LIFESTYLE NEWS - Valentine's Day is the day of love, but does Valentine's Day love the environment?
Sadly, no. The cut-flower industry has a huge negative impact on the environment. The majority of flowers bought at florists and supermarkets are imported, with the Netherlands, Kenya, Colombia and Israel the biggest producers of the most popular Valentine's Day flowers - roses, orchids and carnations.
Transporting them leaves a trail of carbon emissions that can amount to 3kg of carbon dioxide (CO2) per flower. Many of the producing countries have cloud cover throughout the year and therefore flowers are grown in greenhouses.
This requires large inputs of energy to be able to supply on the scale required by consumer demand.
Greenhouses are often heated through the combustion of natural gas and so release large amounts of CO2. This means that transportation does not necessarily cause the biggest amount of CO2 emissions.
A study from Cranfield University showed that roses sold in the UK and grown close by in the Netherlands result in six times more CO2 than roses grown in Kenya.
Plant a tree
In contrast to the 3kg of CO2 produced by the cultivation of each cut flower, a tree can clean up to 250kg of CO2 during its lifespan.
Plant trees, at home or as part of reforestation projects. This is a much more symbolic expression of love, also for the planet - a tree lasts a lifetime. And while cut flowers literally take your breath away, trees produce oxygen.
Take a deep breath and buy your love a tree or two for Valentine's Day.
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