Not only can Mother's Day be painful for those who have lost of mother or don’t have children, but it there is a worry that all the flowers grown and bought for this occasion has a devastating impact on the environment.
Every year thousands of people look for that perfect bunch of flowers to celebrate Mother's Day.
But where do the flowers come from? And does it matter?
Buying cut flowers imported from abroad can have a devastating impact on the environment.
And there is a growing movement of sustainable florists aiming to reduce the industry's carbon footprint.
How many flowers sold in the UK are from abroad?
According to statistics, in the UK alone, the market for cut flowers and ornamental plants was worth £1.3bn in 2018,
About 90% of these flowers are imported, the vast majority of which come from the Netherlands, grown in heated greenhouses which release large amounts of CO2.
People don't necessarily realise that traditional flowers aren't sustainable and they are quite oblivious to the impact they have on the environment.
We see fresh flowers available all year round and most of us are not aware of the mass production involved in getting them to the stores.
Steps have been taken over the years to cultivate a more ethical and sustainable flower trade.
Materials such as single-use plastic and floral foam are commonplace in traditional designs and wreaths but cannot be composted or recycled.
Florist Shannon Thomas (Jennie's Floral Design in Pontypridd) is working with British growers, who promote sustainable sundries and operate recycling schemes for vases and wreath bases.
Many floral accessories such as funeral arrangement bases can't be composted or broken down, so they end up at the landfill and release toxic gasses into the environment.
Shannon’s designs are foam-free and made out of willow that are compostable. Only recyclable materials are used.
In a survey of 1,200 florists carried out by the network, 77% said access to training and education would make it easier to switch to foam-free techniques. Some 83% said floristry teaching methods needed to change to address industry best-practice.
Is it possible to sell only UK-grown flowers?
While many in the industry are pushing for a more sustainable approach, the practicalities can be challenging.
Seasonal UK-grown flowers can be used, but this means that specific flowers are not available at certain times.
Unexpected changes with the weather can mean products are suddenly unavailable.
One difficulty is how brief some of the growing seasons are on specific products. The public does not always understand why some flowers may be available one week and no longer the next.
This is not the same for some overseas traders who can stock the same items all year round, meaning that some flowers might be available in supermarkets all year round but aren't available from British growers at that time.
For a more eco-friendly Mother's Day or other gift see our Personalised Engraved Wooden Boxes - these can be engraved with a name and message of your choice and filled with all sorts of goodies and/or memories https://www.nametags4u.co.uk/products/personalised-presents
For more interesting info on the origin of Mother's Day see our other blog https://www.nametags4u.co.uk/mothers-day-gifts