My efforts to be carbon neutral, non-toxic and waste-free are on-going. Every day I try to think of how my practices can improve so that I can get closer to that target.
It is not an easy task as the floristry industry is well established in its bad habits but having taught myself has helped to avoid them. I am a rule breaker and I am always trying to find different ways to do things. So regarding sustainability, there are some areas that I try to work on:
The first obvious point is where the flowers come from. Although we try to find local suppliers, when there is a large wedding, it's difficult to find local growers that have the volume we need to create the designs. On there other hand, using seasonal flowers is easier and always advised when designing for weddings.
Flower packaging is another big concern of mine as I see so many suppliers wrapping the flowers in plastic sleeves. It's heartbreaking to see the amount of plastic waste I have once I unwrap them all. When I get anything wrapped in recycled paper I stop and make a note of the grower so I can buy from them again.
The next big problem is the use of floral foam. For so many years the industry has been using it and only recently florists have started to learn how bad they are for the environment. There are compostable alternatives we can use and good sustainably sourced moss that can be reused wrapped in chicken wire (also reused) as well as other methods like kenzans, reused glass vases, and using all sort of things inside a vase to hold flowers in place. We just have to use our imagination.
Another aspect of sustainable floristry is to have safe and fair conditions of work and therefore I am always worried about paying the freelance colleagues that work with me in weddings enough. Making sure they are happy and feel inspired is another concern. Paying and getting paid well keeps the business going, is a guarantee of beautiful designs (as you have happy people working on them), so everybody wins.
Finally, the green waste after the wedding. I sometimes offer for the flowers to be taken away by the couple's family or to be donated to a charity. If alternatives don't work, at least we can send it to the compost bin.
There are so many aspects of eco-friendly floristry that it would take many blog posts to cover them all but for this one, I would like to mainly say it is a constant effort to try to improve that aspect of my business whenever possible.
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