What is Sustainable Floristry and why does it matter?
Sustainable floristry is a movement with the goal of helping the floral industry become more environmentally-friendly. It aims to encourage floral businesses to embrace a “do no harm” mentality, and think about choosing better-than practices. There are many facets to sustainable floristry, including environmental, social, and economic factors. Some of the most important, “easy” to implement steps toward becoming sustainable are to avoid floral foam, and to use slow flowers.
What are slow flowers?
Flowers that are grown in an eco-friendly way and as close to home as possible. This avoids the pollution associated with transportation costs as well as the fumigation & other chemicals involved with importing. It preserves local farmland and helps local economies. Read more about slow flowers here.
Why avoid floral foam?
Floral foam is made from carcinogenic compounds including formaldehyde and carbon black. As it breaks down, it becomes a microplastic. Microplastics harm our oceans, marine animals, and probably us too. Read more about the floral foam issue here.
Here is how I strive to be “sustainable” in my own business:
Creating less waste
- We never use floral foam.
- We look for flowers that are not wrapped in plastic.
- We design toward using reusable methods, structures & mechanics.
- We compost & recycle as much as we can.
Using better than products
- We use wire, wraps and tubes instead of foam.
- In choosing our mechanics, we look for a reusable, compostable or recyclable methods before anything that is disposable.
- If a flower is available in no wrap vs. a paper wrap vs. a plastic sleeves – we aim for the naked bunch!
- We always source Whidbey-grown first, then Washington-grown, then American-grown.
- We are committed to sourcing from certified sustainable farms.
- If the flower that our client lusts for is only available as an import, we look to source it from farms that are Rainforest Alliance Certified or from farms that are known to be kind & considerate to their workers (thus employing the “better than” products approach.
- Read more about why we source locally grown flowers here.
Sustainable business practices
- We treat employees well. Our lowest paid employee is paid more than a “living wage”.
- We have an inventory of common décor items to rent to our clients, so each couple doesn’t need to buy the same stuff as the last couple, in hopes of reducing the amount of packaging into the waste stream as well as reducing emissions from delivery.
- We educate ourselves in order to feed our souls’ fires of creativity, which sustains the quality of our designs.
- We strive to provide excellent customer service – and that includes educating our clients about the floral industry and why eco-friendly floral practices are worth choosing!
- We are a member of Slow Flowers!