There is something magical about getting a dozen roses for Valentine’s Day. The happy surprise when the delivery person has a package for you! All of your co-workers oooh and ahhhh and are jealous of your loving partner. Many people say I love you with a dozen roses on February 14th.
But there is a dark side to roses that bloom in the winter. Commercially grown flowers can be pesticide intensive and cause diseases in the workers who pick them. According to the USDA, 70 percent of flowers sold in the United States are from Columbia and Ecuador. Some of these growers use highly toxic pesticides and fumigants that are banned in the United Stated. These toxins cause disease, especially in children. According to Planet Green:
Two-thirds of Colombian and Ecuadorian workers suffer from problems associated with pesticide exposure … The International Labor Organization estimates that 20 percent of flower workers in Ecuador are children, who are even more vulnerable to chemical hazards.
Pesticides, transportation emissions, and packaging waste really takes the blush off the roses. But buying organic flowers will leave you smelling sweet. EH Floral will be delivering organically grown red roses for Valentine’s Day and even better, the vase is made from recycled glass.
Emily will have other sustainably grown and organically gown flowers available some even grown right here in New England from local flower farms in Vermont, Massachusetts, and Maine.
For more information:
The International Labor Rights Forum has several ways you can help support flower workers around the world to promote fairness in flowers.
VeriFlora is an agricultural sustainability certification and eco-labeling program in the floriculture and horticulture industries.
The Rainforest Alliance works to conserve biodiversity and ensure sustainable livelihoods by transforming land-use practices, business practices and consumer behavior.
Fair Flowers Fair Plants is an international group developing a worldwide social and environmental standard for flowers and ornamental plants, primarily used in Europe at this time.