Europe, like much of the industrialized world, is using an increasing amount of materials. The EU-27 average annual use of material resources is some 16 tonnes per person. On average, about six tonnes of waste per person are generated each year in the EU-27. Demand for materials has long exceeded Europe's ability to generate by itself what it needs – 20-30 % of resources used are imported.
When the urge to give flowers takes you, choose a potted plant from a local supplier. A lot of exotic flowers are grown in greenhouses great distances away. Aside from the issue of transport, there can be high social and environmental costs. For example, in Colombia, the flower industry uses enormous quantities of polluting pesticides, and in Kenya, horticulture requires a lot of water which reduces local water resources. As an alternative ask your flower shop for Fairtrade or organically produced flowers.
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