Basically everyone can agree that flowers make events significantly more beautiful, smell amazing, and bring joy to their recipients. A Rutgers University study even confirmed a correlation between flowers and long term happiness and health.
However, what many people don’t know is that -- in addition to all of the amazing benefits of flowers -- the cut flower industry has a substantial environmental impact. Often overusing water, creating pollution, and wasting fossil fuels during transportation, this celebratory trade possesses a harmful downside.
According to multiple estimates, a 100-acre flower farm uses more than 900 cubic meters of water monthly. This waste, especially considering the economic states of many of the central flower-growing countries, could be repurposed for other more essential plants and crops.
Further, with loose regulations, the floriculture industry generates a lot of chemical pollution through fertilizers and pesticides. From planting to cutting to shipping, florists primp their flowers to ensure the top quality of product. However, the environmental concerns remain potent, as around 20% of the chemicals used in the floriculture industry in developing countries are banned or untested in the U.S.
Additionally, the transportation of cut-flowers exhausts fossil fuels due to the long import trips. Warmer countries export their flowers to other countries, necessitating lengthy flights. Most flowers are fragile, and thus need refrigerated transportation every step of the journey; the entire process spans storage, trucking, flying, and ultimately trucking again to local shops.
Some environmentalists have attempted to create a more eco-friendly standard for floriculture businesses. “Florverde” in Colombia is one such example of these eco-committed brands. Yet, only about 20% of U.S.-bound Colombian flowers are Florverde-certified.
With the aforementioned environmental concerns, we at ReVased believe that repurposing flowers can help limit the damage by utilizing the flowers for their full lives. ReVased strives to make a positive impact on our community and a smaller footprint on the environment.
By Sage Friedman