Valentines Day is right around the corner and that means millions of people heading out to buy cards, candy, and of course, Valentines Day flower arrangements! However, have you ever given any thought to the environmental impact of flower gifts? If you are looking for eco friendly Valentine’s Day gifts, flowers are probably NOT a great choice! Keep reading for a few reasons to skip those Valentines Day flower arrangements. I will also include some other eco friendly gift ideas you might want to buy instead.
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Why Do We Celebrate Valentine’s Day?
Why do we celebrate February 14th as a day of love? One legend says that the holiday originated from the ancient Roman festival of Lupercalis, a fertility celebration that used to be observed annually on February 15. In 496 AD, Pope Gelasius turned it into a Christian feast day and moved the date to February 14 in honor of Saint Valentine, a Roman martyr who lived in the 3rd century.
Apparently, St. Valentine would marry couples in secret ceremonies against the Roman Emperor’s decree that soldier not be married because it made them weak. Somehow, along the way, commercialism reared it’s ugly head and now men are expected to buy girls diamonds, candy, Valentines Day flower arrangements, and even luxury vehicles to show how much they love us!
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7 Reasons Not to Buy Valentines Day Flower Arrangements
- 110 million roses, the majority red, will be sold and delivered within a three-day time period.
- The vast majority of rose sold on Valentine’s Day in the United States are imported, mostly from South America.
- The cut-flower industry is worth $7.6 billion but very little of this goes to the underpaid, overworked, poorly treated farmers who are working long hours in the fields and hothouses.
- In Colombia workers are exposed to 127 types of pesticides causing headaches, nausea, rashes, and asthma.
- An estimated 44 tons of Valentines Day flower arrangements are flown from southern Africa to western Europe consuming 60 tons of jet fuel.
- Think you are safer with US grown flowers? The U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulates the amount of pesticide residue allowable on food, but not on your Valentines Day flower arrangements.
- In California flower growers apply almost 800,000 pounds of pesticides each year.
Choose Fair Trade or Organic Flowers!
More Sustainable Living Posts
Other Eco Friendly Valentine’s Day Gifts
- Buy fair Trade chocolate and rest assured that your gift contributed a fair wage to the people who helped make it. Or, choose artisan chocolate which is a delicious choice for serious chocolate lovers.
- Make homemade candy and put it in a recycled tin. Try my maple walnut truffles!
- Give organic soap (maybe a pretty pink one!).
- Choose sexy under garments made from bamboo or soy fabrics. Check out my post on sustainable fabrics for other ideas.
- Make your sweetheart a homemade dinner made from local and/or organic foods.
- Give a handmade card instead of spending $5 on a store bought one.
- Buy a bottle of organic or locally made wine. Read my post on the carbon footprint of wine to learn why!
- Give a gift of beeswax or other naturally made lip balm for kissable lips. Or, make a homemade lip scrub for seriously soft lips.
- Buy organic massage oil to go with that massage you are planning to give… Read my post on DIY massage tips to learn how to give a great massage.
- A coupon book full of ‘freebies’ you think your loved one might enjoy (naughty or nice, you decide!)
Make Valentine’s Day GREEN!
Remember to Think Globally, Act Locally!
Check out some of the eco friendly gifts for a romantic date night in the post below.
Diane has a Bachelor’s degree in Microbiology with a Minor in Health Management and Policy. She spent many years working in cancer research, academics, and biotechnology. Concern over the growing incidence of human disease and the birth of her children led her to begin living a more natural life. She quickly realized that the information she was learning along the way could be beneficial to many others and started blogging as a way to share this knowledge with others. While passionate about health and the environment she can’t quite give up her favorite Cheetos and Diet Coke! Learn more about her HERE.