My guest today is Robert McLaughlin, CEO of Organic Bouquet. We’ll be talking about toxic chemicals used in the floral industry, growing commercial flowers organically, and how you can have organically-grown flowers delivered to your door. Robert has worked in every phase of the floral industry since 1984 and has seen first-hand the effects of toxic agro-chemicals on workers. Organic Bouquet sells a unique online collection of stylish and one-of kind-products that are carefully selected with the highest social and environmental standards and practices. Sustainably grown flowers are gentle on the earth and safeguard ecology, while sustainable, biodegradable, green packaging is innovative and stylish. All of Organic Bouquet’s products, from floral arrangements and gourmet gifts to unique home accessories, have been certified by third-party agencies, such as USDA, Fair Trade or Rainforest Alliance. www.debralynndadd.com/debras-list/organic-bouquet
TOXIC FREE TALK RADIO
Giving Organic Flowers
Host: Debra Lynn Dadd
Guest: Robert McLaughlin
Date of Broadcast: February 06, 2015
Debra: Hi, I’m Debra Lynn Dadd. This is Toxic Free Talk Radio where we talk about how to thrive in a toxic world. We do this, I do this every Monday through Friday, 12 noon Eastern because there’s so many toxic chemicals in the world that are causing so much harm to the environment and to our health and well-being, to the way our bodies feel, how we think, how we feel and it doesn’t need to be that way.
There are so many people in the world, so many businesses in the world and organizations who are doing good things to make our world a less toxic place to live so that we can all be healthier and happier that we just need to know that these options exist and chose them and we can all be living in a more toxic free way.
Today is Monday, December 9th 2013 and I’m here in – well, usually, sunny Clearwater, Florida, but it’s overcast today, so it feels a little winter-ish, which is great. At the studio, they were saying – they’re in Pennsylvania and they said that they had their first snowfall. So it’s starting to feel like the holidays.
Today, my guest is Robert McLaughlin. He’s the CEO of Organic Bouquet. And what Organic Bouquet does is that they deliver right to your home gorgeous, beautiful, organic flowers and other things like Christmas trees and gifts, baskets and all kinds of things that you might want to consider for holiday gifts this year.
Hi Robert, thanks for being here.
ROBERT MCLAUGHLIN: Good morning. Thanks for having me.
Debra: You’re welcome. So first, tell us a little bit about how Organic Bouquet started and then your background. I know that you’ve spent your whole, entire adult life if not more working in the floral industry. So tell us the story of how you and Organic Bouquet came together.
ROBERT MCLAUGHLIN: Sure! Organic Bouquet was started in 2001. I actually came to work at Organic Bouquet in 2007, but the gentleman who started it was from the organic fruit and vegetable industry and wanted to get into the floral industry.
My background, I started in 1984 in the floraculture industry and horticulture industry working mainly with U.S. growers as well as growers in South America marketing most of these products to supermarkets.
Debra: And what was the motivation for starting Organic Bouquet?
ROBERT MCLAUGHLIN: Well, I think it started out as more of a social program working with workers in South American Colombia and Ecuador. About 70% of the flowers that are sold in the U.S. come from Colombia and Ecuador. So I think it started as a human rights issue.
And then as you get into that, you think, “Okay, you can pay fair level wages to workers. But what’s one of the worst things you can do to them?” and that’s spray toxic chemicals on them. So we had to find a way to end that.
Debra: Yeah. I saw on your bio on the website that you had experience working in the greenhouses and the packing houses. You’ve held just about every job there in the floral industry. Can you tell us some of the things that you observed about what kind of toxic chemicals were being used and what the effects were on the workers?
ROBERT MCLAUGHLIN: Yeah, I did. I started in Central Florida working in a greenhouse just as a laborer. I pulled weed, packed boxes and even sprayed some of those nasty agrochemicals.
Then I had an agronomist or a grower who had been growing for years through the sixties and seventies and he understood the effects of toxicity and chemicals, but in the greenhouse, it was all business and you sprayed the chemicals that it took to get rid of the pest or fungi that you were trying to get rid of.
But what was interesting is outside of the greenhouse, he taught me how to kill weeds around the greenhouse using salt water, he taught me how to kill aphids off of the bushes around the greenhouse using soapy water. So we really started looking at in the early eighties. There was an awareness of it, at least from the grower’s perspective.
And then that particular grower, he passed away in the early nineties of toxic chemical overexposure. He would always come back to the greenhouse soaked in the chemicals that he was spraying all over the plants. So there had to be a better way.
Debra: Yeah, yeah. There has to be a better way. You talked about how you and the other workers would just spray the chemicals and you’re walking around in your bare feet. I think that this has gone on a lot in the past, but I think that it’s still going on, right?
ROBERT MCLAUGHLIN: Yeah, it is. We were somewhat fortunate in the U.S. compared to some other developing natures. But yeah, when we’re spraying chemicals, the last thing we want to do is get our shirts or our shoes wet. So we would just drip them off and go out and spray the chemicals.
If you look around the world, that’s happening in India, it’s happening in China. I’m sure it’s still happening somewhere in the U.S. as well. But where you have a village that’s spraying chemicals on cotton for instance and you have a worker that barely has a fresh supply of water, they may only have a cup of water to rinse the chemicals off of them.
Debra: And that doesn’t do the job. But of course, they’re breathing them and everything and all of these chemicals are going into the environment. Can you tell us what some of the chemicals are?
ROBERT MCLAUGHLIN: There are a lot of nasty chemicals. I think methyl bromide is probably one of the worst that was used in the produce industry as well as in some of the floral industry. That’s just a nasty chemical that they fog greenhouses with to sterilize soil, among other uses. That’s probably the worst.
Debra: And then there are all the pesticides. I know you probably use a lot of different pesticides.
ROBERT MCLAUGHLIN: Pesticides and fertilizers.
Debra: And fertilizers. Is it pretty much the same thing that is being used when you’re growing food?
ROBERT MCLAUGHLIN: Yeah, a lot of the same chemicals are used for food. Fortunately, with food production, there’s been a lot of research dollars put into growing organic food, which we’ve been able to benefit from that research in the floral industry.
Debra: And do you know if there are any residues of pesticides or toxic chemicals left on the flowers? If I were to go buy flowers at my grocery store, would I be exposed to those pesticides like I would be exposed to pesticides on food.
ROBERT MCLAUGHLIN: Yeah, in many cases, you are. Again, floriculture is kind of the gem of the agricultural world in South America. In other words, it has a lot more advanced and progressive growers that are getting away from that. But yeah, traditionally grown flower may have been dipped in a fungicide before it was even shipped just to keep the bacteria and fungi down in transit.
Debra: Oh, I remember when I was a child – I’ve told this story before, but it bears telling again – when I would smell an orange, what I’d be smelling are the fungicide. They wrap the oranges in paper with fungicide on it and the fungicide gets on the orange. I would smell an orange and I would think, “Oh, that’s what an orange smell like,” that fungicide smell.
It wasn’t until I ate organic oranges for the first time that I realized that what I had been smelling and tasting was fungicide and not an orange.
I didn’t know that they dipped flowers in fungicide. If they’re dipping flowers in fungicide to keep them fresh in transit, then that fungicide would still be there as part of the flower by the time it got to us.
ROBERT MCLAUGHLIN: Yeah, absolutely. And there are residues on flowers from fertilization. There’s residue from pesticides. Ironically, a lot of people don’t understand that even organic chemicals can be highly caustic chemicals. So you’ll have residues potentially from organic chemicals that need to be cleaned off as well.
Debra: And how would you clean those chemicals off of a flower?
ROBERT MCLAUGHLIN: Just by dipping them in water. If it’s truly an organic chemical, it’s water soluble. The synthetic chemical is not meant to break down with water. So that’s really the main difference.
Debra: Oh, I didn’t know that. Oh, good. Good, good, good.
Well, thank you for sending me some flowers. I am really enjoying them. Robert sent me a beautiful bouquet of white carnations with lilies and red tulips and evergreens and it’s sitting here right on my desk and it’s so fresh and beautiful.
He also sent the most gorgeous Christmas wreath I’ve ever seen. First of all, it’s really big, it’s really lush. First of all, it’s really big. It’s really lush. If you think about the kind of wreaths you get at the Christmas tree lot or at the grocery store, this is nothing like that. It’s so beautiful.
I’ll tell you more about it when we come back from the break. I’m Debra Lynn Dadd. This is Toxic Free Talk Radio. My guest today is Robert McLaughlin, the CEO of Organic Bouquet. We’ll come back and talk more about organic flowers.
= COMMERCIAL BREAK =
Debra: You’re listening to Toxic Free Talk Radio. I’m Debra Lynn Dadd. My guest today is Robert McLaughlin, CEO of Organic Bouquet.
Before the break, I was starting to tell you about these beautiful flowers. In addition to the flowers being so gorgeous, also, the bouquet came with a vase. I need to tell you this about the vase.
The vase is designed in such a way – and I’m not sure if they did this intentionally or not. The vase is designed in such a way that all I had to do was put the flowers in the vase and they spread out perfectly to look like a gorgeous bouquet the way it looks in the picture. I didn’t have to do any flower arranging. The flowers just kind of arrange themselves. It was just such a delight when I did that. I just put the flowers in, the vase did all the work and I have this gorgeous bouquet on my desk.
So I want to tell you about this wreath too because we’re now at the holiday season and people are probably buying wreaths. This wreath is the largest wreath that I’ve ever seen. Every single piece of it has fresh evergreens. They’re all fresh. It’s beautifully put together. This is the highest quality floral arrangement that I’ve ever seen. And so I’m delighted that they are also organic and fair trade and all the wonderful, sustainable things that they are.
So, well done!
ROBERT MCLAUGHLIN: Well, great! Thank you for that. I’m very happy that you’re enjoying them.
Debra: I’m very happy with them. I’m very, very happy. There’s so much we could talk about. Here’s another thing I wanted to say. You have same day delivery, right?
ROBERT MCLAUGHLIN: We do! We actually just launched that capability recently. I was surprised because I know you were checking on my address. You only got my address on Saturday morning. By Saturday at 10 o’clock in the morning, I had flowers. That was pretty amazing to me.
So this is something that if people are wanting to send holiday gifts, they could be ordering at the last minute and you can fulfill those orders, right?
ROBERT MCLAUGHLIN: Yeah, absolutely. And we sent you those flowers, the bouquet from a farm in California and the wreath came from Oregon. So everything was and cut fresh and produced and shipped to you by the next day.
Debra: That’s amazing. It’s amazing to me that it can all happen so fast and the delivery times and things.
So tell us about some of the things that you have that our listeners would be interested in that they could give for gifts, the varieties of things and different types of flowers. Describe your products.
ROBERT MCLAUGHLIN: We have a full line of floral gifting products. We have everything from roses to lilies all grown in a certified, sustainable manner. We have, as you mentioned, the wreath that come from the northwest. Those are grown organically on a national preserve.
And then we also have organic food baskets, organic chocolate, various types of products there. We do a lot of corporate gift-giving type work during the Christmas holiday. So they’re great gifts to send out to your customers, friends and family.
Debra: Yes, I absolutely would agree with that because it’s just a very high quality presentation. They’re beautiful.
I guess I’m wanting to describe these because when I first started hearing the word ‘organic’ many, many years ago, I don’t know how people think of it today, but organic didn’t always mean high quality. So that’s why I’m talking so much about the quality and also the fact that you can’t always get sometimes what you consider to be the standard kinds of things organic.
But if you go to OrganicBouquet.com, you’ll see the same kind of flowers that you would see on a regular floral site except they’re organic. It has roses and irises and just everything that you would want at a regular floral place except that they’re organic and beautiful – lilies, gorgeous lilies.
So tell us a little bit about sustainability.
ROBERT MCLAUGHLIN: It’s interesting that you bring up organic because organic has not been necessarily known as good quality. In years past, it’s a very difficult growing method.
A few things to know about organic. If you have something that’s USDA organic certified, it really only pertains to the way that that product is grown. The reason we focus on sustainability is because it focuses on environmental, but also social aspects.
Debra: Yes, organic has nothing to do with social aspects.
ROBERT MCLAUGHLIN: No, it really doesn’t. It doesn’t have necessarily anything to do with the local ecology surrounding a farm or a factory.
So if you have something that’s USDA certified and you use organic chemicals, again, water soluble chemicals, if you allow those to run off of the farm and run into a stream, it can pollute the stream. It can choke out vegetation in the stream. It can create a large plume of different organic materials that choke out a stream and kill wild life up and down. So we go a step further than just organic.
Debra: So before you talk about sustainability because I know that’s a bigger issue, could you just give us a little more detail about what the organic part of the growing is. What is the USDA certifying you for? What does that look like?
ROBERT MCLAUGHLIN: Yes. So they’re certifying that they are using only organic agrichemicals on your production, whether it’s fruits and vegetables or cut flowers. It’s making sure that you’re using chemicals that are water soluble, that have no synthetics in it. It’s a great growing method because it doesn’t kill the microbial life in the soil. So it’s rejuvenating. The soil can rejuvenate and you can grow year after year.
Debra: Yes. But it’s only concerned about building soil and no synthetic chemicals.
ROBERT MCLAUGHLIN: Correct! Organic chemicals can be very toxic.
Debra: Yeah, I was about to say no toxic chemicals, but that’s not what they’re certifying for.
ROBERT MCLAUGHLIN: Right! You can have workers in the field and you can spray them with organic chemicals and it can burn the skin right off their body. So it’s important to go a step beyond organic and make sure that you’re buying something that is certified sustainable as well as organic. I think that’s important.
We haven’t gotten to fair, livable wages, fair labor, fair training of workers and safety equipment, all of these things, but…
Debra: We’ll talk more about this when we come back from the break. I’m Debra Lynn Dadd. You’re listening to Toxic Free Talk Radio. And today, we’re talking about organic, sustainable floral industry with Robert McLaughlin who’s the CEO of Organic Bouquet. We’ll be right back.
= COMMERCIAL BREAK =
Debra: You’re listening to Toxic Free Talk Radio. I’m Debra Lynn Dadd. Today, we’re talking with Robert McLaughlin who’s the CEO of Organic Bouquet. Robert, I’m looking at your website. First, let me ask you, what’s your bestselling product?
ROBERT MCLAUGHLIN: Roses are the bestselling product year round.
Debra: Good, good. And it looks like you have beautiful roses. I was just clicking around to different products. One of the things that I’m really interested in is how much information various companies give about how organic or non-toxic or sustainable they are in different ways. I clicked to [inaudible 00:27:26] Rose Bouquet, which happens to be a beautiful bouquet of red roses with some white flowers and evergreens mixed in with it.
So here are some things that I’m seeing on here. “Green Shipping,” what’s that?
ROBERT MCLAUGHLIN: We use overnight delivery services like FedEx and UPS. So we calculate all of the carbon that we emit into the atmosphere each year by all of our shipment. And then we participate in a carbon neutral program that supports reforestation in Guatemala.
Debra: Oh, great! Great! That’s very good. So now, I see that this is certified by Veriflora, which is a comprehensive sustainability certification program for the floral and potted plant industries. Tell us about that program.
ROBERT MCLAUGHLIN: So our company, we were one of the original founders of Veriflora because North America did not have a certification or a set of standards for floriculture. There are various countries that have their own non-regulated or self-regulated sustainability standards, but we wanted something that was the first for North America.
So we contracted scientific certification systems who’s well known in the certification industry and we did a GAP analysis of all the other certifications to come up with something specifically for floriculture.
So since we helped start that, over 1500 acres of traditional growing methods had been transitioned into certified sustainable.
Debra: And what are some of the points that they’re looking at in sustainability. I know that word is used a lot, but I don’t think that people really understand how comprehensive it is. So what are some of the things that they’re looking for?
ROBERT MCLAUGHLIN: Yes, so there’s an environment component that the farm has to be on a pathway to organic if they’re not already organic. They can’t use any chemicals banned by the World Health Organization or the USCPA. They have to have protections of water, reclaim and collection. They have to pay fair, livable wages above minimum wage. They have to provide proper safety training and safety equipment for the workers.
And then there is a custody chain that is followed all the way from the farm out to the retailer in order to be Veriflora certified, so that we know that it’s been controlled in a particular manner.
With Veriflora, each farm is certified on an annual basis by a third party auditor, not by our company, not by themselves, but a third party auditor comes in…
Debra: …to make sure that they’re doing all those things.
ROBERT MCLAUGHLIN: Yeah. And on the day that they do the inspections of the farms, the farm owners are not invited to the farm. They walk the farm with the people who do the actual work. They go through all of the different processes.
Debra: Excellent! Excellent! So in terms of sustainability, it seems to me that sustainability is something that we’re moving to. It’s a direction that we’re moving into rather than something that’s absolute. Is that something you agree with?
ROBERT MCLAUGHLIN: Yeah! I think it’s critical that the sustainability component is in all of the products that we buy. I used to run a sustainable investment fund. I visited one of the greenhouses that we were invested in and it was a USDA certified organic. And that was it.
As I was waiting for the grower to show up, I’m looking around on the loading dock and they had a huge refrigeration unit that had been shut down. It’s been used seasonally. So I stuck my head in, looked inside and there were nothing but palettes with blankets and beds for immigrant workers.
So these were likely undocumented workers that were living in a dark, damp cooler during the harvest period.
With USDA, there’s no standard to stop that from happening. That’s why sustainability is important.
Debra: There are so many things to look at. It really is a challenge. It can be a challenge. One of the things I just want to complement you on, Organic Bouquet and you as the CEO is that I’ve been looking at various types of organic, natural, non-toxic, green products, et cetera for over 30 years. One of the things that I see is that there are companies that are dedicated to the idea and that they do everything that they can to make it happen.
And then there are other companies where they’ll carry one or two things and they don’t quite understand it. It’s really great to see your company be one that not only applies these principles, but has been a participant in creating them and that it’s part of the fabric of your company, it’s part of what you do. So it’s not just something that’s added on later. Everything that you do is based on these ideas. I think that that’s important for consumers to understand the difference between just seeing a package on a shelf that might be organic versus having the whole company be about a way of doing business.
ROBERT MCLAUGHLIN: Yeah, we offer consumers responsible choices when they’re looking at buying floral products online. And there are a lot of companies out there. I would say to consumers to look for companies when you’re purchasing something. The more transparent, the better.
Debra: I totally agree.
ROBERT MCLAUGHLIN: …the companies that are really not afraid to outline what it is they represent and what they define themselves as.
Debra: Yes, I agree, I agree. I’m just looking at your website here because there’s so much to choose from. Let’s see, here we have an organic fruit basket. Let’s see what’s in this one. It has organic pears, organic apples, organic oranges, chocolate-covered dried cherries (organic), organic dark chocolate almonds, organic cashews.
I remember when I was a kid that we used to get these fruits baskets. I won’t say the name of the company. The people in California would recognize it. When I was a kid, we used to get these fruit baskets that had fruit and dried fruit. That was part of our family Christmas present.
I can see that you have that same idea about these traditional things like flowers and fruits that people are accustomed to giving at the holidays, but in organic form.
We’ll be back after this break. I’m Debra Lynn Dadd. This is Toxic Free Talk Radio. My guest is Robert McLaughlin from Organic Bouquet. That’s OrganicBouquet.com. They have all kinds of holiday gifts that can be delivered same day. We’ll be right back.
= COMMERCIAL BREAK =
Debra: You’re listening to Toxic Free Talk Radio. I’m Debra Lynn Dadd. My guest today is Robert McLaughlin from Organic Bouquet. That’s OrganicBouquet.com. We’re talking about the floral industry, holiday gifts – organic, sustainable.
Robert, I’m looking at your wreaths and plants page. As I’ve said before, the wreath that you sent me is absolutely gorgeous, just the highest quality I’ve ever seen in a wreath.
I know it would be gorgeous to put on my front door, but I have it hanging on my living room because I want to see it. If it’s on the front door, it’s outside.
ROBERT MCLAUGHLIN: Great!
Debra: Everyone else would see it. My living room now smells wonderful from all these evergreens. It’s just a great thing to have for the holiday.
Tell us about some of the different things that you have on this page. There are all kinds of things that you can choose from.
ROBERT MCLAUGHLIN: Yeah, we love that grower in Oregon. He actually has a great relationship with the National Forest Department in Oregon. They harvest all of those directly out of the forest, which serves two purposes. One, they get certainly 100% organic grains because they can’t be spraying it on a national forest and two, it thins out the growth in the forest, which is helpful for the plants, so the trees grow much healthier and larger. It’s a great program that they have. And of course, the products are beautiful.
Debra: They are beautiful. I’m looking here on the page and there’s a number of different kinds of wreaths and swags. Here’s a little moss, ivy reindeer and there’s a little olive tree and a heart-shaped wreath, (that’s a lavender heart-shaped wreath) and a little ivy cone tree so that you could just have a little tabletop tree if you wanted. There’s even a succulent living wreath, all kinds of things. So you’re not limited just to evergreens although I love evergreens at the holiday time. There are just so many things that you have put together.
ROBERT MCLAUGHLIN: Yeah, a lot of those potted plants are grown in Salinas, California and northern California. We love to support local growers. While the industry brings in 70% of its cut flowers from South America and we do offer products from certified farms in South America, we really like to focus on our U.S. growers as well.
Debra: Good, good. Even some of the things that you have here that are not organic (because some of them, I’m looking and I’m just clicking around and some of them are organic and some of them are not, a lot are organic), one of the benefits of buying from you is that all the shipping has carbon offsets.
The thing that I would like to say about buying local and carbon offsets and things like that, my viewpoint is that I’m concerned about putting toxic chemicals into my body and into the environment. If we put toxic chemicals into the environment, they’re going to end up in my body. I’m going to breathe them, they’re going to be in the food, and they’re going to be wherever.
When you’re shipping things from great distances, then that puts more pollution into the area unless you’re doing something to negate that, unless you’re using renewable energy or there’s carbon offsets or things like that.
And so, if you’re going to buy a potted plant, the difference of having it shipped from Organic Bouquet or someplace else, even if you’re not buying something organic on the site, just the fact that they’re being concerned about the shipping makes a difference in the larger environment than ordering from someone else.
So I can see from my understanding of sustainability, I can look at this site and I can see that they’re incorporating everything that I can think of that can be incorporated right now. And of course, the whole idea of sustainability as we understand it better, everybody can do better at it. I just see on every page that I go to, there’s something about sustainability being applied to each and every product.
ROBERT MCLAUGHLIN: Yeah, we have meetings internally whenever we’re looking at new products or we’re just looking at our business in general, we’re looking at what good are we doing with a product. That’s great! Can you make money on the product?
But how does it serve the environment? How does it serve our community? We look at everything. My business cards are made on 100% post-consumer waste recycled paper. We use soy-based vegetable ink dyes. And of course, the carbon offset program.
For carbon offset, there’s been a lot of debate about it, but I think the concept is pretty simple. If you put x amount of carbon into the atmosphere, what can you do to pull that equal amount of carbon out of the atmosphere.
And then we also work with cause marketing. We have over 40 different partnerships with charitable organizations. So you can buy a bouquet that’s for the American Red Cross and 15% of the sale goes back to the American Red Cross. It’s the same thing we have, again, over 40 different partners.
Debra: Yes. Great! It’s great, what you’ve put together here. I was just looking at something and then I clicked away from it. Oh, packaging. Tell us about the packaging.
ROBERT MCLAUGHLIN: Yes, so packaging, again, we look at using recycled materials. If we’re using plastics, we look at non-GMO corn based plastics, so that it’s biodegradable. It breaks down in the landfill. And of course, it doesn’t support genetically-modified corn.
So again, we look at every corner, every aspect of our business that we can and we’re constantly coming up with new improvements and new ideas.
Debra: Well, I must say that when I received my packages with the wreath and the flowers, the packages themselves were very sturdy and they protected the plants very, very well. I have received things that I have ordered online in the past where by the time I get them, the packages are so beat up.
Once, I ordered a hand-thrown clay pot. By the time it got to me, it was just in pieces because the packaging wasn’t well. So that’s in addition to having high quality products that are high quality packaging that are keeping them in good condition on their way to you made from recycled materials.
So we just have a few minutes left of the show. Is there anything else that you’d like to say that you haven’t said?
ROBERT MCLAUGHLIN: Well, I would just like to say that our business model (as well as other businesses) supports this type of eco lifestyle choices and stances on sustainability. I just ask consumers to look out when you’re doing your shopping online and vote with your dollars. Support companies that support change for the environment and for the human rights around the world.
A lot of products are imported around the world. We can’t have everything grown in the U.S.A., so we really have to make sure that we’re doing the right things in other developing nations as well, making sure workers are paid fair, livable wages, making sure they’re being treated well, that they’re being protected and whatever it is that they’re doing.
Debra: I totally agree. I would like to say to consumers that we could have everything all grown in the United States, but one of the reasons why businesses need to bring things in from other countries has to do with consumer demand. And so it’s because we want to have those flowers that need to be grown in South America.
But if we were to choose what grows in our areas and decide that we want – I’m not saying people shouldn’t buy these flowers from you. I’m just saying that if we thought differently, if we said like I decided many, many years ago to live as local as I can live, I look around and I see what are the kinds of plants here that I could use, what kind of flowers are here in Florida, what kinds of food are here in Florida, I try to get everything as local as possible.
And so it really comes down to our consumer decisions. We have so much power as consumers and so we can make our lives more local if we choose that. Be aware of what’s local. Support our local people. We can turn a lot of things around by the choices that we make.
Debra: Well, thank you so much for being with me today. Happy holidays! I appreciate you being here because I think you’re doing a fabulous job.
ROBERT MCLAUGHLIN: Great! Well, thank you so much for having me.
Debra: You’re welcome. So this is Toxic Free Talk Radio. I’m Debra Lynn Dadd. You can find out more about the show and find out about other past guests by going to ToxicFreeTalkRadio.com.
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