But would Mom approve of what these options support? “Support?” you ask. “What would buying flowers do other than send warm fuzzies on Mother’s Day?” To answer that, we refer you to our earlier blog detailing the incredibly bad conditions that workers in the flower industry endure in flower farms around the world. In short, think sexual abuse and toxic chemicals, and that’s just for starters.
One of us went to a local flower farm to see where flowers are grown. One of us went to alocal flower shop, to see how flowers reach a more urban customer. And then one of us went the “traditional” route and called two major, national floral delivery services to see if they offered any good options. (And by “good” we mean free of human rights violations andenvironmentally friendly.)
What did we find? In short: eco-labeling; a fairy paradise; and inconsistency.
So if your mom LOVES flowers and her Mother’s Day wouldn’t be complete without them, we recommend buying local and taking a second to inquire about the florist’s practices. But if your mom is ok with not throwing out a droopy bouquet the following Sunday, we suggest something a bit longer lasting. Here’s a few ideas that also popped into our inboxes between all of the other reminders (truly, these are just a few of many possibilities – we encourage you to find what’s most meaningful for you): “Just Give” (Their slogan? “For all she’s done… give back.” Nice.) You can search for the charity your mom might like by cause, name, or zip code.” Or there’s the Center for Global Development where your e-card will work to reduce global poverty. And there’s also www.Kiva.org, who note that “Mother’s Day is May 13th in 80 countries around the world” and that “women make up the vast majority of the world’s poor (over 75% of the 1 billion people living in extreme poverty are women and girls).” They invite you to “honor someone who nurtured you by giving them a chance to nurture someone else.”
Don’t miss the details in Parts One, Two, and Three of this series. As always, we welcome your thoughts, comments, questions, and ideas on these questions of being a conscious consumer! And Happy Mother’s Day to all of the wonderful mothers out there!