Environment

Flowers Go Green

That conventional bouquet may not be as romantic as you think. Visit New York City's first eco-friendly florist to find out why.

April 25, 2008

Green is the new black, and now bouquets are going green, too. The flower industry usually flies its pretty stems in from Latin America. But aversion to the big carbon footprint, pesticide use and exploitation of flower-farm workers has led some to green up their flowers. One of these enterprising florists is Hannah Ling. In 2007, she opened Gardenia Organic, New York City’s first eco-friendly florist shop.

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Visit rose farms in Ecuador.

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About the Author

Susannah Locke holds a B.S. from Haverford College, where she studied molecular biology and psychology and ran the college’s literary magazine. For two years following graduation she played with neurons as a research technician at the University of Pennsylvania and The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. After using almost every type of test tube on the market for every conceivable purpose, she removed her gloves to become a journalist and improve the public’s understanding of science.

Discussion

6 Comments

ali says:

well done story. It’s great to know that there are alternatives to supporting the irresponsible side of an industry. I’ll definitely be at the farmer’s markets getting my flowers all summer, and Ling’s shop certainly sounds like an excellent place as well.

Marti says:

You’re story sure made flowers not seem so pretty any more. I look forward to finding flowers that I can feel better about in my local area. Thanks for the education.

Logan says:

Great story, and very well-done video. I’m glad that we can get our flowers from farmers’ markets around here. One more reason not to get the cruddy flowers from Fresh Grocer!

Ralph says:

Very informative video. It kept my attention and taught me some things at the same time. I already knew that most cut flowers come from far away, but I did not know about the child laborers and their heavy exposure to pesticides.
Most surprising to me was the florist’s point that eco-friendly flowers, especially if grown locally, need not be more expensive than regular ones. (This leads me to wonder why organic vegetables sometimes cost double or triple.) Overall, the video helped me see how the “carbon footprint” problem extends into unsuspected areas of my daily life.

Victor says:

Great piece! Who knew? Yet, we should have, as the issues are no different from the same ones for food. Thanks for making the option of “green” flowers known. Now, if only there were some way to find green florists in other places….

Ralph says:

I just noticed in _Newsweek_ that greenopia.com is selling a guide to NYC eco-friendly businesses. I wonder whether Hannah Ling’s shop is included!

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