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Many people love giving flowers on Valentine’s Day. But a dozen roses may not be the most climate-friendly way to say, “I love you.”

Lisa Larsen is a flower-grower and florist in Mount Horeb, Wisconsin.

“Most flowers are imported from overseas or from South America, and they’re dry-packed in a box without water, and they make this really long journey,” she says.

That trip generates a lot of carbon pollution.

Buying locally grown flowers may seem like a better alternative. But in most parts of the country, growing flowers in the winter requires heated greenhouses, which often use energy from fossil fuels.

But Larsen says there are climate-friendly ways to enjoy flowers on Valentine’s Day.

“I’m a big proponent of dried flowers,” she says. “And so that is what I’ve always done in the winter because that is what’s available, and that is the most sustainable option.”

When local flowers are not in season, she makes wreaths with flowers that were grown and dried in summer, such as globe amaranth, yarrow, and larkspur.

She says another option is flowers grown from cold-hardy bulbs.

“People just have to kind of change their mindset of what they’re used to seeing if they want to be green on Valentine’s Day,” she says.

But with a little creativity, you can use flowers to say “I love you,” and “I love the Earth.”

Reporting credit: Sarah Kennedy/ChavoBart Digital Media