Sustainable Cut Flowers

Sustainable Cut Flowers

Jonathan B.
Feb 20, 2008

We returned from a weekend away last night and were delighted to find this simple and beautiful arrangement of fresh flowers waiting for us at home. While cut flowers are always nice to have around, there are other, probably more sustainable ways of introducing beauty and ephemerality into your home. Still, we like the flowers.

But then we spotted a little round label on the plastic wrapper. Our flowers were certified environmentally and socially responsible! But what did that mean exactly?

Maxwell's blogged about Flower Confidential, a book which explains the cut flower industry in detail. Based on our own quick investigation into the SCS VeriFlora certification scheme (check out the FAQ if you're interested) we might charitably think of the certification scheme as aspirational. It recognizes flower farmers who are taking--or planning!--steps towards truly sustainable production, but the sticker doesn't mean much more than that at this point.

We find it unlikely that cut flowers are going to push the world over the brink, but if you want to reduce the impact of your cut flower habit, locally grown--like from your own backyard or neighborhood--might be the best way to go. Or, do a bit of carbon trading of your own, and walk to the florist instead of driving.

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