Red roses on Valentine’s Day: What could be more romantic? Or ecologically harmful? if you ask for a handful of hardy flowers in Paris.
Some flowers in ‘City of Love’ are trying to dissuade buyers from roses because of their ecological cost.
Most roses sold in France before St. Valentine’s Day must be imported with air freight from countries such as Kenya, which provides more than 35 percent of fresh roses and other flowers that go sold annually in the European Union. This emits carbon emissions that contribute to climate change.
Environmentally aware florists say alternative operating options are available locally. However, they struggle uphill, as the tradition of giving red roses on St. Valentine’s Day is so prevalent in western cultures.
Hortense Harang, founder of an online flower shop called ‘Fleurs d’Ici’ – French for ‘Flowers from here’ – has been at the forefront of the campaign to get people off roses, according to a group Reuters news.
“Red roses are as old as 1950,” she told Reuters. “Roses are completely non-stop this season because it doesn’t make basic sense to buy roses. Roses will not grow below our latitudes this season. ”
Her campaign has gathered support, Reuters reported. “It is not logical to have flowers from the other side of the planet if we can get them locally,” said Edith Besenfelder, 46, a florist.
Celine Argente, 40-year-old owner of the flower shop Sylvine in Paris, said she had been encouraging clients to buy red tulips as a way to express their love. Still, her shop this week was full of red roses. “It’s a classic that people can’t change,” she said. “The red rose is the flower for Valentine’s Day.”