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What You Need To Know Before Buying Flowers

What You Need To Know Before Buying Flowers

fair trade flowers

Picking up a bouquet at your local grocer or ordering an arrangement for a special occasion seems innocuous enough. Who doesn't like flowers? Unfortunately, there's an ugly underbelly to the floral industry. So before you buy a bunch of roses for Mother's Day, here's what you need to know:

Labour Rights
Many of the workers who harvest the flowers are underpaid (paid less per day than what you pay for that bouquet) and are often exposed to dangerous chemicals and pesticides, resulting in a myriad of health problems including respiratory illness, neurological problems and impaired vision.

Pesticide Use
Depending on where flowers are harvested, they could arrive at your local florist covered in dangerous pesticides that are actually banned where you live. When you cut and arrange your flowers in your vase at home, you're exposing yourself to dangerous chemicals. And roses are the worst culprits, so while they may seem like a classy choice, be careful about where your long stems come from.

Carbon Footprint
Why buy flowers grown hundreds of thousands of miles away when you can buy from a local farmer? You'll save energy and support your own economy.

How To Buy Responsibly
Search for "eco-friendly" and "fair trade" florists in your area. Even some larger flower delivery services, like FTD, are offering certified fair trade bouquets. Or shop local. Visit a farmer's market or ask where the flowers come from in your favourite flower shop.

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