Sunday, November 20, 2011

dead flowers? live flowers?

I thought, when I took this picture round by the back door of Trader Joe's this morning, that I was going to write a disquisition about wastefulness (coupled with a snatch or two of the obvious Rolling Stones song).  But now I'm not so sure - maybe this is just carelessness?  Maybe these flowers are going to be plunged in buckets of water at any moment?  Maybe they'll revive?  It's worrying that I can't be sure of their state, one way or another.  In any case, I always stay clear of miscellaneous bunches, especially the cellophane wrapped ones that look like guilt-offerings from gas stations.

But what does happen to less than fresh flowers?   Actually, probably much the same as happens to their food.   Which is what, here in Silver Lake?  Unlike some food stores, TJ's doesn't have a completely firm policy about what happens to surplus, spoiled, waste food, although its website does boast the amount of food that gets given to food banks and individual organizations - about 656 truckloads in 2010, or 20 million meals.  That sounds like a lot of food, until one thinks that in the same year, 46.2 million Americans were reported as being below the poverty line - so less than .5 of a meal per person gets given away a year (yes, I know that's screwy math, given how many parts of the country don't have a TJs, but still ...).  Maybe that just means good store management.  Maybe that means that the so called Donation Co-ordinator that each store supposedly possesses isn't always completely pro-active.  But do the same organizations also get slightly wilted flowers? The really dead ones presumably end up in a dumpster - let's hope composted.  What does waste mean when it's something inedible yet organic that's wasted?  I guess the real waste lies in things like the gas used to transport the flowers in the first place (growing them presumably kept someone in a job?).  Whichever way one looks at it, these seasonal bunches were not being well or respectfully treated.


  1. I know at my local store the flowers are donated to local hospice centers to cheer up the residents and for them to have fun doing flower aggrangement classes.