Red roses for Valentine's Day? Ecological "nonsense"

It's the classic combination on Valentine's Day: Paris, the city of love, and a gift of red roses.

In one store alone a Parisian florist will sell over 1000 roses over the weekend.

But some florists in France are encouraging customers to swap the classic red rose for a greener choice.

Hortense Harang, an online flower shop owner, has spearheaded the campaign to push for seasonal, locally-grown alternatives.

"Red roses is so 1950s. Basically what we are trying to say with this campaign that says "No roses for Valentine's" is that roses is something that is completely a no-go in this season because it doesn't make sense basically to buy roses, roses do not grow under our latitudes in this season, however there are many more flowers that are seasonal in February which is Valentine's Day period."

Most roses sold in France have to be imported by air freight from countries such as Kenya or grown in greenhouses in the Netherlands, resulting in carbon emissions.

While the campaign has gathered support from florists, Celine Argente, the owner of a flower shop in Paris said her costumers insist on gifting red roses, a traditional symbol of love in many cultures.

"It's a classic that people can't change from, we try every year to say that a red tulip is the symbol for declaring one's love but the red rose remains the flower for Valentine's Day."

On the streets in Paris, shops continue to be packed to the rafters with red roses, as old habits die hard.

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