Flowers show people that you care about them, but in doing so we show neglect for wider environmental and social issues related to the cut flower industry. Giving Plants, an online plant delivery service, offers customers the chance to give a long-lasting gift to loved ones in a more sustainable and socially responsible way.
The idea is to completely change how we gift give. Conveniently, the company organizes plant deliveries with online and phone orders, and organizes plants by occasion, price, holiday, and of course by the plant species itself. For example, if one wanted to mimic giving flowers, the “Flowering Plants” selection provides the option to deliver plants “in bud, ready to open, offering a colorful display that will brighten any home or office.” But giving plants goes beyond providing a convenient delivery service; it allows us to invest in a local business with high green credentials, a business that grows plants responding to the seasons in the United States, for distribution in the United States.
It’s is an economical and more ecological option for gift delivery, but best of all it allows us to move away from the cut-flower choice, where gifts may come loaded with uncertain impacts.
Some of the big problems that come to mind regarding the cut-flower industry relate to unsustainable farming where, because of high demands, companies have traditionally used a range of pesticides and chemicals for increased crop yields. Other issues, such as the social and environmental concerns of flower farming in developing countries like Uganda, Colombia and China, and the global transportation of flowers for sale as gifts that last for a week or two, also contribute to the unsustainability of flower gift-giving.
While Giving Plants offers a more sustainable choice for gift-giving, compared to traditional flowers, there are aspects of the operation that could be more sustainable. For example, a focus on native plants would further enhance their green credentials, such as those offered at the Edge of the Woods Native Nursery in Orefield, or they could incorporate sustainably-raised plants, such as the species that are available in a range of nurseries like the Livingscape Nursery in Portland, Orgeon.
Overall, however, this is an exciting green business initiative that provides an economical alternative to cut flowers.