Raised Right

Organic Flowers Honor Mom and Mother Earth




The Mother’s Day tradition of gifting mom with flowers, including such perennial favorites as lilies, orchids, tulips and roses, can be practiced in a sustainable manner. Buying organic varieties protects workers, families and the environment.

Flowers grown with conventional techniques contribute to the contamination of groundwater and streams through fertilizer and pesticide runoff that can also threaten animal species. Many of the cut flowers are grown in South America, where farms continue to use pesticides that are restricted in the U.S. and cited as highly toxic by the World Health Organization. GreenAmerica.org provides several helpful tips on bringing joy to mom on her special day in eco-friendly ways:

Grow Your Own. Buy organic bulbs or seeds in consumer seed catalogs and retail racks or online from reputable sources that include SeedsOfChange.com. Children can then grow their own flowers to make them mean even more. Tips for natural weed and pest control, environmentally friendly watering, making raised garden beds and more are posted at EarthEasy.com/yard-garden.

Buy Local and Organic. Support local communities and save shipping costs and energy by purchasing chemical-free organic flowers from a local farmers’ market or community supported agriculture. Online retailers like OrganicBouquet.com and LocalHarvest.org/organic-flowers.jsp offer U.S. Department of Agriculture-certified organic flowers.

Ask Local Florists to Go Organic. Find out if local florists purchase any organic and local flowers, and if not, request that they do so.

Also, eschew plastic wraps and vases for eco-friendly flowers to avoid toxic ingredients and the carbon manufacturing footprint. Fun options to hold and showcase the gift include old, recycled Mason and glass jars and bottles or an artistic vase from an estate sale or antique or thrift shop.

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