Thursday, February 9, 2012

Happy Valentines Day!

It’s almost time for Valentines Day, and for many of us, that means flowers and chocolate.  I love having flowers brighten my mid-winter house, but I’ve been wondering whether there’s an eco-friendly flower option for my husband as he shops (not so subtle hint, hint).   I came across an excellent article on thethirsty rose topic in a 2009 issue of  Scientific American.  To summarize, don’t assume that all imported flowers are less “green” than other flowers; sometimes the lighting and heating required in the greenhouses in more northern climates easily outweighs the shipping necessary from more tropical flower fields.  A few other tips from the writers of the article (and me):
  • check out organically grown flowers
  • look into other sustainable growers, such as Florverde
  • try locally grown flowers; here in northern VA, I often buy locally grown tulips from Whole Foods.
  • roses are very difficult to ship; think about selecting heartier breeds that are easier (less energy demanding) to ship, like bird of paradise, ginger, or lilies
  • try field-grown flowers in season, like dahlia, sunflower, or larkspur
  • try something totally different and give a plant that can be replanted in the garden.  If you’re in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, try native plants that look great in winter.
If you’re really interested in the topic of flowers, a good read that’s on my future reading list is Flower Confidential: The Good, the Bad, and the Beautiful in the Business of Flowers by Amy Stewart. 
Just a few ideas to make Valentines Day green – all of the romance, none of the guilt!

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