Beautiful, fragrant, natural….. flowers are truly remarkable. They not only give life and vibrancy to any space, flowers also provide health benefits. Flowers really are one of the best things we get from Mother Nature, which is why it’s so important we don’t take more than she can give. Here at Wildflower, Annapolis and Baltimore’s best florist, we take pride in the fact that we do what we can to practice sustainable floristry so people can continue to enjoy the many rewards flowers bring us for many generations to come.
What Is Sustainable Floristry?
Sustainable floristry is a commitment by florists to undertake environmentally friendly practices to reduce the carbon footprint of bringing flowers from their source to the consumer. The majority of flowers sold in the U.S. are imported from other countries and the large-crop farming, packaging, and transportation of imported flowers from so far away leaves a large carbon blueprint. There are ways to reduce the carbon footprint of getting flowers to florists, and this what sustainable floristry is all about.
How Florists Practice Sustainable Floristry
Flowers grown locally and in an environmentally friendly manner are referred to as “slow flowers.” This also applies to flowers grown outside rather than in green-houses, which are typically not energy efficient. Purchasing slow flowers is better for the environment and should be practice as much as possible. However, there are instances when purchasing imported flowers is unavoidable, so in these cases, it’s important purchases are made from certified sustainably grown farms that are environmentally friendly and practice fair trade policies.
A staple that florists have used for nearly 60 years, floral foam is a one-time use plastic product that has very detrimental effects to the environment. Made up of carcinogenic compounds that include carbon black and formaldehyde, floral foam is not bio-degradable but rather breaks down into a microplastic, something that is harmful to our oceans, marine life, and humans too.
Other Eco-Friendly Actions Florists Perform
- Partner with eco-friendly farms that practice sustainable growing methods, recycle water, and minimize waste.
- Design with green mechanics and use sustainable products as much as possible
- Reduce Waste
- Composting and Recycling (Vase recycling)
- Reduce use of plastic wrapping and tags
- Repurpose leftovers
What You Can Do to Help
If we all start to take on a few environmentally-friendly practices, then the trade off to the planet will be huge. A few small changes really add up. Some of the changes you can do is to shop locally and support local businesses, whether it’s a local florist shop or a farm stand, local shops typically produce a much smaller footprint than larger corporations, plus you’ll be supporting you own local economy.
You can also recycle your old flowers instead of throwing them away. There are a variety of things you can do with wilting blooms, such as make potpourri, fragrant soap, candles, bath bombs, or preserver through drying or pressing them. And, the next time you order flowers, bring back the vase for them to use, or perhaps provide your own family heirloom vase.
It’s important to act now and be cognizant of how our actions, purchases, and disposal of products impact the environment. Practicing sustainable floristry and being overall more environmentally conscious will go a long way of ensuring the beauty we get to enjoy from nature today will still be there for our children and the many generations to come.