Monday, July 6th, 2009 | Our Best Advice | No Comments
Many people don’t know that approximately 80% of the flowers sold in the U.S. are imported from South America. Not only is that a huge chunk out of our domestic economy we do not reap any benefits from, they use twenty-five different pesticides that have already been outlawed in America due to their carcinogenic components. Why would we bring back into our country goods that have been outlawed that support poor working conditions of farmers, with violations of child labor laws we believe in? The trend is moving away from purchasing goods that harms our precious soil and those working it whether here or abroad. Please : Tell A Friend and help spread the info.
Our TIPS for today is buy domestic ORGANIC FLOWERS. To buy organic flowers make sure they are VeriFlora certified. This ensures the flowers have been grown using fair labor practices and sustainable farming. If you wish to purchase solely American grown flowers they would be USDA Organic certified.
On the East Coast in New York there is a great store called Gardenia Organic (www.gardeniaorganic.com), a florist that believes organic does not have to mean more expensive. Voted Best Florist in 2008 by New York Magazine, they deliver throughout Manhattan and provide online selections. This florist also packs their lovely flowers in recycled paper and uses recycled glass vases. On the West Coast we have Lily Lodge in Los Angeles. uses Veriflora certified organic roses set into a 100% recycled hand-blown glass vase as one of several recycled or vintage containers for arrangements offered online. Lily Lodge also provides beautiful packaging for hand cut loose flowers delivery. Check them out. Write us about florists you know who specialize in organic or pesticide free flowers and plants.
You can take these few steps to have beautiful organic flowers for the Home, Event, Weddings, or Holidays. Grow your own. Buy organic bulbs or seeds to start your own organic flower garden. You can order organic and heirloom seeds and bulbs with TIPS provided by growers more then happy to assist you in every way even if you do not purchase from them. Buy Organic Flowers locally. Invest in your community and save on shipping costs and the energy by purchasing chemical-free flowers from local farmers markets. Inquire about organic flowers with local florists. Find out if they carry organic fresh flowers or plants. If they don’t, ask them to order some for you or better yet, encourage them to start purchasing organically grown and/or pesticide free flowers and plants to offer customers.
A wonderful delight of the recent Spring fashion shows in Europe were shoes designed with embedded flowers set into them celebrating mother nature (see above). Now if they could just figure out how to do that with environmentally friendly acrylic platforms used for that concept, we will really make some headway in unleashing that unbridled creativity humans are famous for, and protect Mother Nature at the same time!
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Wednesday, January 7th, 2009 | Our Best Advice | No Comments
Charlotte Reed has written a great book on pet etiquette (Miss Fido Manners) we found helpful and charming. Opinions vary on what constitutes Pet Manners in different countries. Paris being one of the most dog friendly restaurant places in the world is famous for pet hospitality. People and public places policy may not have the same cultural interest in animals as you when travelling with your pet. Be sensitive to where you travel and factor in their cultural leanings. We paraphrase and embellish upon a few of Reed’s recommendations to make them more universal and work whether visiting someone here or abroad.
· Only ask a close family member or friend if you can bring your dog along for a visit to their home, and only if your dog is very well behaved.
· If your host does not offer your pet an invitation, don’t try to change her/his mind; if you are invited, discuss how to make the visit comfortable for everyone.
· Pack your pet’s possessions, including an odor eliminator and stain remover if the visit is local or on a road trip, in case of an accident. Bring a few small toys to keep your pet comfortable with familiar items but don’t take the entire array of their “favorite play things”.
· Take care when introducing your pet to other dogs/cats in the household.
· Balance your dog’s needs with the household activities/schedules. Plan ahead. For instance, who will look after your pet if you and your hosts are going out when staying over a weekend or longer.
· Be careful when introducing your animal to children and staff members of your hosts who live or work in the house. Animals can be more nervous in foreign countries and languages with words they don’t recognize. Although “No” may be known in most Latin based languages, the word Niet (Russian) or Nein (German) means nothing to an “English speaking” dog.
· Walk your dog around the neighborhood as a means of spending some time with your pet alone, giving them exercise and possibility of meeting new dogs and their owners.
· Be prepared to replace or repair any items destroyed by your pet. Immediately offer to do so in case of an accident.
· Thank your host for the invitation with a gift before and at the end of your visit. Include a personal note of appreciation with animal themed cards or stationery. Award winning wine bottles with portraits of dogs offered by muttlynchwinery.com make great gifts for when you arrive. Bring something for dog or cat lover that is a themed product to leave your hosts, their pets or their children at the end of your trip. Give thanks from you and your animal for the good time experienced. Factor in age, breed, sex and size of your hosts pet if your gift will be for them. If buying treats, only purchase those made from fresh ingredients with no chemicals or preservatives.
Toys, treats, wine, books on pets and their care, stuffed animal, or a framed photo of you and your pet make great gifts to leave with your hosts as hello, goodbye and thanks.
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