Carbon footprint of imported Valentine's Day flowers
March 15, 2021
Here's a shocking statistic: in the three weeks leading up to Valentine's Day, roughly 60 cargo planes per day take off from Columbia and Ecuador, full of pesticide-covered flowers. This herculean effort to meet the consumer demand of the holiday contributes to an incredible carbon emissions footprint, and the travel of your typical imported cut flower doesn't end at the airport: from there: they are loaded onto refrigerated trucks and trucked across the country at an even higher footprint. Combined with the incredible amount of pesticides, fungicides, questionable working conditions, and runoff/water issues associated with flowers coming in from these countries, it doesn't exactly send the message of love, does it?
That being said, domestic flowers on Valentine's Day aren't necessarily better. The fossil fuels required to heat and light large greenhouses to produce cut roses domestically during the winter season nearly equal the carbon footprint to import them from warmer climates.
Unfortunately, we simply need to come to terms with the fact that flowers out of season, no matter where they are from, carry a higher carbon footprint than the ones you can buy from your local flower farmer during the growing season. That doesn't mean you have to have a sad Valentine's, though...Here are some alternatives for you this year!
1️⃣ Cook your favorite meal and share a bottle of wine or spirits from a local distiller or winemaker 2️⃣ Pick up a vintage piece of jewelry from your local antique store for a more ethical and sustainable piece of bling 3️⃣ Grab some forced bulbs from your local flower farmer, which don't require additional light and minimal heat to produce (we have some via the link in our bio) 4️⃣ Source some rainforest certified ethical chocolates and do a taste test! 5️⃣go gift free, bundle up, and go for a starlit walk and enjoy the quiet beauty of a winter evening
Valentine's Day is meant to celebrate love. So let's show our love for the planet this year. Shop alternative gifts, shop local, and shop sustainable!
As we have completely eliminated peat from our seed starting and growing (see more about that in this post), we had to seek out an alternative (previously we were using the Vermont Compost Company's Fort Vee mix to soil block). This led us to develop a couple of peat-free soil blocking recipes.
Hey, farmer/gardener/soil curator! Been looking for an inexpensive way to increase the level of beneficial microbes, slow release nitrogen and minerals? Have you heard of mesophyllic fertilizer? No? Neither had we, until we stumbled across this recipe...