The integration of flowers in daily human life has a long history and substantiates our appreciation for their delicacy and wide variation in possible shapes and colours. Since the very early civilizations flowers were used for medical purposes and above all have been part of important cultural and religious customs. Records of their use have been preserved over centuries in different parts of the world and in most if not all major religions flowers have a featuring role. Whereas in the past flower production for floral design was local and probably limited and restricted to wealthy and powerful people that could afford gardens for pleasure, nowadays floral production has become a knowledge and infrastructural intensive, highly specialised industry with trading networks on a global scale and floricultural exhibitions being organised all over the world. As with all intensive industry, concerns on environmental aspects including carbon footprints as well as the well-being of labourers have been raised and have led to certification programs that resulted in impressive reductions in energy and resources as well as environmental impact. It can be expected that given the global environmental and economic issues, ornamental production will have to even intensify these efforts substantially to provide flowers at low environmental costs for people to enjoy in and around their homes.
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- Carbon foot print