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Make Valentines Green

One of the biggest flowery days of the year is? upon us.? Now, I believe that flowers are for every day not just Valentines.? So as the full impact of importing thousands of red roses around the world makes me cold,? if you’re inclined to buy flowers for your beloved or bestie (or they for you) at any time of year, I?m going to suggest that you first consider your options.? You may have the power to do more than just brighten their day.

Last week I spoke at a national conference in Carlisle about weather resilience, flooding and climate change; sharing what Cumbria has learned from four years of work following Storm Desmond.? Within 24hrs the UK was battered by Storm Ciara and our local towns and villages were flooded again.? As I write this, Storm Dennis is rapidly approaching.??The irony is far from lost on me.

Did you know, a storm the magnitude and severity of Storm Desmond in 2015 was 40% more likely as a result of human-made climate change?? Who knows, Storm Ciara may just have been a regular wet and windy day had the complex dance of jet streams, pressures and temperatures not been knocked off balance.

It?s time to get serious about reducing our carbon footprint.? The environmental impact of the flowers that will be flown 4,000 miles around the world, soaked in chemicals and wrapped in plastic before they reach loved ones this week, is staggering.? Would your Valentine really appreciate that?

There is an alternative to imported blooms with massive carbon-footprints.? A locally field-grown bouquet creates just 10% of the carbon emissions of an imported bouquet!

Of course red roses aren?t in bloom in the UK in February, but red tulips are.? Beautiful, scented spring blooms?are.? In act, spring is one of the best seasons in the UK for home-grown blooms: delicate narcissi from Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, tulips from Lincolnshire.? Some are grown under glass, but large scale growers with a conscience heat their glasshouses with renewable biomass.? These are the ones I choose to buy from when we need flowers early in the season.

So, while many are bailing out homes this week and praying it won?t happen again, you could do one thing that might just help those prayers come true.? If you buy flowers for your home, if you’re planning a wedding, if you want to give a gift, consider your choices wisely.? Love shouldn?t cost the earth.


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