Ecological price of a bunch of flowers

A recent study on the impact of imported flowers market on the carbon footprint of our planet revealed shocking results. The bunch of flowers that you pick from your retail mart every weekend is your source for brightening up your living room for the rest of the week. But did you ever realize that this seemingly innocent act of yours could be harming our planet in a big way?

Yes, to the surprise of most people, buying imported flowers has been shown to leave a great deal of carbon footprint on our planet. The annual spend on imported cut flowers in UK are currently pegged at £1.7 billion. Let us have closer look at how it is impacting our planet. 

Imported Flowers Can Cause Drought Elsewhere

RoseThe increased demand for roses has led to the growth of floriculture as a profession in Kenya. Roses are grown here and imported to European countries. This improves their economy and employs hundreds of farm workers. Large tracts of forest and grassland are converted to plant roses that have aggravated the already existing drought problem. A similar situation is seen in Central America where farm workers suffer from severe health conditions due to over exposure to pesticides to protect the flowering plants.

How It Impacts Carbon Footprint

Out-of-season flowers come from the greenhouses that utilize a lot of electricity and pesticides to keep the plants healthy and flowering. The blooms are then packed and maintained that way in cold containers and finally transported all the way to the destination country by flights. All this adds up to burning a lot of fossil fuel, directly or indirectly.

How Can We Stop This?

Demand feeds supply. If as responsible people, we stop buying these imported flowers, we would be doing our planet a great favor. Make it a point to buy only seasonal flowers that grow in and around your own region. Better still, indulge in gardening as a leisure activity and grow seasonal flowers in your own backyard. Doing so will not only encourage local farmers, but also improve local economy. Also you would be helping propagate and prevent the extinction of indigenous species of flora and fauna.

One should think globally and act locally. Buying local produce not only reduces the carbon footprint, but also keeps local economy bright.

Also see: Meaning of flowers

Cross-posted from Ecological Price of Your Daily Bunch of Flowers

02/12/2013. Category: nature. Tags: .

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