The Cut Flower Industry Is Actually Pretty Ugly. Here Are Some Alternatives.

Posted by team anato on

Revealing The Truth About The Cut Flower Industry: 

The cut flower industry is hurting the Earth. Buying flowers for our loved ones should not be at the expense of future generations. The harsh reality is that the overwhelming majority of the cut flower industry uses harsh pesticides and preservatives and guzzles natural resources to ship their fragile crop all over the world. 

"...sending the roughly 100 million roses of a typical Valentine’s Day produces some 9,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from field to U.S. florist."

- Scientific American

What the heck does 9,000 metric tons mean? It’s over 4,000 flights across continental U.S. 

Alternatives to Cut Flowers


It is important to note that not all cut flowers are using harsh chemicals and requiring high amounts of natural resources. Local and organic flower farms are the big exception here. 

Why are local and organic flower farms better?

Organic flower farms are simply not using the toxic chemicals that conventional farms use. These chemicals are directly impacting the health of the farm workers as they have to breathe in these fumes. Indirectly, these to toxin are entering our communities as they get washed into the water and air we breath and drink.

Local flower farms are also often smaller and not using the chemicals that conventional farms use. They do not rely on high amounts of fuel for transportation because they are sold at local markets rather than being shipped around the world. 

Buy living plants instead of cut flowers


We totally understand the beauty of gifting cut flowers. Plants are incredible and immediately bring a dose of sunshine to the gift recipient and to the room they inhabit. But guess what? Living plants do too! And they are a gift that continues to give. There are many low maintenance options for gifting living plants. Perennials that live in a sunny windowsill or houseplants adapted to low light are some easy alternatives. 

To wrap it up:

The conventional flower industry unfortunately uses a lot of pesticides, often containing known carcinogens, and relies on large amounts of natural resources to ship throughout the world. We recommend a gift that has no unintended negative consequences. Like gifting a living plant, or cut flowers from a local organic farm instead. 

For plant ideas, check out this article on houseplants that thrive in low light. Or get some flowering and edible perennial ideas here

The cut flower industry isn't the only misguiding industry out there.

Check out our comprehensive guide on the beauty industry - and how to navigate it for a non-toxic and green lifestyle.

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