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Sustainably Yours: Cut Out Cut Flowers

That flower bouquet resting beautifully in a vase on your table has a carbon footprint of about five pounds, at the very least. That accounts for air transportation and any chemical agents that may be applied to any such flower, as well as the constant refrigeration that  cut flowers require during transport (according to The Environmental Impact of Cut Flowers).

This, to me, was an astounding realization, considering how much I enjoy cut flowers in my home. And the problem is, it’s not just that cut flowers have a large carbon footprint, they also contribute immensely to supporting the chemical pesticide industry, and in doing so, perpetuate the problems associated with use of dangerous chemicals on our plants. Workers in South American countries who handle cut flowers regularly have reported serious health problems — skin rashes, respiratory problems and eye conditions, reportedly associated with chemical pesticide, herbicide and fungicide exposure.

Ultimately, it can’t be argued that conventionally produced, chemically showered, imported cut flowers are good for us or the environment. However, there are alternatives, and it’s important that we consider them instead of simply running to the nearest grocery store and buying flowers with mystery origins and no sign of organic growth processes.  Below are a couple of suggestions for greening our in-home flowers:

1. If you must buy cut flowers, buy organic and/or local. Search online for a company that sells organic flowers, such as Organic Bouquet. Of course, this doesn’t reduce the bouquet’s carbon footprint to zero — most likely, you’ll still want the flowers delivered, and they very likely may still be imported, so you’ll have to account for transportation CO2 emissions. However, eliminating the use of chemicals contributes immensely to a better bouquet, so you’re certainly reducing its carbon footprint if you buy organic. On the other hand, if you can find cut flowers that were grown at a local, small farm nearby, consider buying those. That way, you’re supporting local growers and reducing the emissions of long-haul transport.

2. Buy a succulent potted plant that will last much, much longer than cut flowers. These can provide a nice alternative to flower bouquets. But be sure to check the origin of the potted plant too, and above all, try to buy one that was grown locally and, of course, organically. I recommend going to your local natural foods store and asking an employee about where the plants they sell come from, and, once you find out their history, determine whether or not to buy them.

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Sustainable Flowers Make The Perfect Gift For All Occasions

Organic Bouquet is the largest online provider of eco-friendly and organic floral gifts. All of our flowers are grown in a manner that is not only environmentally friendly but also provides outstanding resources for farm workers and artisans. Organic Bouquet partners with select flower farms in California, Ecuador and Colombia. All of our flower farms follow stringent growing practices which are monitored by multiple certification agencies and associations. When you purchase flowers from Organic Bouquet, you are helping to improve the life of a flower farm worker, their family and the local floral community.

Our eco-friendly flower arrangements include roses, calla lilies, tulips, gerbera daisies, hyacinths, sunflowers, alstromeria lilies and blue iris. In addition to a complete line of flower arrangements, we offer gift baskets, fruit baskets, nut baskets, gourmet chocolates, gourmet cookies, plants and  wreaths. All of these products are certified eco-friendly and/or provide for environmental benefits through our participation in Carbon Offset programs.

Whatever the occasion, our flowers make the perfect gift- birthday celebration flowers, anniversary flowers, holiday flowers, or floral arrangements simply to say thank you. Sending flowers from Organic Bouquet says that you care not only about the person receiving the flowers, but also about the environment. All of our gift items are shipped nationwide to all 50 states. So whether you need to send flowers to Florida, New York, California, or Colorado, we can guarantee overnight delivery to ensure they arrive fresh and ready to put a smile on someone’s face.

Whether you are purchasing online, or through one of our customer service specialists, you can be assured you are ordering the freshest quality of flowers and environmentally friendly gifts.