By Alexandra Hart
Trying to keep your Valentines flowers sustainable? Ditch the bouquet and give potted flowers. They too are fragrant, bright, and add elegance to any room. More importantly, you’ll be doing yourself and the planet a favor. According to MSNBC, 78 percent of the 4 billion flowers sold in the U.S are harvested and shipped out of Colombia and Ecuador. Not only does the journey use millions of gallons of fuel to arrive at your local floral boutique, these countries commonly use pesticides and herbicides that are banned in the United States. These pollutants not only cause health problems but serious destruction of local habitats as well. And while a majority of cut flowers in the U.S are not locally grown, keep in mind if you do buy local, high amounts of hazardous chemicals are still commonly used, effecting human health, the environment and our precious bee population.
If you’re still set on giving your valentine cut flowers start by looking for organic and fair trade flowers. Skip the added foam and plastic heart plant inserts and look for decorative materials made from more sustainable materials. But keep in mind by avoiding cut flowers all together you can give your love beautiful flowers they can enjoy for years. Lilies, orchids, begonias, and roses, among others, can all be grown indoors and an added benefit to potted plants is they can even reduce indoor toxins in your living space. This Valentine’s Day be environmentally responsible and watch the flowers bloom year after year.