7 Reasons Not to Buy Valentines Day Flower Arrangements

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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7 Reasons Not to Buy Valentines Day flower arrangements!


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!  

flower arrangement of roses

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7 Reasons Not to Buy Valentines Day Flower Arrangements

Think about this: That beautiful bunch of roses, tulips, or carnations may have a larger impact on the world around you than you think. Here are a few things you might want to know about Valentines Day flowers before you head out to your local florist!
  • 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.

7 Reasons Not to Buy Valentines Day flower arrangements!

Choose Fair Trade or Organic Flowers!

I just can’t look at a bunch of roses quite the same any more. Still want Valentines Day flower arrangements this year? Consider organic or fair trade certified flowers like the ones at Whole Foods, Sprouts, or other natural grocery stores. In order to go green, choose a live plant, a bunch of flowers grown locally and sold at your nearby farmer’s market, or even a beautiful bunch of basil tied with a red ribbon!

More Sustainable Living Posts

Eco friendly Valentines Day Gifts

Other Eco Friendly Valentine’s Day Gifts

There are many simple and inexpensive ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day.  Skip the heavily sprayed, long distance shipped flowers.  Choose a few of these sustainable Valentine’s Day gifts instead:  
  • 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 (try my homemade mint chocolate chip chapstick!). 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!

While the traditional color for Valentine’s Day is red or pink, I think a GREEN Valentine’s Day is a great idea.   If you want more ideas about how to celebrate Valentine’s Day with a small carbon footprint, check out TreeHugger.com.  They have some great ideas for an eco friendly Valentine’s Day celebration! 
Hope you have a wonderful Valentine’s Day with your sweetie!

Remember to Think Globally, Act Locally!

Check out some of the eco friendly gifts for a romantic date night in the post below.

Best Eco Friendly Gifts for a Romantic Date Night




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