We are all looking at ways to reduce our carbon footprint these days. Ways that we can reuse, reduce and recycle.
This has been something that we as florists have been increasingly aware of for many years now, and have been working toward making more conscious decision.
We make changes in little ways that really have a big impact, and that is what you can do at home too.
I worked for a florist 18 years ago who insisted that we seperate green waste. These days this doesn’t seem revolutionary, but back then, it was quite an exception to the rule. It was quite normal to combine green waste with other mixed waste in a bid to save time.
Florists would work fast and strip directly on the floor, only to go back and scoop up everything together to place in the rubbish bin. A fast florist is a valuable commodity to many businesses so this mindset of getting things done as quickly as possible was quite common.
By separating green waste, we reduced our garbage astronomically, and the green waste, was simply composted.
One of the things that is really hard in floristry is reducing the amount of plastic cellophane. Many bunches (particularly) imported bunches are wrapped in plastic for transportation. Some individual blooms are also cupped in packing material to protect it from damage.
Many florists now choose to wrap in brown paper rather than cellophane, but unfortunately we are still left with all the excess plastic wrapping that we receive our flowers in.
One way florists try to reuse that material rather than just adding it to landfill immediately, is they keep the packaging to use in padding a hamper, or creating a buffer around a bowl filled with floral foam. We also use it to create a ‘bag’ to place wet floral foam in for wet packing.
Floral foam. This is a material that many florists are now trying to reduce using. Foam products are toxic and whilst they come to pieces they don’t break down as such.
Many moons ago, no one would think twice about creating a wreath on styrofoam or in a floral foam base, and dropping it in the ocean for a memorial. These days, I think it would be hard to find a florist who wouldn’t try to talk you out of it. Things are slowly changing for the better I believe.
If you are keen to see florists in action who are not using foam in their designs check out the hashtag #foamfreeflowers #nofloralfoam and #foamfreefloristry
Your florist may choose to use chicken wire as a base to work, or a new product such a a Floraguppy sphere (above), created by investment advisor turned inventor, James Wong. Wong, who grew up in a blue collar family, considered floral arrangements a luxury, something quite special, but struggled to perfectly put them back together when he would change the water. For years he experimented with everything from wire and rocks, wasting money on many gadgets before setting out to create something himself. The floraguppy is simply a spherical shaped piece (made up from two halves) that sits within your bowl that you guide your stems through and anchor in on the other side. It can be moulded in warm water so suits a variety of shaped vessels, and as the stems can go right through the holes in the guppy, you can lift the entire arrangement out without displacing the stems. This is environmentally friendly and economical tool, can be used up to 25 times!
At home I keep packing materials from orders to reuse myself. I keep wrapping paper where I can to reuse. I keep gift bags. We seperate our coffee grounds to use on the garden. We have a soda stream to carbonise water rather than buying premixed drinks in single use bottles.
Think about the small things you can do at home to help reduce waste.
Featured Image: Monash