Let's face it - the floral design industry is notorious for waste and environmentally unfriendly practices.. Some of this waste is obvious to consumers, like the plastic sleeves that most flowers are wrapped in, and some of the waste is less obvious.
When I first started out as a floral designer, I didn't really think about what I was coming into contact with as "safe" or "unsafe" or give much thought to what I was throwing in the trash.
After years of research and a lot of trial and error, here's some ways in which TwinFlower Studio is reducing its environmental impact by choosing more sustainable routes:
#1: Going Foam Free
Traditional green floral foam is laden with chemicals such as formaldehyde, carbon black, and phenolic foam. It breaks down into microplastics, getting into our waterways which adversely affect aquatic life.
We choose to go foam-free by using grid structures like floral tape, chicken wire, kenzans (steel floral "frogs"), or biodegrable products like Agra Wool and Oshun Pouches.
#2: Avoiding Unnecessary Packaging
We try whenever possible to wrap things with less packaging. Warmer weather is a blessing as we need less cover for flowers heading out the store. In the cold winter months when extra wrapping is needed, we encourage our clients to recycle, repurpose, or return the packaging to avoid having it end up in the landfill. We wrap our flowers with recyclable brown paper, use recyclable brown paper bags, and tie our packages with raffia or jute twine - both can go in the compost bin!
When shopping for flowers, we do our best to choose to support local (less transportation & packaging), or find options that are not excessively wrapped.
#3: Upcycling & Repurposing
A lot of commercially grown flowers are wrapped in single-use plastic sleeves that are challenging to recycle and are often not accepted by local recycling facilities. We use this packaging whenever possible to create "cushions" around arrangements going out on delivery or when transporting fragile items like glass and ceramic vessels.
Boxes in which our flowers come in make for great delivery boxes when we are doing event set ups, and the plastic buckets that some growers deliver their flowers in are useful both in the store as a display bucket, but also as a vessel for large statement pieces such as inserts for outdoor urns or entryway/statement arrangements.
#4: Shopping with the Seasons
In an ideal world, all of us would understand that flowers go through seasons and are not readily available all year long. By choosing to work predominantly or event exclusively with the flowers & foliages that are in season, we avoid unnecessary transportation from great distances, are able to coordinate arrangements and events with the time of year, and put less strain on the flowers that have to be shipped from different countries.
Locally grown, seasonal blooms are hardier, last longer, and give you a beautiful seasonal display that you just can't replicate with stressed blooms that are out of season.
#5: Vase Return Program
We accept clean vases or containers that are free of damage (cracks or chips) at our store. We have punch cards to track your returns - every return counts for $1.00 credit to be used at our store!
By repurposing vases and containers, we promote recycling and keep glass and ceramics out of the landfill.
If you know of others ways in which we could improve or have questions for us, feel free to send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org