December 10th, 2021
It doesn’t come as a surprise to know that weddings consist of numerous flowers! Thinking about what happens to your flowers after your big day can be a hard pill to swallow. We took the time to research and speak with different florists to learn about how selecting your wedding florals can be more sustainable.
But first, we wanted to feature Bloom n’ Toss! Bloom n’ Toss is a wonderful company that picks up flowers that were used at events (that are not re-sellable) and they donate these flowers to the physically and mentally disabled, the blind, cancer patients, seniors, veterans, and frontline workers in a crisis. Their services bring smiles to people’s faces instead of bringing flowers to the trash!
In what ways does Willrett practice or encourage being green?
“Sustainability is a key part of our mission. In addition to sourcing locally grown products we are also working to reduce the use of Oasis floral foam in our studio. Floral foam is harmful to the environment and we try to avoid using it whenever possible. We also compost and recycle almost all of our waste.”
If a bride wants to be eco-friendly and asks what to do with the flowers after the wedding, what would your best suggestion be?
“Donating flowers after the wedding is a wonderful way to make sure the flowers are enjoyed as long as possible. We also compost all of the flowers and greenery we clean up after the wedding.”
Are there any conscious decisions that can be made when it comes to choosing the types of flowers incorporated in an arrangement? In other words, are some florals more sustainable than others?
“Absolutely, a locally grown flower goes directly from the field to the florist with minimal transport. Imported flowers have a much larger carbon footprint because of the distance they have to travel to reach our studio. Being open to using less traditional locally grown flowers instead of traditional blooms like imported roses and hydrangeas can make your wedding much more sustainable.”
By limiting the usage of blooms, and implementing more greenery, you can avoid importing flowers which allows you to use in season & locally grown greenery. You can also choose to rent in more candles and unique pieces of decor that fill the table but don’t necessarily use anything that’s living. That way, if a florist can repurpose and reuse at future events, that’s being eco-friendly.
Jori Foreman, owner and lead designer from Romee Willow Florals, explained that it’s best to use flowers grown in the season that your wedding is in for the freshest and most local options. For example, if you love peonies, get married in May or June. Or if you love dahlias, get married in September.”
Using dried flowers repurposes florals that would have been thrown away and gives them another life! Perfect for fall weddings, it’s an awesome way to avoid some of the most wasteful parts of the floral industry.
Does your florist make their own candles? Consider every votive that a wedding might have, if you have 5 votives per guest table and you have 20 guest tables, that’s 100 votives. Some florists choose to throw votives away OR purchase new wax candles to fill in the votive container. While this isn’t a process most florists have, some florists like Pollen, they pour all their own candles and repurpose all their votives so there is no waste.
Thinking about throwing out all of your wedding flowers can be overwhelming because of their short life and of course, the expenses that went into it. Consider these options when it comes to deciding what to do with your florals after the big day:
Romee Willow Florals almost always offers a donation service for after the wedding. They mainly work with Bloom n’ toss, an organization that picks up the flowers from us the next day and brings them to nursing homes and hospitals for staff and patients to enjoy. If a donation is not possible then they compost the flowers.
Have you ever wondered what the foam-like green blocks are when you get an arrangement? This is called floral foam! Although floral foam is much-loved for its convenience, its impact on the environment is extremely bad because it is non-biodegradable and non-recyclable.
Fun Fact! 1 block of floral foam is equal to 10 shopping bags!
Jori Foreman from Romee Willow Florals, uses chicken wire instead of floral foam. She explained that “Floral foam is very toxic to people and the environment because it has a lot of chemicals in it. We use chicken wire inside vases and also on ceremony structures. They hold the flowers just as well and they are completely reusable.”
If you have other suggestions as to how florists can be more green, let us know in the comments! We are happy to add more content to help our readers think of sustainable ideas.
– Ohana Events