Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Revisiting the Footprint of Flowers

A loyal reader out in Seattle contacted me recently to rave about the town's massive, year-round farmers' market that boasts some beautiful, locally grown bouquets and we got to talking about the smartest and most environmentally friendly way to purchase flowers. Like everything else grown on this good earth, knowing the grower is ideal, but not all of us get to the local farmers' markets regularly or purchase flowers in person, so here are a few tips and suggestions to minimize the carbon footprint of your blooms.

- Always buy in season (theflowerexpert.com)

- I highly recommend flowerpetal.com. Based on their total flower sales every quarter, they contribute to carbonfund.org, a carbon offset program.

- Look for FTD-certifies shops and websites such as 1-800-FLOWERS, Flowerbud, Organic Bouquet and TransFair.

- To ensure the flower was grown sustainably, with fair labor practices, and minimal application of pesticides, look for the eco-labels: Florverde, VeriFlora and FlorEquador.

For more on the sustainability of flowers, check out my previous post, a thorn in my side, or Carolyn Whelan's recent article from Earth 3.0, The Real Price of Flowers.

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