Recycling at Sweet Blossoms!

Today’s topic?  Going green here at Sweet Blossoms!  Operating a business that has the smallest carbon footprint as possible has been a priority of mine since I started the company three years ago.  One thing that became apparent to me immediately was there is a huge potential for waste when looking at the way that flowers are packaged and sent to me.  There isn’t much I can do about the way the flowers are packaged, but I CAN do something about what I do with the packaging once it’s here.  Here is an example of what the packages look like, when they arrive to me.

 
Some flowers arrive in boxes.  They are typically rubber banded and also have plastic around the blooms.  Others arrive in plastic buckets of water with cardboard and plastic around the tops-LOTS of resources being used to package all the pretty that makes your wedding so lovely!
When I process my flowers, they are placed in plastic buckets with water and “flower food”-more resources being used!

 
After all the flowers are used for a wedding, we are left with dealing with the “trash.”  So what do we have left?  They’re not in the pictures, but first we need to deal with all the buckets of water and any potential extra flowers.  Extra flowers are made into smaller designs and given away.  One of my favorite things to do is create A Lonely Bouquet.  This allows others to be able to experience the joy of having fresh flowers in their home.  The water from the buckets is used to water outdoor plants.
Next we have to deal with all the plastic and cardboard.  Take a look at the two pictures above.  What do you see?  We have plastic buckets.  I love these!  I reuse these here at the studio, which is great because it means I don’t have to buy more buckets!  We have several boxes of cardboard and a bag of plastic.  Guess what?  Those are recyclable!  In my county, recyclables are picked up once a week, which means there’s really no excuse not to recycle as much as you can. I only have to get everything to the side of the curb!  We also have a giant bag of clippings.  You can do one of two things with these.  You can either compost these clippings, and make an amazing mulch for your flowers.  Or, you can have the county pick up your clippings as well.  In my county, as long as they are clearly marked, you can put these out to be picked up weekly as well.  
In the second picture, do you see the little white pail, over to the right?  From this entire wedding, that trashcan is filled maybe 1/3 of the way with actual trash which was swept up off the floor after I picked up the recyclables.  
Lastly, I want to talk about rubber bands.  There are usually 1-2 rubber bands, sometimes more for every bunch of flowers I receive.  What to do with them?? Here are several ideas.  The first is that you can compost them-technically rubber bands can break down, so that’s one option.  However, I get A LOT of rubber bands.  I don’t think this is a super practical option.  I think it’s better to reuse them.  I give rubber bands back to schools (teachers LOVE receiving supplies), post offices, and local farmer’s markets to be reused.
My point here, is of course to show you the things I do in my studio to be as green as possible-because that is important to me.  But I also want you to look at this and see that this isn’t hard!  You can do all of this too, with your small business, or just around your house!  Brides, I bet you are amazed at the amount of packaging that is coming in with all your registry gifts, and your wedding favors and all those other items that you’re ordering for your wedding.  Most of that packaging is cardboard and plastic, right?  If I can take all these materials and get more than 90% of the waste from each wedding in recycling bins, then YOU can definitely do it too!
And now, because I just can’t write to you all and give you only pictures of my trash……Here is a quick peek at Sarah’s beautiful bouquet that came out of all this trash!  
Thank you to Kirsten Smith Photography for the beautiful image-more to come!

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