Why Sustainability Matters
Flowers Matter. So does your supplier.
THE VAST MAJORITY OF ALL FLOWERS SOLD WITHIN THE UNITED STATES ARE IMPORTED.
They typically arrive in Miami through a customs checkpoint, having been flown in from South America, the Netherlands, or Africa. But what does that buying choice really mean?
Fasten your seat belts, folks.
Only about one-third of the flowers sold in the US are grown domestically (Society of American Florists), and most of the US-grown blooms are from California - 3,000 miles away from the East Coast.
BUT YOUNG FARMERS ARE DRIVING CHANGE THROUGHOUT THE LOCAL SUPPLY CHAIN ACROSS OUR COUNTRY, INCLUDING IN YOUR OWN BACK YARD.
Those imported blooms are not so harmless. Since flowers are not an edible crop, they are exempt from regulations about pesticide residues.
In a 2017 study that collected residues from gloves worn by florists arranging bouquets over just two two-hour periods, a total of 111 active insecticides and fungicides were found, with many of them greatly exceeding the maximum residue limits provided in the non-binding European guidance on Acceptable Operator Exposure Levels (Source Footnote 1 below)
WHEREAS OUR FARMERS ARE DEVOTED TO THE HEALTH OF POLLINATORS, THEIR LOCAL ECOLOGY, AND THEIR FAMILIES. THEY PLEDGE TO AVOID THESE TOXINS THROUGHOUT PRODUCTION AND TRANSPORT.
Stop and smell the roses! (Just not those roses…)
Did you know that imported roses contribute up to 1.5 pounds (0.7 kg) of CO2 and greenhouse gasses per stem (Source Footnote 2)? This means that a bouquet of dozen imported roses can produce roughly 16 pounds (7.3 kg) of CO2.
How Does That Measure Up?
By weight, each kilogram of roses "consumed" produces roughly 60 pounds (27.3 kg of CO2), giving this purchase a carbon footprint higher than almost any other agricultural crop on the market (see chart below for reference).
ROOTED SOURCES ALL STEMS FROM WITHIN A THREE-HOUR DRIVING RADIUS OF YOU. THERE ARE NO LONG JOURNEYS OR INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS IN OUR SUPPLY CHAIN.
What's the Alternative?
We're So Glad You Asked.
- K. Toumi, "Risk Assessment of Florists Exposed to Pesticide Residues through Handling of Flowers and Preparing Bouquets" Int'l Journal of Env. Research & Public Health (2017)
- Williams, Adrian. (2007). Comparative Study of Cut Roses for the British Market Produced in Kenya and the Netherlands. Cranfield University. Bedford, UK