At Bon+Berg, we believe in celebrating love while prioritising sustainability. In this blog post, we'll explore why traditional flower gifts may not be so great for the environment and offer eco-friendly alternatives to consider.
February 11, 2024
Table of Contents
Valentine's Day, a time for expressing love and appreciation, often comes adorned with bouquets of flowers. While these floral gifts symbolise affection, they also come with significant environmental impacts. In this blog post, we'll delve into why traditional floral gifts might not be as great for the environment as they seem, and explore eco-friendly alternatives that celebrate love while minimising environmental impact.
Why flowers aren’t so great
While the joy of receiving a vibrant bouquet of flowers is undeniable, have you ever paused to consider the environmental implications of this widespread tradition?
- Carbon Footprint: Traditional flowers sold for Valentine's Day are often sourced from countries around the world, leading to long transportation distances and increased carbon emissions. This contributes to climate change and environmental degradation.
- Pesticide Use: Conventional flower farming involves the heavy use of pesticides and chemicals, posing risks to both human health and ecosystems.
- Water Consumption: Flower cultivation requires significant amounts of water, contributing to water scarcity in certain regions.
- Biodiversity Loss: Monoculture flower farms, which are common globally, can contribute to biodiversity loss by replacing diverse natural habitats with single-crop fields, impacting ecosystems on a global scale.
- Plastic Waste: The packaging and wrapping materials used for flowers, such as plastic sleeves and wrapping, contribute to plastic waste that can end up in oceans and ecosystems worldwide.
Eco-Friendly Valentine’s gift ideas
There are plenty of eco-conscious alternatives for celebrating love sustainably this Valentine's Day. Here are some thoughtful gift ideas to consider.
Seasonal and locally Grown Flowers
If you do opt for a flower bouquet, choose locally grown and seasonal flowers to minimise carbon emissions associated with transportation. At the same time, you'll be supporting local farmers, and helping to promote regional biodiversity. You can take this one step further by asking your florist for flowers that are in season. Growing flowers during their natural season removes the need for energy consuming greenhouses. Plus, they’ll last longer too!
Speaking of seasonal flowers, why not create your own bouquet using flowers from your garden (if you have winter varieties growing) or local wildflowers. This will add a personal touch to the arrangement, and reduces packaging waste by allowing you to choose a plastic-free packaging option like paper.
Dried flowers or bouquets made from dried blooms which can be preserved for longer periods and are more sustainable than fresh cut flowers. And they can be just as colourful and
Potted plants can be kept alive for much longer if taken care of properly and provide long-lasting beauty while also improving indoor air quality. There are a tonne of beautiful indoor plants, some with gorgeous flowers that will perfectly say “I love you”.
Sustainable gift ideas
Explore non-traditional sustainable gift options like handmade crafts, sustainable lingerie, or organic chocolates. If you’re not quite sure what to pick, you could opt for a gift card, which can be just as meaningful as a physical gift. Or what about surprising that someone special to a day out or weekend away somewhere? For example a hike in nature or a cosy stay at a BnB or hotel. The options are unlimited and you can tailor the experience to personal preferences. This can be a unique and thoughtful way to spend some quality time away from the stresses of normal life and truly connect with the one or ones you love.
Here are some other sustainable experience gift ideas that you can enjoy together:
- DIY spa day - complete with homemade scrubs, masks, and massages. You can find plenty of recipes for natural and eco-friendly beauty products online.
- Take a cooking class together - Instead of going out to a fancy restaurant, why not spend Valentine's Day learning to cook a delicious meal together?
- Digital detox retreat - escape to a cabin in the words or spend the day outdoors where you can disconnect and reconnect with each other, without the constant buzz of your mobile phone.
- Art class or workshop - if you're the artistic type, why not explore your creative side together.
- An outdoor adventure - think kayaking or canoeing on a nearby river, cycling through scenic trails, or camping under the stars!
This Valentine's Day, let's rethink traditional bouquets and embrace eco-friendly alternatives that celebrate love while minimising environmental impact. By choosing eco-friendly alternatives, we can celebrate Valentine's Day in a more sustainable and environmentally conscious way. Together, let's make this Valentine's Day a celebration of love and sustainability.