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A Valentine’s Day Guide to Buying Ethical Bouquets

Updated: May 5, 2021

Valentine’s Day is almost here, and you’re planning to buy flowers for someone special. You’re certainly not alone in this sentiment, as 36% of Americans have the same idea, according to the National Retail Federation.

However, what sets your flower-buying plan apart is your desire to purchase an ethically sourced bouquet. You want your valentine to get extra enjoyment from their beautiful flowers by knowing they came from a principled background.

“With over million roses transported and grown for V-day each year, it makes around , tons of carbon dioxide emissions and that’s not even touching the potentially terrible labor practices behind them,” said Holly Berrigan, founder of MYSA Natural Wine and Eco Modern Shop.

Berrigan, who is also a student in sustainable agriculture at the University of Massachusetts, has several tips to help you buy Valentine’s Day flowers ethically — including going straight to the source.

“If you live outside the city, there are likely some floral companies right around you growing beautiful, and many times local, florals,” Berrigan said. “This supports your local farmer and is the easiest way to know they were ethically sourced.”

As an added bonus, she noted there will be fewer carbon emissions because the flowers didn’t have to travel far. If going straight to the source isn’t an option, she recommended seeking out a local florist who sources sustainably.

She said this means the florist sources as locally as possible, which can depend on the availability in your region. If that isn’t possible, she advises asking the florist ensure their sources use organic and pesticide-free flowers for arrangements imported from elsewhere.

“Extra points if you ask that they do not wrap the flowers in plastic,” Berrigan said. “Butcher paper is a more beautiful option anyways.”

Also, if you’re purchasing a flower arrangement, she recommended asking the florist not to use foam fillers in it.

When shopping for Valentine’s Day flowers, there are also many keywords to help guide your search for responsibly sourced blooms. For example, flowers labeled organic are grown without the use of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides and other products that are harmful to the environment, according to Burpee.

Taking it a step further, purchasing a Fair Trade Certified bouquet helps flower workers earn fair wages and benefits, according to the Ohio Fair Trade Network. Fair Trade growers also use agricultural practices that promote a healthy environment, while also steering clear of harsh pesticides.

Despite wanting to buy ethical flowers for Valentine’s Day this year, you might think they’ll be hard to find, but they’re not. Plenty of popular flower delivery services are committed to providing ethical arrangements.

Jill Sandy, landscape consultant and founder of the home and gardening blog Constant Delights, recommended The Bouqs Co. as a company to order sustainable flowers from.

“The Bouqs Co. is one of the leading suppliers of flowers, bouquets and any type of floral arrangement in the US, and they have taken sustainability very seriously,” Sandy said. “They grow and buy all their flowers from farms that have adopted sustainable practices as well.”

Specifically, The Bouqs Co. partners with eco-friendly farms across the world that minimize waste, recycle water and use sustainable growing practices, according to the company website.

Another option: Postal Petals ships boxes of flowers grown in the U.S. to your doorstep. Do note, these do not come prearranged.

No doubt, your special someone will be thrilled to receive flowers from you on Valentine’s Day, but they’ll be even more excited when you tell them you shopped ethically. This is a great way to spread love on the most romantic holiday of the year.

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