How to buy eco-friendly flowers for Valentine’s Day

How to buy eco-friendly flowers for Valentine's Day

While it may be fashionable to investigate the early childhood of your steak, when was the last time you asked your florist about the provenance of your peonies? According to the most recent U.S. Department of Agriculture figures, the U.S. produced $374 million in wholesale cut stems in the 15 states that produce the majority of domestic flowers; 78% come from California. This reflects only a fraction of the flowers bought and sold stateside, with major imports coming from South America. Census Bureau figures put the total value of imported fresh flowers, foliage and seeds at $1.2 billion in 2016. With so many blooms originating outside the U.S., assessing what has and hasn’t been raised sustainably is thorny. “It’s a complicated and much deeper issue than just saying something is sustainably grown,” says Marc Hachadourian, director of the Nolen Greenhouses at the New York Botanical Garden. He points to certification programs that aim to help shoppers cut through the noise. For flowers grown in California, there’s Bloomcheck, which states its goal as ensuring best practices for sustainability “when it comes to water; air and soil quality; wildlife protection; and social impacts on workers and the community.” For those from […]