At Flourish, we always try to think of ways we can be more sustainable with our services, especially when it comes to our floral designs. After finding out that on average 40% of the stems purchased by florist are thrown out we knew we had to switch up our practices to create the least amount of waste possible with our designs.
The first thing that we chose to eliminate was floral foam! A study done by RMIT University found that floral foam has been polluting water sources, both fresh and saltwater, in a variety of different ways, including, microplastics from floral foam being ingested by marine and freshwater wildlife, as well as releasing toxic chemicals into the water. Additionally, it contains formaldehyde and is toxic to humans.
Knowing that floral foam is this damaging to the environment and to ourselves, we have eliminated it from our arrangements completely. Instead of using floral foam, we have get creative with our design mechanics and will typically use green chicken wire to create large installations. Sometimes our arrangements call for some sort of filler to hold stems in place, and for those designs we use chicken wire stuffed with Spanish moss. We reuse as much of the chicken wire and Spanish moss as we can, as many times as we can. Just this practice alone has saved us money and has reduced our waste tremendously.
Another way to not only save money, but also be sustainable is to use flowers that are in season in your local area. Did you know that each year the U.S purchases on average 250 million roses for valentines day — most of which are flown in from Africa and South America? These flowers are flown on over 30 airplanes carrying flowers fly back and forth delivering flowers to the US and have to be kept under constant temperature control for several weeks until they reach the consumer – That’s a huge carbon footprint! When you purchase in season flowers there is usually less shipping involved because we can source them from local farms.
For a month by month list of some popular in season flowers, click here.
And lastly, when all is said and done with the arrangements, we compost all left over organic material. Our couples have the option to sign up with Petals for Hope, a non-profit organization that requests a small donation to pick up your wedding flowers, redesign them, and then donate them to homeless shelters and safe houses in your local area. If the couples don’t want to take the flowers home and just want to get rid of them, that is when we take them with us and compost them ourselves.
Composting our waste is a great way for us to give back to the environment for what we took from it. Most of us at Flourish compost regularly at home and most of our floral design compost is taken by Jennifer to her personal compost pile – plus once all is said and done, we get free soil.
We are always looking for new ways we can reduce our floral waste and one of our long term goals to have our own small garden we can source from. If you have any questions on how to make your wedding more sustainable, we would love to hear from you!
Warm wishes & happy planning!
– Jennifer & the Flourish Team
Flourish Wedding Design proudly serves couples in Mooresville, Lake Norman and greater Charlotte, NC area!
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