In 2008, Food and Water Watch teamed up with The Council of Canadians to do a report on the conditions of Lake Naivasha, the site of most of Kenya's flower farms.

According to the report, not only are rose plantations siphoning water off the lake at unsustainable rates, but polluted runoff is also damaging the watershed.

Meanwhile, locals face food shortages, overcrowding and the many maladies associated with poor sanitation and ecological degradation.

Labor Conditions: Not Exactly Rosy

In 2005, the World Health Organization rated more than a third of chemicals used in Colombian flower farms as either "extremely" or "highly" toxic.

The International Labor Rights Forum reports that over 50 percent of flower farm employees in Colombia and Ecuador have suffered rashes, eye problems, respiratory problems, or miscarriages following prolonged exposure to these substances.

The Forum also reports high rates of sexual harassment, sexual assault, and forced pregnancy testing of female employees, who make up 65 percent of the flower industry's workforce in Colombia and 50 percent of the workforce in Ecuador.

Don't Trust Florverde

Many flowers exported form Colombia are sold under the "Florverde" label, which claims to be "good for the earth, good for the workers, good for you."

The International Labor Rights Forum, however, reports that the Florverde--an initiative of the Colombian Flower Exporters Association--funnels its revenues not into improving workplace conditions, but into defending Colombia's Free Trade agreement with the United States and into marketing Colombian flowers in the U.S.

What To Do?

If you want to buy fresh cut flowers for Valentine's Day, here are a few recommendations:


This Valentine's Day, Know Where Your Flowers Come From

St. Valentine's Day is upon us. But before you run out to buy a bouquet for your beloved, you might take note of some potential ethical concerns surrounding cultivated flowers, and some ways to make sure the flowers you buy are good for the planet and for the people who grow them.

Carbon Flower-Print

83 percent of the world's cut flowers are grown in the Netherlands, Colombia, Ecuador and Kenya. 73 percent of the world's cut flowers are imported by the United States, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Germany and France.

Here in the U.S., most of our flowers come from Colombia. This means your average bouquet of roses, tulips or petunias racks up jet-setter airmiles, leaving behind a significant carbon footprint.

But the environmental impact of cut flowers goes beyond travel. Fertilization, watering, refrigeration, and the methane released after flowers have been binned for storage and transportation all take a toll as well.

The True Cost Of Kenyan Flowers

In 2008, Food and Water Watch teamed up with The Council of Canadians to do a report on the conditions of Lake Naivasha, the site of most of Kenya's flower farms.

According to the report, not only are rose plantations siphoning water off the lake at unsustainable rates, but polluted runoff is also damaging the watershed.

Meanwhile, locals face food shortages, overcrowding and the many maladies associated with poor sanitation and ecological degradation.

Labor Conditions: Not Exactly Rosy

In 2005, the World Health Organization rated more than a third of chemicals used in Colombian flower farms as either "extremely" or "highly" toxic.

The International Labor Rights Forum reports that over 50 percent of flower farm employees in Colombia and Ecuador have suffered rashes, eye problems, respiratory problems, or miscarriages following prolonged exposure to these substances.

The Forum also reports high rates of sexual harassment, sexual assault, and forced pregnancy testing of female employees, who make up 65 percent of the flower industry's workforce in Colombia and 50 percent of the workforce in Ecuador.

Don't Trust Florverde

Many flowers exported form Colombia are sold under the "Florverde" label, which claims to be "good for the earth, good for the workers, good for you."

The International Labor Rights Forum, however, reports that the Florverde--an initiative of the Colombian Flower Exporters Association--funnels its revenues not into improving workplace conditions, but into defending Colombia's Free Trade agreement with the United States and into marketing Colombian flowers in the U.S.

What To Do?

If you want to buy fresh cut flowers for Valentine's Day, here are a few recommendations:


Watch the video: Youre Engaged! 7 Things to Know Before Hiring a Wedding Florist (June 2022).


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