How Flowers Help the Environment

Given on special occasions or simply to tell another person how much you care, flowers continue to be appreciated as gifts and for their beauty. Whether it is Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, or just an ordinary day, a nice floral bouquet is bound to bring smiles to its recipient's face. Yet while flowers are a great gift and add a splash of color, they also do much more for us. In fact, flowers help the environment around us in many ways.

Flowers appear on plants, which themselves are beneficial to our ecology and environment. As is well-known, plants produce much of the oxygen in our atmosphere through the process of photosynthesis. During the cycle of photosynthesis, plants absorb carbon dioxide from the air through their leaves. Then, using sunlight, water, and minerals from the soil, plants absorb nutrients and release oxygen into the air as a byproduct.

Studies have routinely found that with an increase in the number of plants comes improvement in air quality; so, planting trees, bushes, and flowers is a great way to help make the environment a better place. Many plants reproduce through their flowers when pollination gets the reproductive cycle underway, and seeds are produced. Those seeds are then harvested by human beings and planted elsewhere, or they are carried from one place to another by birds, bats, and other animals. Obviously, the more seeds that are produced and the more seeds that end up in the ground, the more plants there will be. So, in providing the seeds that make it possible to grow more plants, flowers benefit the environment by creating more carbon dioxide absorbing and oxygen-radiating plants.

Flowers also play a vital role in cleaning up other parts of our world. Over the past few decades, studies have shown that at least some plants and flowers cleanse the soil and water of contaminants. Sunflowers, for example, are very good at this. Sunflowers are able to absorb radioactive materials and other pollutants from the soil without much harm to the plant. This means that in areas where radiation has been high, plants such as sunflowers may be planted in order to help clean up the environment. In addition to cleaning the soil, flowers and other plants also cleanse water. The root systems of many flowers and plants that live in streams, lakes, and other bodies of water often serve as filters to remove toxic metals and other chemicals from the water.

When it comes to relying on flowers to help purify the environment, we must be careful not to increase pollution. Chemical fertilizers that are often used to help flowers grow end up adding new pollutants to the soil and water, effectively cancelling out any pollution-reducing capabilities that the planted flowers may add. Organic gardening methods are best for the environment, and this is as true of delicate flowers as it is of hardier trees. Switching to organic, pesticide-free gardening methods is one of the best ways to use flowers wisely for the benefit of the environment.

Although the benefits to the physical environment are important, flowers also benefit the social or personal environment of human beings. Researchers have seen improvement in the moods of patients who are exposed to flowers. Just being around flowering plants helps to lift a sour mood, improve a sad disposition, and alleviate the symptoms of conditions such as depression. Research also indicates that flowers can help to encourage compassion and similar emotions when people are in the presence of floral beauty

For more information on how flowers help the environment around us, please consult the following sources:

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