An essay by Rich Whitney
It’s great to have a day dedicated to honoring and appreciating motherhood. But instead of buying a card and flowers, how about doing something more meaningful — like honoring motherhood by volunteering some time for the peace movement?
Hey, flowers are great — in nature. But it is not really honoring motherhood, and certainly not Mother Earth, to support the commercial practice of growing tons of pesticide-laden flowers in Ecuador and Colombia, then consuming tons of fossil fuels to ship them to U.S. consumers — so that they can look and smell pretty for two or three days before being thrown in the trash. And unless labor conditions have improved in the last few years, the ephemeral joy that your mother might experience from a bouquet comes with a bitter irony. More than likely, the true costs include the suffering and pesticide contamination of mothers in Colombia or children in Ecuador.
Granted, there are fair-trade options available, and kudos to outfits like One World Flowers for providing them. But at a time when the global eco-system is in crisis from the reckless combustion of fossil fuels, it is frankly unconscionable and stupid to consume fossil fuels to ship masses of flowers to U.S. consumers so that they can buy 48 hours of transitory stimulation — especially when you and your Mom can just go outside and smell some blossoms or flowers in their natural state!