Why We Should Make Changes For Environmental Issues We Don’t Understand – A Story of Cornish Flowers
It seems no matter where you go now days you can’t escape the fact that things are changing in the environment. A lot of people appear to be constantly talking about global warming and the damage we are doing to the world by driving our cars or leaving a light on for longer than needed. For the most part, I agree. I personally haven’t done anywhere near enough research of my own to come to a solid conclusion on where I stand on the issue. I don’t completely understand some of the terms bounded around, and beside, science thought the world was flat not that long ago so I don’t want to rely to strongly on it. This is complicated more by the amount of theories about the causes of global warming that seem to rely on the earth being millions of years old, when I personally believe in a young earth, but that’s a whole other story. My lack of knowledge put aside, I think anything ‘greener’ or ‘pollution-free’ or ‘recyclable’ has got to be a good thing.
I got my first part time job when I was 16 at a Flower Nursery about 8 miles from where I lived, a medium sized company that buy/sell flowers in all ways you can imagine located in Cornwall. I remember a year or so back mentioning global warming to them and the fact that some of their flowers were imported, via either aeroplane or ship, often from places like Holland. I couldn’t understand all the reasons why. Surely customers would rather buy flowers that are locally grown, freshly cut from the greenhouse for their order. Or would customers rather have flowers that are mass-grown in a different country, bundled into a box, driven to the dock, loaded into a container, shipped to the UK, unloaded, driven to the dispatch point, then moved into a small lorry and driven down to the nursery where they are unpacked and bundled up ready for their order? I know what makes more sense to me.
Having spoken to some more florists about the issue, it became apparent the reason no one was really making an effort to change was that a large chunk of consumers simply weren’t aware of the issue, so it didn’t affect business! Importing has become common practice among florists and it’s often barely cheaper, if cheaper at all. The obvious conclusion from this in my mind was that we should make consumers aware, and offer what they’d rather have, locally grown flowers. This not only means better quality flowers and less pollution to the environment, but would also support the local economy a lot more. I mentioned to my work the idea of ‘Flower Miles’, a simple indicator to let customers know that the flowers are local (or not local as the case may be). Eventually they implemented my idea on their website and guess what? It was a success. They had a lot of good feedback and I believe it’s still there to this day.
The reason I like telling people that story is the employees at the nursery were a bit like me when it came to knowledge on global warming. They didn’t know much, but knew that anything that supports the local community and reduces carbon emissions by cutting out a large chunk of transport has got to be a good thing, and their customers agree.
I really love Cornwall. It was where I was raised as a child and I have fond memories of going to the beach, biking all over the local woods and just generally enjoying the countryside around me. The thought that I could be playing my small part in damaging this for future generations doesn’t sit well with me, but it’s not always easy to change things straight away. For example, my house doesn’t have solar panels, we can’t afford them, so I don’t feel bad about it. But I could walk into town rather than driving my car a few miles, so i try to.
My message is simple really. A lot of people talk about global warming. No one really understands what’s going on, but we can’t afford to be ignorant. Besides, even if global warming turned out to be a myth, I don’t think anyone would regret the steps they took to making the world a better place.