So you’re throwing a party? Getting hitched? Buying flowers “just because”?
Before you go out and spend money on those fresh cut flowers, you might want to be aware of the impacts that that bouquet is going to have on the environment.
Consumers spend millions of dollars, every year, purchasing cut flowers and bringing them into their homes: and most consumers do not think about the environmental and social aspects of the cut flower industry. Multiple studies conducted in the late 1990s suggested that cut flowers have serious environmental impacts, and advocacy organizations have attempted to raise consumer awareness about the hidden costs of cut flowers.
Most cut flowers are grown in South America, Africa, and Southeast Asia in large greenhouse environments staffed by underpaid, non-unionized workers. Over half of the florists in the U.S. use these imported flowers. They are sprayed with pesticides and fungicides. These chemicals can be harmful to your health and contaminate waterways and drinking supplies. These substances have a profound impact on the health of the workers: many suffer from health problems such as skin conditions, respiratory problems, impaired vision, and birth defects thanks to their exposure to these chemicals.
Let’s not forget about the environment! Most greenhouses which produce cut flowers dump chemicals on their crops in large amounts. These chemicals later enter the bodies of workers, the flowers, and the ground water. Water pollution around commercial greenhouses hurts animal and fish populations and also has an impact on human life as well, by reducing the amount of drinkable water.
Using local, seasonal and organic flowers, which are never sprayed with toxic chemicals, lowers fuel consumption and is often less costly than ordering exotic species, which must be shipped. While arrangements requiring less flowers seem like a better route to take, why not consider using faux flowers? The days when silk plants were clearly artificial has long since departed. This is because up-to-date printing techniques enable the creation of authentic reproductions that are difficult to tell apart from the originals. Silk trees these days generally also include real wooden stems and bark.
The realm of artificial plants and flowers has now moved into the arena of high-tech design. Markings and imperfections found the in the original living specimens can now be faithfully reproduced to create masterpieces of modern fabric design. These massive improvements in manufacturing, means that artificial plants are being used more and more. So hop on the bandwagon folks! Your event is sure to still end up looking gorgeous and you can have the satisfaction of feeling that you’re doing just a little something extra to save the earth.