3 reasons not to buy roses this Valentines Day. Soundtrack by Outkast.
In the garbage, I see a rose.
In the rose, I see the garbage.
Everything is in transformation.
Even permanence is impermanent.
Thich Nhat Hanh
Two years ago EcoHustler explored the curse you put on your relationship by giving a Valentines gift with a dire ethical footprint in How Deep Is Your Love. The following year we looked at ethical alternatives in Turbo-Charge Your Love. This year we are keeping it short 'n sweet with 3 reasons not to buy roses this V Day:
- Ten thousand tons of roses are shipped from Kenya to England for Valentines Day. Kenya is a poor African country, highly susceptible to fluctuations in weather, prone to drought and last year suffered a serious famine affecting 10 million people. That gift to your lover is the biological capacity of Africa diverted from either feeding Kenyans or maintaining the local ecosystem distilled into a disposable product. As the roses rot in an English landfill vital goodness has passed from the Kenyan soil to a plastic lined cesspit via giant planes spewing greenhouse gas; nice gift!
- The roses are grown in massive greenhouses on Lake Naivasha. The lake is withering away, the hippos are gone, the shore is crowded and polluted. In ten years the lake will have disappeared like the Aral Sea. The land will be dead and the multinational companies profiteering from the business will move to other similar lakes, for example in Ethiopia.
- Your hard earned wages go into the pockets of unscrupulous English supermarkets and international agribusinesses that will do anything to turn a quick buck, including sticking a label on Kenyan roses saying ‘ethical’ despite the fact that the whole process is fundamentally unsustainable and absolutely immoral. Nobody benefits from the business apart from some corporate drones who manage to keep the suicide economy chewing up what is left of nature for a little while longer.
Don’t buy roses out of season. Give your lover something special. Like a meal, massage or ménage a tois!