ORGANIC FLOWERS ARE A GIRL'S BEST FRIEND
By: Annie Spiegelman
Wouldn't it be nice to receive a bouquet of flowers knowing that not one iota of nasty, knarly pesticide, fungicide, herbicide or chemical fertilizer was used in growing them? Fresh, fragrant organic bouquets could score some of you guys nice points with the ladies! For the rest of you guys I'm afraid it's too little too late…
You may be asking yourself why we need organic flowers if we're not going to be eating them. Choosing organic flowers encourages the use of farm practices that build healthy soil without the use of toxic pesticides or fertilizers and protects the workers in the fields and greenhouses from exposure to these harmful pesticides and fertilizers. The world's first online organic florist, Organic Bouquet, is headquartered in Northern California and is committed to the highest environmental and social standards. "Organic flowers are not about us. They are about the health of workers and the planet itself, "says Gerald Prolman, the company's visionary founder.
According to the US Department of Agriculture, seventy percent of all flowers sold in the United States are grown in Colombia and Ecuador. On average, each rose grower in Ecuador uses three poisons to kill worms, four to kill insects and six to control fungi. Many of these chemicals are tightly restricted in the United States because of their threat to human health. Nearly 60 percent of the floral workers surveyed experienced symptoms of chemical poisoning such as headaches, dizziness, hand-trembling and blurred vision. (Environmental Health Perspectives 2002) Many of the workers are exposed to these chemicals while working in greenhouses where over 100 different chemicals are regularly used in enclosed spaces.
More and more concerned citizens worldwide are becoming increasingly interested in the working conditions of farmers, and farming practices that preserve the environment for future generations.
See, sometimes it's not all about ME…but about "other people". And you thought the Dirt Diva was just a transparent, self-absorbed flower Queen. If you scratch the surface there is some substance. I swear.
Whenever I find another successful socially responsible company, I have a brief glimmer of hope for the world. In that moment of optimism, I decided to purchase some flowers for my home. I didn't really need them, but I knew I could write a far superior article if I had an actual organic floral bouquet sitting beside me on my desk. I ordered a bouquet of roses online from the "charitable bouquets" section. The cost was competitive-a dozen roses sells for $39.95. The Crown Majesty roses were a creamy, royal pink, looked great for over a week and a percent of my purchase was donated to Heifer International, a humanitarian organization working to end hunger worldwide. Organic Bouquet donates proceeds to many charitable organizations including Project Hope, Care, Working Assets and Amnesty International.
"This is an excellent example of how the private sector can promote economic development within the carrying capacity of ecosystems by reducing resource degradation, pollution and waste," says Brennan Van Dyke, Regional Director of the United Nations Environment Programme. "It is this sort of inspiration and leadership that will hopefully allow mankind to meet the immense environmental challenges of the coming century."