by Starre Vartan
Friday, February 13, 2009
Gorgeous flowers in the middle of winter feel like a real indulgence, and that's probably why they feel so special when they're received as an expression of love (whether romantic or familial).
But vigilant environmentalists and human rights advocates have long critisized the flower industry as being both abusive to the people who grow and package flowers and polluting to local environments (to make perfect flowers cheaply, it is common to douse them in pesticides and herbicides, which make their way into local water supplies and have resulted in health problems for the people who live near flower-growing facilities).
For the whole story behind the real impact of conventional cut flowers, check out Amy Stewart's in-depth reportage in her book, Flower Confidential: The Good the Bad and The Beautiful in the Business of Flowers.
Luckily for us, we can have our flowers and stop to smell them too, with fair-trade, organic, or sustainble blooms available both online and in our favorite supermarkets, farmer's markets, and florists.
|Online sustainable flower seller Organic Bouquet offers the most extensive collection of certified blooms, along with a detailed listing of floral certifications. This classic red stunner is just one of many gorgeous green choices.|
|1-800-Flowers also sells pretty pretty flowers, certified by TransFair. They can deliver pretty much anywhere, and also have several gorgeous options available, including this nontypical orange and yellow gathering.|
Search Local Harvest and find a local floral farm, farmer's market or CSA. By cutting down on transportation distances, you'll be supporting local business and saving on carbon emissions - something anyone would love. Local blooms vary, so Local Harvest also offers lots of unique choices that can be ordered from their site.
|Whole Foods has a special certification system called "Whole Trade" which guarantees both fair treatment of flower workers and responsibility towards the local ecosystems where flowers are grown.You don't need to order online- just stop by your local Whole Foods and choose from the selection there.|
|FTD has an extensive line of certified green blooms as part of their Go Green Living collection. This unusual bouquet is called "Heart's Longing" - how romantic! (Note: not all flowers in this collection are organic, but FTD states they are 'certified sustainably grown.')|
|Trader Joe's offers a large flower selection in most of their stores; look for the bunches marked with a green check which indicates they are Veriflora certified. TJ's also sells California-grown flowers (also marked with verbage that indicates provenance) which are a great choice if you're on the West Coast.|
For even more gorgeous and green flower options, check out this flipbook of beautiful blooms!