Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Daisy-Related Existential Crisis

I'm going to admit something very un-green right now: I do not like to garden.

I hate dirt.
I hate worms.
I hate mud.

I like to be clean and let someone else dig in the dirt. However, I know that the best way to get flowers is to grow them yourself.

Next best: buy them seasonally from a local farm whose practices you trust.

But the farmer's market has been a sea of squash lately (which is really weird - all my neighbors have beautiful flowers growing, so I know that flowers can grow in Houston right now - why don't they have any at the market?)

So I bought these daisies at Whole Foods, grown in Colombia. The flower industry in Colombia provides 800,000 jobs. You may think that flowers from Colombia would have a higher footprint than those grown in the states, but actually, it can be hard to know. 

A few years ago, they did a study in the UK comparing roses grown in Holland to those grown in Kenya. You'd think that the Dutch roses would have a lower footprint, but those grown in Kenya were actually MUCH better for the environment, even with the travel.   That's because the growing practices in Kenya, where the flowers could nod and smile under the sun, were so much greener.

I like the idea of supporting Colombian workers (the flowers were part of some "whole trade" program that supports both workers and the environment; I know you can't trust all of those types of things, but we do the best we can). I just wish there was some easy way to compare carbon footprints on items.

Two side notes: 
1) Yes, those adorable vases are reusables! The tall one is a 360 Vodka bottle (the bottles can be recycled, and the company recycle the caps, through their "close the loop" program, but the bottles are really handy so I usually keep them); the small vase is a bottle that contained sea salt.
2) Las flores son amarillas. That means: the flowers are yellow.  I can say that now because of my Spanish lessons! I used to just point and say "Flores... amarillo". But now I can make sentences!

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