Flowers, roses and all the other floral arrangements you buy need to be perfect. So perfect that the smallest blemish makes then unmarketable. As a result some flowers use dozens to 100 times more pesticides than any other product that we grow for food, fiber or any other form of consumption.




Every year Americans buy over 1.5 billion roses, most from south of the border. In Ecuador they use over 30 different chemicals to grow roses. Not only are humans harmed, but in these tropical hotspots of biological diversity, much wildlife is also poisoned. These chemicals flow into rivers and waterways which are a drinking source for many people. We all live downstream. About 20% of the chemicals used in Columbia are restricted or banned in the US.


Many of our cut flowers come from other nations with very little laws that govern toxins and worker safety and exposure to known carcinogens. By supporting this industry you and directly contributing to the ill health, disease, suffering and fatalities of many people.


There are alternatives to chemically grown flowers that will support the economy of many a poor folk in these nations so dependent on our lust for flowers. The best alternative is to grow your own locally native wildflowers that make good cut arrangements.  Or you can start your research now, well before Valentines Day.  Visit farmers’ markets and ask for organic roses. Bug your florist to buy organic flowers and put your requests in writing.


Below are a few resources for you to get started with your research. Share these resources with your local florist.


We owe it to our friends in other countries that have little laws protecting them against exposure to toxins. We owe it to our world’s wildlife that doesn’t have say as to what is dumped and sprayed into their habitats.


If you don’t care about humans then think about the wildlife that is harmed. Chemicals sprayed into ecosystems bioaccumulate up the food chain. Top predators feed on many animals below them on the food chain who have in turn fed on chemical laden prey. Thus top predators have much more toxins in their system that can harm life cycles, egg laying ability, interrupt hormone production, kill them upon exposure or when levels in their blood reach critical mass. 


Rivers and lakes are extremely sensitive to chemicals and are particularly harmful to fish and aquatic invertebrates. Just read the warnings on pesticides and most say “poisonous to fish”.


Buy whatever you can that is organic. We owe it to our wild brethren to dump less toxins into natural systems.


If you love wildlife share this message.





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