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|VALENTINES DAY: GIVE YOUR SWEETHEART SOME ECO FRIENDLY FLOWERS||Published: 10/02/11|
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When you buy some flowers for your sweet heart this Valentines day – why not make sure they are eco-friendly local garden flowers that have not been drenched in pesticides and have lost their youth and beauty, having travelled the four corners of the world to reach your doorstep.
Over two-thirds of flowers on sale in Britain come from abroad. Indeed recent government figures show that the average bunch of valentines flowers have flown 33.000 air miles to reach Britain!
The country we import most from is Holland, with large quantities also coming from Kenya, Colombia and Israel. But you might well find proteas from South Africa, anthuriums from the Caribbean, carnations from Morocco and roses from India in a bouquet from your local florist. Flowers are no different from food crops in that they require energy to grow and also rack up carbon footprints as they travel from their point of production to our living rooms.
Environmentalists are concerned that the rapid expansion of the flower industry around Kenya’s Lake Naivasha is draining the land of precious water and polluting the environment with pesticides. Meanwhile, the World Health organization rated more than a third of toxic chemicals in use on some Colombian flowers farms in 2005 as "extremely" or "highly" toxic.
Every year millions of flowers are bought in the UK. Whether it’s a happy occasion such as valentines, a birthday, wedding or anniversary, or a sad event such as a funeral, flowers are frequently used to show we care. Most people never think twice about the origin of the flowers they buy; where they were grown, how they were grown, how they were delivered, but these are all important issues. So this Valentines Day – and all other occasions when you are buying flowers make sure they are local, fresh and have a low carbon footprint.
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