Making a difference with sustainably grown and designed florals
When you bury your nose in a fresh bouquet of flowers, your first thought might not be about their environmental footprint or health impacts. To the delight of customers, many flowers are available year-round. What isn’t always so obvious is how far they have travelled, how they were grown and the waste they created along the way.
Most flowers that you find in Canadian shops are purchased through wholesalers who have sourced them because they ship well. Cut flowers arriving from outside Canada must pass stringent customs inspections designed to prevent the introduction of foreign pest infestations. For the grower to protect their product they often choose to make heavy use of fungicides, herbicides, and insecticides. This practice comes at a high cost to the health of the planet and those involved.
Many florists wear gloves when handling flowers because the toxic chemicals used may cause severe burns and damage to their skin. In extreme cases prolonged exposure is known to impact fertility, cause organ damage, cancer and even death.
So how do you avoid purchasing these types of flowers?
Today, many consumers make the conscious choice to buy organic produce. We can make similar choices by purchasing flowers that are available locally and grown sustainably. Buying local flowers means less travel thus reducing our environmental footprint. In choosing local, we have the opportunity to ask questions to florists and growers about practices and values.
A few questions to ask:
- How do they care for the soil and environment when growing their flowers?
- Are they engaged in sustainable floristry using design techniques that take care of both designer and the environment?
- Are they generally committed to breaking the cycle of waste, choosing low waste or compostable materials?
At Fleuris Studio & Blooms our values are rooted in sustainability.
We grow our flowers as part of an ecosystem and consider natural cycles.
- A part of our land is reserved for wildlife.
- We use beneficial insects to manage pests.
- We continually replenish the soil with compost and use eco-friendly practices.
- We work within the local flower season by offering our bouquets and arrangements to the consumer from April through October.
Our floral design techniques aim to reduce waste and consider our impact.
- We select only those flowers needed for each order thereby avoiding throwing flowers away.
- We have never used Oasis floral foams and our bouquets are wrapped in recyclable and compostable paper rather than cellophane.
- When we purchase flowers from other growers we ensure that they operate a sustainable flower farm. Only for weddings and events requiring large quantities of ingredients or specific blooms that we can’t source locally, we purchase flowers that come from the mainland or other parts of the world.
To learn more:
- See our contribution to Slow Flowers an article on sustainable floristry in Boulevard Magazine.
- Read Amy Stewart’s Flower Confidential on floral industry practices.