Eco-Friendly Flower Shops for Valentine’s Day


Photo courtesy of Petal by Pedal

Giving flowers for Valentine’s Day dates back to the Victorian era, when sending flowers became a popular method of communication. The rose, which signifies romantic love, became the traditional Valentine’s Day flower, though people would give other flowers to show familial love or friendship. To this day, nearly half of Americans who celebrate Valentine’s Day give flowers as a gift. However, the fresh-cut flowers found in flower shops, especially during the winter, are not always eco-friendly. They tend to be treated with carcinogenic pesticides, grown with energy-inefficient artificial heat and lighting, cared for and picked by underpaid workers, and transported from warmer climates by cargo planes and large trucks. If you’re hoping to show love to the environment as well as your significant other on the 14th, here are some eco-friendly flower shops in NYC:


Photo courtesy of Vogue

Petal by Pedal 
Delivers to: Manhattan (South of 96th Street)

Last year, New Yorker and law school graduate Kate Gilman started Petal by Pedal, a sustainable flower delivery service that sends messengers on foot or by bike to deliver locally-grown flowers. The sustainably-grown, seasonal selection comes from upstate, and the arrangements are packed without cellophane, in reusable jars to reduce waste. You can order arrangements online, and you can even set up a recurring delivery if you want to spread the love beyond Valentine’s Day.


Photo courtesy of Emily Thompson Flowers

Emily Thompson Flowers
Delivers to: NYC area (call for details)

Emily Thompson incorporates foliage and other wild materials to create unique arrangements and bouquets from seasonal, locally-grown flowers. Visit their shop in the Seaport district or shop online and have your flowers delivered.


Photo courtesy of Yelp

Gardenia Organic 
Delivers to: Manhattan ($25) and Brooklyn ($35+)

Gardenia Organic opened in 2007 as the first NYC florist to offer responsibly-sourced flowers. They source their products locally whenever possible, and work with fair trade growers to obtain flowers free of pesticides or fertilizers. Their vases are made from recycled glass, and their shopping bags, tissue, and wrappings are made from recycled materials. Gardenia even recycles and composts the waste created in their Chelsea design studio. You can order a custom-made bouquet online by providing your desired sentiment and budget (starting at $100). Gardenia takes special requests and will arrange for pickup instead of delivery if you prefer.

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Photo courtesy of Yelp

Stems Brooklyn 
Delivers to: Brooklyn (price varies by distance)

Located within Sycamore Bar in Flatbush, Stems Brooklyn offers seasonal flower arrangements starting at $50, using seasonal garden and wild flowers from local growers whenever possible. They’ll deliver on foot within the Flatbush area for just $10, or by public transit for $15 or $30, depending on the distance from the shop. You can hand-pick a few stems or a whole arrangement at their shop, or order a custom-made arrangement online.


Photo courtesy of UrbanStems

Delivers to: NYC (no additional charge)

UrbanStems’ flowers are grown on Rainforest Alliance and Veriflora Certified farms, meaning they are environmentally friendly and grown by workers earning sustainable wages. They deliver a seasonally-rotating selection to New York and Washington, DC, with the option to set up a recurring delivery. Since UrbanStems is an online-only retailer, arrangements start at just $35, and there is no additional charge for delivery.

Whether you decide to order your arrangement online or in-person, these shops will ensure a happy and eco-friendly Valentine’s Day.

Categories: Sustainable Living

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