How sustainable and ethical are your wedding flowers?
Flowers are of course so beautiful - mother nature at her best and can absolutely transform a venue.
And while this is absolutely true, and it really is the most wonderful job sourcing, supplying and designing blooms for one of the biggest days in our client’s lives, we still need to be aware of how floristry (shockingly) can actually be harmful and that we need to make informed choices to avoid harming our people, resources and our planet.
But why? And what can we do about it?
Items that go straight to landfill after one use are bad news and can mostly be avoided. Request that your florist reduce or avoid the use of single-use items such as wire and plastic floral tape, and plastic delivery packaging. Ask questions about how much waste is being produced (and where it goes) before your flowers get to you. (Hopefully recycled or composted).
#nofloralfoam is a hashtag I’m seeing more and more of which is so encouraging. Florists and consumers alike are starting to realise that this single-use micro plastic is no good for us or the environment. Made up of tiny plastic particles that will never break down in our lifetime (or perhaps ever) and full of known carcinogens, this product is destined for landfill every time, despite some claims there are biodegradable versions. Many florists are now choosing to ditch the foam and use natural or re-usable mechanics in their designs.
More resources, carbon miles, preserving gases and single-use packaging is needed in order for blooms to be flown here and arrive in pristine condition.
By buying locally grown, you have a better chance of cutting down on this while also supporting New Zealand growers.
But far more importantly, I am seeing more and more articles on the topic of exploitation on many large-scale commercial flower farms overseas. Driven by huge consumer demand, especially for days like Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day, people are being overworked and abused, much like the fast fashion industry. This is sadly an ethical issue too and even more reason to keep your consumer dollars local. Buying from small scale and family owned growers is also far more rewarding with a pretty minimal supply chain you can easily trace.
Yes I’m biased, but flowers really do make a wedding venue shine. And given the hours spent planning by you andyour floral stylist, and the good money spent on flowers, it makes sense to repurpose them to get the most enjoyment out of them possible. Ask your florist to make the arch arrangement removable so you can sit it inside during reception, or ensure you get to keep your flowers to enjoy for the week or dry them to keep. Gift to your guests as they are leaving, or to a local business, church or preschool (kids LOVE flowers) – anyone who would appreciate them. At the end of their days, recycle any items that can be and compost the natural materials.
Your beautiful blooms will be even more meaningful when they are designed and created with mindfulness.
For more information on sustainable wedding flowers and our sustainable practices – email us on firstname.lastname@example.org
Written by Renee Harris of One Poppy Wedding Flowers for The Curator.