How do I find a florist that uses sustainable flowers?
Using eco-friendly or sustainable flowers in weddings has become popular over the last few years, thanks in part to the widespread farm-to-table food movement. “My best advice to any couple who wants sustainable flowers is to source locally and seasonally from flower farmers in their own community,” says Debra Prinzing, an author on several books about growing flowers and founder of SlowFlowers.com. This is because the majority of blooms available in the United States have been flown in from South America, which results in a huge transportation footprint.
So how should you track down these local flowers to use in your wedding? The first step is to simply communicate. When interviewing florists, tell them you want to use local and in-season flowers (bonus: you’ll feel good about the stems and you’ll probably wind up saving some money too!). If you want to do research before talking to a florist, SlowFlowers.com and The Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers have a search function where you can find florists that use locally grown flowers in your area. Should you want to buy your own, look out for Salmon Safe, VeriFlora Certified, Certified Naturally Grown and specific state organic labels (like California Certified Organic) on flower packaging.
Why Are Some Flowers Not Organic?
Some farms use chemicals to keep insects at bay, which can end up affecting the organic matter in the soil, and in some cases, causing illness in the workers who handle them. To make sure your blooms are as sustainable as possible, look to companies that are farm-to-table, so to speak — companies that cut the stems and have the flowers to you within a few days, like The Bouqs Co. (and less refrigeration time means less electricity use!). Ask your florist about in-season and local flowers to ensure the freshest, best quality stems at the best price. If you have your heart set on a flower that isn’t in season and a seasonal replica won’t do, look for flowers that are VeriFlora-certified. This means that the blooms aren’t grown with chemicals or grown under harsh working conditions. Don’t want your beautiful flowers thrown away after your celebration? Work with a company that will pick up the arrangements and reuses or donate them to those in need such as, Rebloom or Repeat Roses. Another eco-friendly choice is to choose potted blooms, plants or topiaries as centerpieces. This way, you can take them home and replant them after the wedding.
Not a flower person? Walk down the aisle with a brooch bouquet, an arrangement of silk stems or a bundle of farmer’s market fruits and veggies (kale, for example, has a sturdy stalk and beautiful green foliage) and decorate reception tables with things you can reuse in your home after the wedding, like soy-based candles or stacks of books.
What are other Eco-Friendly Flower Options for My Wedding
Others ways to be eco-friendly when purchasing your wedding flowers
Whenever you buy flowers, it’s a good idea to support a local florist near you, rather than ordering online. This will help boost your local economy, and it also takes less time to get to you, resulting in fewer carbon emissions.
When flowers are shipped overseas, they have a huge carbon footprint. For example, in America alone, the roughly 100 million roses grown, shipped and purchased on Valentine’s Day produces approximately 9,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions. That’s crazy?
Sustainable Flower Solutions
Are there other Options for Eco-Friendly Wedding Flowers
Yes! As Creative as you desire. There are many options to fresh flowers that are an alternative to Eco-Friendly Flowers for your Wedding
But behind all those pretty blooms lurks a less attractive backstory. Many of the flowers we buy at our local florist are grown thousands of miles away, often loaded with pesticides and harvested by underpaid, unprotected workers. The cut flowers are then flown in and rushed to the store in refrigerated containers, creating a massively over-sized carbon footprint.
- Potted Plants
- Hanging Flower Baskets
- Seed Starter Kits -If your recipient has more of a green thumb, then a themed seed starter kit might make a lovely gift. This one contains edible flowers. and comes with seed packets, planters, soil discs, and markers.
- Herb Gardens — For the foodie in your life, consider planting some of their favorite herbs (e.g., basil, thyme, mint, rosemary, lavender) in a pretty container so they’ll always have fresh herbs on hand to flavor their favorite recipes.
- Bonsai Trees
- Silk/Fabric Flowers
- Wooden Flowers-For a more rustic look- hand-painted wooden flowers.
- Paper Flowers