Flowers are wonderful! They are colourful, they are natural, and they smell fabulous too, but at a time when we are more and more conscious of making sustainable choices and questioning our actions with regards safeguarding the planet, we have to consider the carbon footprint of buying our much loved bouquets. Many floristry businesses have evolved to incorporate eco-friendly practices into their work, which is exactly what we want to hear, but how can you tell whether you are buying a bunch of beautiful blooms that have been grown, presented and delivered in a responsible manner?
I want to give you an insight into what your eco-friendly florist is doing to guarantee their products are as sustainable as they can be. You can then feel confident that the special gift you are buying has not literally cost the earth!
An Eco Florist Uses Eco-Conscious Growers
Like sustainably produced fruit and vegetables, flowers can also be grown with a nod to environmentally sound practices. An eco florist will grow flowers that create their blooms naturally and slowly. They will also stick to safe pesticides and natural fertilisers. Stems grown in an unforced manner and in natural light produce oxygen and thereby have a positive effect on the environment around them. Growers who produce this way usually limit their distribution radius too, which means they only sell to local florists; this reduces long distance shipping and guarantees that the flowers are locally sourced. It is a win win!
It makes perfect sense to buy seasonally, especially if you want the freshest and most gorgeous blooms that are more often than not the least expensive too! You will definitely get the ‘feel good factor’ from your bouquet when you know that its beauty has been created naturally and sustainably.
Using Biodegradable Material
It is really positive that the company Oasis that makes One of the biggest manufacturers of the standard floristry green foam that we have become so familiar with in our floral displays, is Oasis, and they are working hard to invent a replacement that can biodegrade in less than a year. As a stop gap they make a brown version known as Oasis Bio foam, which only takes 567 days to completely bio-degrade.
At this point, I’d like to clarify what the term biodegradable means. In simple terms, it refers to a natural material that can break down organically. Sounds good? Of course it does, however, it is important to note that some biodegradable materials take a very very long time to degrade. For something to be classed as biodegradable it has to degrade into landfill within 365 days, so the new Oasis product will fit the bill perfectly.
Some florists have gone retro and have started using chicken wire molded into a container instead of any foam. Stems can be poked through and arranged creatively and attractively. This is what the ladies of the 1950s would have done.
Floristry is an art and a bouquet isn’t just about the petals and the foliage, especially if you are thinking about buying flowers for an occasion such as a wedding. The accessories can be just as important, and when a florist gets creative they can use all kinds of recyclable or even natural materials, instead of the single use plastic, paper and metal extras that have been used in the past. Twigs, moss, fruit and vegetables make beautiful add ons, as do raffia and other recycled materials.
Unfortunately we still see the cellophane plastic wrap hugging bunches of flowers, but the good news is that independent florists are now sourcing other materials that are much more sustainable and can also add another aesthetic element to a display. Old newspapers and brown paper are two excellent options, but if you really want the classic see-through look, make sure your bunch is wrapped in Eco Flowerwrap, as this is biodegradable and recyclable. Where presentation bags were once used, recyclable boxes make a great alternative.
Eco-friendly florists aim to reduce waste as much as possible and many will donate unused flowers to hospitals or nursing homes, but at the very least they will make sure that they are composted. If they are doing this, they will more often than not advertise it.
Florists who have a passion for sustainability will source biodegradable packaging for their flower food which is usually sent with every order; another really good way to reduce waste.
Help Your Eco-Friendly Florist Help The Planet
The most effective way to do your bit helping the planet when you want to enjoy a stunning, aromatic bunch of flowers is to make sure that the bouquet you are ordering comes from a local florist. If you are ordering online, choose a company that works directly with local florists.That way you can have your gift delivered anywhere knowing that the bouquet has been prepared and hand delivered to the recipient by a florist in their area.