Q. Dear Umbra,

My sweetie usually gives me flowers for special occasions, like holidays and my birthday. But it just occurred to me that I don’t know much about how sustainable cut flowers are. Are all those roses, lilies, and daisies actually bad for the planet? Do I have to give them up? I love getting flowers!

Gwen S.
Geneva, Illinois

A. Dearest Gwen,

I’m no fan of looking a gift horse in the mouth, especially when the giver is so thoughtful (and the horse so lovely to look at, and usually quite easy on the nose as well). And if there’s one thing I’ve learned about relationships, it’s that criticizing one’s sweetie for trying to do something nice for you is usually not going to score you any romance points. Plus, flowers are natural and compostable, right? What’s not to love?