Sophia Meador, Opinions Editor

How is your flower bouquet from last Valentine’s Day holding up?

Sure, flowers are pretty. They smell nice, and above all, they show your friends and coworkers that you have a valentine in your life.

But flowers are an unsustainable gift and an honest waste of money. This year, skip the cheap bouquet of roses and buy your valentine something that will last longer than a week.

According to the Green Business Network, more than 80 percent of flowers sold in the U.S. are imported from other countries. To maintain quality, flowers are refrigerated to prevent wilting.

Most refrigerated containment systems emit hydrofluorocarbons — a type of greenhouse gas. The Green Business Network estimates that Walmart, America’s leading retail corporation, emits more than 2.8 million metric tons of hydrofluorocarbons each year. That is the energy equivalent of powering all households in San Francisco.

In addition, fresh cut flowers are often treated with synthetic pesticides, which pollute waterways and pose health risks for harvesters and insects.

Cut flowers are not just bad for the environment but they’re also bad symbology for your valentine.

On average, flower bouquets only last 7-12 days. That means two weeks after Valentine’s Day, the “thoughtful” gift you gave your valentine will be a bouquet of shriveled up flowers sitting in their trash can. That’s not a great symbol of your love and affection.

Skip out on flowers this year, and get your valentine something they can keep forever. Personally, I’ll be hoping for a Dyson Airwrap this Valentine’s Day.

Columns reflect the opinions of the authors and are not necessarily those of the Editorial Board, The Daily Iowan, or other organizations in which the author may be involved.