Thursday, March 15, 2012

Don't Send Flowers

      One of my closest friends, Scathing Lawyer (SL), has always been amazing at remembering all the birthdays in our group of friends and making sure flowers get sent and cards get signed.  She was also responsible for sending the most beautiful bouquet when my beloved dog died shortly after MacGyver and I got married.  Since then, we have all scattered to the wind, but SL still sends flowers.  So when her birthday came around last year, I wanted to return the wonderful feeling that such consideration brings.

      But I had an ethical dilemma.  I'm morally opposed to many of the practices of the flower industry.  The reasons are myriad, but Green Lifestyle Magazine captured it fairly well in this article, saying:
"According to the International Labor Rights Fund, flower workers are exposed to more than a hundred different pesticides, including some that are either prohibited or restricted in the U.S. and Europe. Pesticide poisoning is responsible for neurological problems, birth defects, miscarriages, and more.  The combination of toxic exposure, human rights abuses, and environmental contamination in the flower industry is a sad and ugly example of greed and mistreatment. "

      And really, a half way descent bouquet, after delivery fees and everything else, is at least $50.00 a pop and then dead in a week or two.  I decided to send SL something a little more lasting.

      Ok, fine.  But WHAT?

      I don't do the shopping and mailing thing.  I hate the post office, and I am awful at getting things into the mail.  I literally still have some thank you notes from our wedding that I haven't sent.  We've been married for over 3 years.  I've moved the thank you notes between more states than I can even count offhand.  I think I'll send them out with the invites to the 5 year...  So internet shopping it was!

      Then it sort of dawned on me:  If I was going to order her something other than flowers because of the ethics, I might as well take it a step farther and order it from a site where the purchase itself will also do good.  Enter:  The Animal Rescue Site Store.

      I LOVE The Animal Rescue Site.  It is an amazing site where you can go and click the button every day, and just that one little click helps feed rescued animals.  Not only that, the site also has buttons for the Rainforest, Hunger, Child Health, Veterans, Autism, Breast Cancer, and Literacy.  And it is seriously free to click, and it seriously helps these causes.  I know, I researched it.  The company that runs it is actually a for-profit, but a huge amount of the money generated by the site goes to charities.  It's amazing and simple and a little bit of feel-good every day.

      It takes no more than three minutes to click all the causes.  GO NOW.  SERIOUSLY.  GO.  And make it your home page.  Why not?  I click every day from every computer I use.  Every little bit helps.

       In addition to the revenue generated by the advertisements and clicking, the site has an awesome store that pulls together anything and everything from a ton of ethical suppliers.  Seriously, I think about half the stuff I pin is from this site.

      Looking for something for SL, I just clicked the "Fair Trade" category and waited for something to speak to me.  There is also a gift category.  I ended up going with this:

The Bright Botanicals Cruelty-Free Leather WristletLeather is sourced from local Haat markets where the predominantly vegetarian population reveres goats, sheep, cows and buffalo for their value as milk animals, and where a live animal is worth far more than a dead one. Without economic incentive to kill animals for their skin, the artisans instead reclaim skins from animals that died naturally.

      How beautiful is that?  Not just the product, but everything behind it.  Wonderful.  And SL LOVED it.  Though she couldn't help but make a scathing comment about liking cruelty, ha.

      So the next time you get ready to send flowers, think about all the other, more lasting, more positive things you could send, and check out The Animal Rescue Site Store.  And if you'd rather benefit one of the other causes on the site, that works, too!  Each cause has it's own store.

      Other items I'm loving on the site today that I think would make great gifts:
Recycled Billboard Totes

       Divine Chocolate is made with only the finest quality, fairly traded cocoa beans from Kuapa Kokoo, a cooperative of smallholder farmers in Ghana. The cocoa is grown in the shade of the tropical rainforest,and slowly fermented and dried in the sun by farmers who take great pride in the chocolate company they co-own.

      And those are just the first few things I saw.  Check out my Pinterest Boards (or the site!!!) for tons more.

       And if you find that you absolutely must send flowers, please check out my next post on ethical flower companies!

      ***I was not asked to write this post, nor have I been compensated for it in any way other than the good feeling I get from getting the word out about simple ways to help great causes. ***


Emmy said...

Sounds like an awesome site. I will go click a few times :)

Karen Peterson said...

That sounds like a really cool site. Thanks so much for sharing.

Send flowers Pakistan said...

Very informative, hope git will spread awareness....