Taking the bloom off Valentine’s Day

Taking the bloom off Valentine's
Growing flowers for Valentine’s Day, weddings,  funerals and so many other occasions, is damaging the soil, the air, and the water supply.  [Photo by Pieter van Marion].
THERE was a day when when a bunch of flowers, preferably roses, was a must on Valentine’s Day. But that was when CO₂ levels in the atmosphere were within acceptable limits. Those days are gone, and won’t be coming back for centuries, if ever.

To be honest, even back in the day, I always thought there was something kind of wasteful and extravagant about cut flowers. Here today, wilted tomorrow, and then, sorrowfully, into the bin and off to the landfill in the back of a gas-guzzling garbage truck.

Potted plants made a lot more sense. At least  potted plants lasted a couple of weeks or so, and in many cases could be replanted.

But this blog is not about monetary waste, it’s about carbon footprint and costs to the planet, a planet that I love. And this year, I have pledged never again to buy a cut flower, not on Valentine’s Day, not for a wedding, not for a funeral or birthday or any other special occasion where unthinking marketeers tell me to “Say it with Flowers”.

How does cutting back on cut flowers affect my carbon footprint?

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We’re cooking ourselves

 

WHY worry? Somebody asked me this morning why I’m so concerned about climate change. I surprised them by saying I’m not worried about climate change, I’m worried about global warming. And it’s with good reason.

The year 2015 was the hottest since records began, and that makes it the hottest year, not only since records began, but since the last inter-glacial period 11,300 years ago. And some scientists say you have to go back even further, to the Paleocene Thermal Maximum, 56 million years ago, to find temperatures that equal what we are in the process of creating.

So, yes, we have had hot periods and we’ve had cold periods and, according to NASA, these changes are attributable to tiny variations in Earth’s orbit that change the amount of solar energy our planet receives. And, there’s nothing we can do about it, right?