A heavy dousing of chemical fertilizers, insecticides, pesticides, growth hormones, fungicides and pesticides are used on conventional flowers to be cut for our enjoyment. When we touch that flower, we get those poisons on our skin which then penetrate into our body. As our children put their hands to their mouths, those pesticides are even more easily ingested into their small growing bodies. Yet there my precious boy was, nose deep in that gorgeous flower. That simple act that seemed so cute, was not. When we smell the lovely perfume of a flower, we are also inhaling toxins.
Even worse, our purchase has a devastating impact on our environment and upon the people who work in green houses and outside on the flower farms. Thanks to our purchase, they do have a job, that's true. But the workers, mostly women, tend to be sorely underpaid and work in a dangerous environment. The flowers can be sprayed while workers, with no protective gear, do their jobs or the workers may be forced to go back to the fields while the pesticides are still wet on the flowers, without time for them to dry or dissipate. The chemicals used are intensified in green houses where the fumes (and people) are trapped. The pesticides get in her hair, on her clothes, on her hands, and are even inhaled directly into her lungs and organs. Studies show that flower workers are exposed to 60 times the "safe" standard for dangerous pesticides and chemicals. All those chemicals are then brought home on her clothes and into the lives and bodies of her children and loved ones who run to hug her upon her return from work.
(pictures courtesy Jimma Times and Discover Channel, both linked below.)
Even the workers who prune and pack the flowers for shipment are at risk as they absorb the chemicals in their skin and lungs since most work without gloves or masks.
While U.S. grown flowers use very strong chemicals too, the imported flower farms can use unregistered chemicals otherwise banned in the U.S. Many of these chemicals are listed as "category 1" and include the most hazardous of chemicals including methyl bromide and DDT. Birth defects, childhood disease, cancers and other serious illness are now rampant in these communities.
These toxic pesticides drain into neighboring forests and waters, impacting our planet and our future and depleting our ozone layer.
Studies have found over 50% more pesticides on flowers than the allowable limit on our fruits and vegetables; and we are putting those to our faces and the faces of our children!
Roses were found to contain 1000 times more cancer-causing pesticides than food!
The flower industry is big business and the stakes are high. If insects are found in the cargo upon entry to the U.S., the entire shipment may be destroyed. Strong pesticides lessen the risk of loss of revenue. But good for business does not always mean good for planet and people. Luckily, we have choices. Show your flower power by choosing eco-friendly flowers so you and your lucky recipient can really stop and smell the roses.
are the same price as conventional flowers
lessen the pesticides and toxic chemicals released into our environment
- allow you and your loved ones to safely touch, admire, sniff, and smell
- is a gift that doubly and deeply shows you care about the person and our planet
- are sent in recyclable gift boxes printed with vegetable-based inks and tissue paper made of chlorine-free post-consumer material
- smell better than conventional flowers
- last longer than conventional flowers (when taken care of properly)
- are the environmentally responsible choice
- help support local organic farming communities which pay better wages and help build schools to create a strong foundation for a healthy future for their children
- encourage more organic and sustainable flower farms - every flower counts. Help change the world one beautiful flower at a time!
I've used Organic Bouquet for years and appreciate their quality, prices, selection, customer service, and attention to detail. Organic Bouquet recently partnered with The Climate Trust to initiate a carbon offset program that mitigates greenhouse gases generated from shipping your flowers. Each time you purchase a bouquet, the amount of carbon emissions from that shipment is offset by rolling funds into the Truck Stop Electrification Program — a program which reduces wasteful diesel emissions at truck stops by creating low cost, electrical alternatives for truckers to power heating, air conditioning and appliances. The Climate Trust estimates this program will remove nearly 90,000 metric tons of CO2 over the next 16 years, the equivalent of taking 16,000 cars off the road or planting 180,000 trees! By offering a cleaner and cheaper alternative to diesel idling, the project will also save truckers an estimated 10 million gallons of fuel!
- Roses May Contain Risky Levels of Pesticides, Knight-Ridder/Tribune Business News
- Dangerous Beauty: Flower Farms May Threaten Workers & The Environment, The Environmental Magazine
- Poisoned Petals, Environmental Working Group
- Flowers: Love and Pesticides?, Botany Global
- Why Buy Organic Flowers, Organic Consumers Association
- Occupational Health: An Ugly Picture for Flower Workers and Their Children, Environmental Health
- Would a Rose Not Smell as Sweet?, Environmental Health Perspectives
- Ethiopia: Cut flower Bonanza: At What Cost?, Jimma Times
- Colombian flower growers struggle to cut pesticide use, Napa Valley Register
- Many Roses Coated in Chemicals, Discover Channel Associated Press
If you find my blog helpful, please use the links here to help me offset costs and allow me to continue to research and post. I only link to companies and products that I have researched and use myself. Thank you so much for using the links to Organic Bouquet to do your shopping for eco-friendly flowers. It is a company I believe in and I'm proud to support them.