It is undoubtably the most romantic day of the year, I’m talking of course about Valentine’s Day. But as the occasion becomes more and more commercial, many people are shunning the traditional way of expressing their undying love, and looking outside the box to come up with a more original gesture. One main bugbear about Valentine’s Day is the cost to the world’s environment, as transportation of the traditional red rose can raise greenhouse gases and have a serious impact.
So it will come as a huge relief to those worried about their carbon footprint, that there is now a greener way of saying ‘Roses Are Red’. Scientists have come up with a revolutionary technique, that ensures bouquets of flowers do not require any water whilst they are in transit. This potentially could save thousands of litres of water, and create more space in lorries for extra bunches flowers, meaning that less deliveries need to take place, and saving on both fuel and the environment.
The idea behind the green roses features an airtight package that effectively seals up the flowers, and thus prevents them growing or requiring any nutrients, as the blooms are now in a state of hibernation. When the flowers reach their destination, the packaging is removed and the flowers ‘wake up’, and you can now place them in water.
These green red roses are available from Marks and Spencer, who say that they are using this new technology to help deliver their FairTrade £22 bouquet of red roses. M&S say that by using this new packaging they can save around 10,000 litres of water on the day – enough for 40,000 cups of tea.
M&S has been using Modified Atmosphere Packaging (MAP) to transport fruit and veg for the last three years, but this is the first time it has been adapted for flowers and tests are underway to see how it performs with other plants.
Flower expert Charlotte Curtis said it will help to lower the retailer’s carbon footprint. ‘It means that 25 per cent less lorries will be needed to deliver these bouquets,’ she added: ‘We plan to sell 17,000 bouquets in MAP this Valentine’s Day and eventually with all flowers sold online. Both M&S and our customers are always looking for ways to save water and MAP is a great opportunity to significantly reduce consumption in a simple, effective way. We’re hopeful that MAP will be a big success that’s rolled out cross lots more of our home delivered bouquets in the near future. Trials are already underway and proving successful, to make sure that this happens soon.’
M&S say that this is only one of their initiatives to become the world’s most sustainable retailer by 2015.
Any bouquet of flowers can use a huge amount of water to keep them fresh throughout their journey across the globe, but Valentine’s Day is the time where vast amounts of red roses are transported from country to country. It was estimated that in the UK alone, a massive £880m was spent on Valentines’ Day and bouquets of flowers were the most favoured gift.
To shop Marks & Spencers’ full range of Valentine’s Day bouquets, visit their website.