The calendar pronounced that it was the first day of Spring last week, and Easter has come and gone...all benchmarks of the season's bounty. Glorious buds and blooms will be popping up any minute now. And so we're thinking daffodils and tulips and hyacinths.
Just as we were thinking about fragrant fleurs, we read about a newly established business in Gotham, with marquee billing, as the city's first eco-florist. We were impressed with the florist's stockflowers and arrangements comprised of certified organic plants only. To top that off, all else (things like the tissue paper, shopping bags, and containers) in the shop is made from recycled materials; we were sold, when we read that pedal-pushing rickshaw drivers do the deliveries. (From, ahem, stem to stern, this florist is verdant!)
We wondered what could we do, short of growing all our own flowers, to be a greener consumer of blossoms, particularly when we entertain, when we love having the house filled with blooms, from kitchen to dining room sideboard. Of course, whenever possible, we try to buy from farmers' markets, but it's not always so easy. So, we mused, what else can we do when company is coming, to fill our vases with more green flowers?
The answer is to look for a USDA Certified Organics seal, such as the VeriFlora emble. It's the first standardized green certification for the floral industry. With this seal, you'll know that the flowers were grown in a sustainable environment and that the farm is most likely already (or soon-to-be) an organic one additionally, labor practices on the farm are fair and workers perform in a more wholesome environment, since hazardous chemicals that are normally employed to grow flowers are not used, and that local ecosystems are protected, among other things. In short, the VeriFlora (check it out, at www.veriflora.com) seal is an assurance that red roses and blue violets are green.
Additionally, many more florists and specialty shops are selling Fair Trade flowers, grown under more careful and healthy environments, with rigorous environmental controls and standards; moreover, when you know that the flowers you buy have been grown under Fair Trade guidelines, you'll know that profits will be channeled back into the local communities for education, day care, housing, and literacy programs.
So, next time you're in the market for something colorful for your eco-kitchen, the color to think of, is green.