French florists campaign against gifting red roses

Most roses sold in France in the run-up to Valentine's Day, a peak sales period for the global flower industry, have to be imported by air freight from countries such as Kenya or grown in greenhouses in the Netherlands, resulting in carbon emissions that contribute to climate change.

But florists face an uphill struggle, because the tradition of gifting red roses on St. Valentine's Day, which falls on Feb. 14, is so engrained in many cultures.

Hortense Harang, founder of an online flower shop called "Fleurs d'Ici," French for "Flowers from here" has been spearheading the campaign to wean people off roses.

"Red roses is so 1950s," she said. "Roses are is completely a no-go in this season because it doesn't make sense to buy roses. Roses do not grow under our latitudes in this season."

Her campaign has gathered support.

"It's not logical to have flowers from the other side of the planet if we can get them locally," said Edith Besenfelder, a 46-year-old Paris florist who works with local and seasonal flowers.