The 14th of February translates to one word; LOVE. And although V-day is a happy day filled with mushy emotions, cheesy moments and romance, it is, without a doubt, a sad day for our planet.
Here is why:
Who doesn’t like flowers? Coming home to a bouquet of long-stemmed red roses, or receiving a gorgeous bouquet of dazzling colors and beautiful scents to your office. But the hard fact is that most cut flowers are actually terrible for the environment, especially in a region that lacks the “locally grown” factor.
As you read on, you’ll discover why you should express your love through plants over cut flowers and make this day happier for you, your loved ones and the planet.
Some important facts to keep in mind when buying cut flowers:
- Most of the cut-flowers originally come from Colombia, Ecuador, Kenya and Ethiopia. This means that to get to their final destinations, plane travels, refrigerated trucks and manpower are required. All this translates into an enormous carbon footprint. Reports are saying that last year an estimated 360,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions were produced for the 15,000 tons of flowers Americans bought on Valentine’s Day.
- Although Roses are #1 when it comes to Valentine’s Day, February is not their natural blooming season and to get them ready for V-day in northern countries they have to be grown in pricey greenhouses, doubling the real price of the product. While the price of a dozen roses is around $10, during Valentine’s Day, the prices spike ridiculously.
- After reaching the customer, the flowers will stay fresh for not more than 1-2 weeks (2 weeks if you were a flower guru and changed the water, cut the stems and looked after them every 2 days) and then go to waste. So to keep up with the world’s demands and considering the short life span of flowers the industry is on a constant producing circle that gives no break to our planet.
“Flower shops have to subsidize the 40% of flowers that are brought into the store and never sold, because flower shops don’t know what consumers will want to buy that week, they have to subsidize the wasted flowers that wilt before find.”
- And last but not least, to arrange flowers and assemble them into bouquets, tons of non-biodegradable wrapping plastic and floral foam are used, generating a HUGE amount of non-recyclable waste.
Here are some frightening numbers that we found after doing a quick research:
- Approximately 224 million roses are grown for Valentine’s Day.
- Assuming 10 roses per bouquet, that’s 22.400 millions of bouquets.
- Each of those bouquets is wrapped in approximately 75 sq. cm. of plastic, that adds up to more than 16.800 sq. km. of plastic wrapping used just for roses.
Translated into real life, that is approximately the size of Kuwait!
These facts, while shocking, help us put things in perspective and develop a sense of responsibility towards the environment. When it comes to Valentine’s Day or any gifting occasion, we can choose to be more mindful and gift sustainably.
Here are some tips on how to stay sustainable this Valentine’s Day:
- Support local businesses – the idea of shopping local is great for the environment, as the production chain and the amount of resources used is minimised and CO2 emissions are reduced.
- Ditch the wrapping paper – and instead use brown paper and natural string (not made from plastic) — that way, the brown paper can be recycled (or, preferably, reused) and the string can be saved for other presents.
- Consider gifting experiences -The memories from these sort of experiences last a lifetime and bring a feeling of satisfaction when you create them yourself. A few easy ideas you can do in Dubai are: go stargazing, camping, or have a picnic by the sunset. Here are 7 romantic things to do in Dubai on Valentine’s Day 2020.
And last but not least: get a plant bouquet!
- Choose plants over flowers – Plants are long-lasting, more sustainable and they symbolise growth and commitment.
Sustainable plant gifts for your special someone
At WANDER POT, we offer a unique Valentine’s gifting concept with a longer lifespan, equally beautiful and loaded with the same amount of love. Arguably – the best Valentine’s gift out there 🙂
- Gorgeous, healthy and long-lasting plants.
- Sustainable gift boxes in a wide range of colours and prints.
- Personalized with a handwritten message.
- Delivered on your behalf & hassle-free.
- Recycled. Zero-Waste. Plastic-Free. Biodegradable.
Although habits are hard to change, we hope we have inspired you to switch to a more sustainable way of gifting this Valentine’s Day, taking a more creative and environmentally responsible approach.
Wishing you loads of love.