Clean and return those water picks for reuse

Valentine’s Day is one of the flower industry’s biggest sales days each year. The runaway favourite? The rose, symbol of love, beauty, admiration and respect.

But since roses are fragile, they often arrive with water picks attached to their stems: little rubber-capped plastic tubes that contain enough water to keep the rose fresh until it’s arranged into a vase.

But don’t throw away those water picks! A while back, I was delighted to discover that a local florist happily accepted a bag of picks I’d accumulated, so they could be reused on new roses.

So if you’re the lucky recipient of Valentine’s Day flowers that came with water picks, why not save them and return them to your local florist the next time you’re passing by? It’s good karma that just might have them come back to you with fresh flowers someday!

The environmental impacts of cruise ships

It sometimes pains me greatly to shed a bit of light on an uncomfortable reality; I hate being a party-pooper or raining on parades. This is definitely one of those times.

There’s no denying cruise ships are a wonderful way to vacation: great destinations, supreme comfort and limitless food. Who could ask for more?

But cruise ships have an environmental grim side. They burn massive amounts of fuel (large ones only get about 50 feet to the gallon), and many burn a type of fuel that produces high sulphur and soot emissions. They typically discharge large amounts of bilge water, greywater, sewage (which may or may not be treated) and even solid waste. It’s enough to make you not want to go back to the buffet for seconds.

So what to do? Alas, Reduce, the first of the three Rs, is always the best option – there are many vacation options with far smaller environmental impacts than cruise ships.

But if you’ve got your heart set on a cruise, why not check out Friends of the Earth’s Cruise Ship Report Card before you book? It compares the environmental footprint of different cruise lines and ships – a small way you can reduce the ocean bruisin’ caused by cruisin’.