Flowerpetal.com, an environmental flower site, estimates the 100 million roses grown for the average US Valentine’s Day produces at least 9000 metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.
Roses must be grown in warm climates, and the US often imports them from South America and farther. After the flights, the roses are driven in temperature-controlled trucks across states to be stored in cold boxes overnight before delivery. The fossil fuels needed for transport and the refrigerant gasses only serve to exacerbate climate change.
But this is just the tip of the iceberg. In addition to transport, roses need watering and pesticides to make them look as beautiful as expected for the holiday. To accommodate the increasing volume of roses, wetlands and forests are being decimated to create floral plantations, displacing flora and fauna alike.
Consumers who still want to buy roses for Valentine’s Day but want to do it in an eco-conscious way can companies that source their flowers locally, such as VeriFlora.com.
However, consumers who want to be truly eco-conscious might think of giving a Valentine Seed Pack instead of flowers. Giving a gift of seeds that will grow into plants that come to symbolize love and romance is a way to celebrate Valentine’s Day in a way that is far more sustainable and creates a bond with nature. Besides, a vase of over-priced Valentine’s roses only last a week at best.