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This Valentine's Day, show you care with eco-friendly daffodils, not roses

Fran Power


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MAKE ’EM LAST: Give your bouquet a longer vase life by taking flowers out of packaging immediately, adding sugar to the water, and changing their water every two days

MAKE ’EM LAST: Give your bouquet a longer vase life by taking flowers out of packaging immediately, adding sugar to the water, and changing their water every two days

MAKE ’EM LAST: Give your bouquet a longer vase life by taking flowers out of packaging immediately, adding sugar to the water, and changing their water every two days

This Valentine's Day, I'm hoping for a bunch of daffs. Not as classy as roses maybe. Certainly not as expensive. But home-grown, seasonal and a blast of cheery colour to brighten up my day.

Why such a Grinch? Well, for starters, any bunch of roses to be found in Ireland in February has probably travelled halfway across the world from Kenya or Equador or Colombia where a single rose requires about three gallons of water to grow. In rain-drenched Ireland that might not seem a problem, but it's a different matter in Colombia, where ground water levels have plunged as a result of wells drilled to feed their thirsty flower industry.

There are labour issues and health risks too for low paid flower workers in these countries who are exposed to a cocktail of pesticides. And then there is the carbon footprint of refrigeration and transport to the bloom hub of Holland where roughly 12bn flowers a year are processed before some of them make the final hop to Ireland.