Climate love
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The Washington Post

Climate love

Valentine's Day roses; pretty but highly problematic for the planet 🌹💔

Tomorrow is Valentine's Day, and for many people around the world, this means celebrating love and also often buying flowers. Are you planning to buy roses and live in the Northern Hemisphere? Well, stop it. Drop the bouquet! At least... if you care about the planet. Because roses, even though they are the symbol of love, are not as romantic for the environment as we think. Despite their beauty, the process of getting them from greenhouses to our doorstep is anything but eco-friendly.
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Consider this: approximately 80% of flowers sold in the U.S. are imported, with roses being a significant portion of that market. Each rose takes up to 15 weeks to grow, but once cut, a complex logistical operation kicks into gear. From refrigerated trucks to air freight, this is a climate-expensive journey-
During the weeks leading up to Valentine’s Day, more than 30 flights per day transport flowers from Colombia to Miami alone. 😳 This activity results in a substantial carbon footprint. In fact, a bouquet of imported flowers has been found to have a more significant environmental impact than an 8-ounce steak raised on deforested land.
Another example of climate impact is the number of pesticides necessary to grow roses: for analyses of bouquets purchased all over France show that they contain up to 40 pesticides, several of which are banned in Europe!
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So, what are sustainable alternatives?
By embracing sustainable practices such as using renewable energy in greenhouse operations and reducing reliance on air freight, the flower industry can significantly mitigate its environmental impact. Additionally, supporting locally grown flowers that are in season can further reduce carbon emissions associated with transportation.
In Sweden it can be hard to find flowers in the winter, you could find snowdrops in pots for example or sustainably imported mimosas. Or why not go with dry flowers instead? Or a plant that can grow and won't die in a week? Or maybe buy some second-hand gifts instead and keep flowers for spring and summer.
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This year, let's rethink the tradition of giving roses and opt for more eco-friendly floral options.
Check out this fantastic investigation by Amanda Shendruk and Michelle Kondrich at Washington Post:



Other climate reviews on this topic:




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  • George Kariuki

    9 w

    Very informative. Thank you Sarah.

    • winnie nguru

      9 w

      This is so informative. I hope we begin to consider gifts that are not harmful to the environment going forward

      1
      • We Don't Have Time

        9 w

        Dear Sarah Chabane Your climate love has received over 50 agrees! We have reached out to The Washington Post by email and requested a response. I will keep you updated on any progress! To reach more people and increase the chance of a response, click the Share button above to share the review on your social accounts. For every new member that joins We Don't Have Time from your network, we will plant a tree and attribute it to you! /Adam, We Don't Have Time

        2
        • johnte ndeto

          9 w

          What really makes a perfect substitute to a rose flower?

          2
          • Princess

            9 w

            Valentine's Day roses, while beautiful, can indeed pose environmental challenges.

            3
            • Chris Ndungu

              9 w

              Lovers can still express their feelings even in the absence of rose flowers! if we misuse these flowers to a point they become extinct we will still be the one to face the music.

              2
              • walter lungayi

                9 w

                Let's celebrate love without harming the planet.

                2
                • Elizabeth Gathigia

                  9 w

                  I wish people would think 🤔 of our planet for once, not to destroy those flowers that add so much beauty to our planet instead to take care of them,

                  4
                  • Gorffly mokua

                    9 w

                    Unfortunately this culture will continue to even future generations! Unless we start condemning it now!

                    4
                    • Lucinda Ramsay

                      9 w

                      Make a delicious meal and have some quality time.. don't need roses! It's all commercial rubbish designed to make us spend money. Learn to cook-preparing a great meal is the best way to give love-

                      5
                      • Felix mokaya

                        9 w

                        Have known this today .Even if it is valentine day ,anything that is not environmental friendly should be discouraged .There are many ways one can gift his or her partner which is not a threat to our environment ,we should opt on that

                        10
                        • Boniface Kuria

                          9 w

                          I had never thought of roses and valentines in such a way. Roses seem to leave a big carbon footprint on earth. Maybe this year we try alternative gifts for our loved one.

                          11
                          • Gorffly mokua

                            9 w

                            @boniface_kuria Agree, but i don't know how many of us are ready to doo this..

                            2
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