Healthy Living

Is Your Flower Delivery Service Toxic?

flower delivery pink tulips against white backgroundWith Mother’s Day around the corner, and Father’s Day on the horizon, this is the time of year that many of us depend on flower delivery to send our regards. But what you may see as a gesture of love can, unfortunately, be truly toxic—from the way the flowers are grown to how they’re preserved. Here are a few things to look out for when you’re considering flower delivery.

Many of us depend on flower delivery to send our regards—but this lovely gesture can be toxic. Learn what to watch out for when it comes to flower delivery. FLORIST FOAM

You know that green stuff that anchors professionally-arranged flowers in a vase? It’s chock full of formaldehyde, considered a “probable human carcinogen” by the EPA. When that stuff gets into your air, it can cause eye, nose and throat irritation. Not such a nice gift for mom.


And what about the pesticides that go into flower delivery? As much as 80% of the domestic cut flower market is grown in California, where the most recent data—from 2010—showed more than 170 million pounds of the stuff was used in a single year.

Is your flower delivery service imported? A 2007 study by the International Labor Rights Forum found that flowers grown in South American countries such as Ecuador can be tainted with as many as 30 different pesticides—20 percent of which are banned in the United States.

These pesticides include chlorinated hydrocarbon insecticides—the same family as DDT, banned in the United States—which can affect your endocrine and reproductive systems.

Making flower delivery not such a nice gift for your lover, either.


In addition the environmental costs of storing, shipping and distributing imported flowers, that study found so many problems with sexual harassment and child labor on South American flower farms that the ILRF created the Fairness in Flowers Campaign to address them.


So now you know the dirt on conventional flower delivery. What’s a gift-sender to do? Consider USDA Certified Organic bouquets such as traditional red rosesroom-brightening sunflowers, fragrant white lilies or gorgeous ombre salmon roses, sales of which benefit the Animal Legal Defense Fund. These beautiful bouquets are all from Organic Bouquet, which depends on flower delivery grown without pesticides and using fair labor.

She’ll thank you for it.


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