flowers

Nothing beats the smell of a fresh bouquet of flowers. Every bundle of bright purple, red and yellow blooms beckons any nose to submit to a few sniffs. Unfortunately, many store-bought flowers are grown with the help of pesticides and are transported with less than sustainable methods.

“Factory flowers” are grown by a $40 billion, worldwide floriculture industry. The industries goal? Uniformity and durability. Factory flowers are shipped from long distances and must survive the ride. The flowers you see in stores were likely cut almost two weeks before arriving to their destination, which is often in another state, or country. Also, many workers who harvest flowers are paid low wages and are exposed to toxic chemicals.

Sustainable flowers, or slow flowers, typically have three qualities. The flowers are:

  • Local: flowers are grown in a field or area near the establishments were they will be sold.
  • Sustainable: most are raised without chemicals, but may not be certified organic. Sustainable flowers are watered responsibly, and grow amongst native plants. Also, heirloom or antique flowers are grown when possible.
  • Seasonal: stunning, colorful varieties are available at different times of the year.

It’s easy to remember to buy organic food. We’re naturally more aware of what we cook in our homes and feed to our families. But supporting organic, sustainable flower farmers is incredibly important, too!

Feel inspired to make your next bouquet sustainable? Check out the following sites that sell eco-friendly, “green” flowers:

Resources:

http://www.gadling.com/2011/04/18/organic-flower-farms-a-trip-worth-making/

http://www.motherearthnews.com/organic-gardening/local-sustainable-flowers-ze0z1203zsto.aspx

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/29/garden/debra-prinzing-on-local-sustainable-flowers.html

http://www.justmeans.com/Five-Companies-That-Sell-Eco-Friendly-Flowers/44309.html

Image: Matthias Rosenkranz