Green Day: Choosing Eco Friendly Flowers.
Earth laughs in flowers,” said the great Ralph Waldo Emerson. Inherently products of the natural world, flowers are a symbol of beauty and are an essential part of most wedding day celebrations. If you would like to incorporate more eco-friendly elements into your wedding, flowers are a great place to start. Conventional cut flowers are grown with pesticides and often with unsustainable growing practices. Many conventional flower farms also grow their flowers in countries where they pay workers very low wages to keep costs low to American consumers. There is hope, however. Recent demand for sustainable products has spread into the world of wedding flowers. Here are a few suggestions to help you find flowers that match your green values:
1. Find a Green Florist – Ask your florist if they have access to local, in-season, organically grown flowers. These florists should be certified by Veriflora. Veriflora has set the standard for growing sustainable cut flowers and potted plants. Many florists also participate in Fair Trade practices . Fair Trade certification ensures that the flower growing industry maintains decent working conditions for farm workers, fair terms of trade for farmers, and local environmental sustainability.
2. Put Your “Green” Thumb to Good Use – If you’ve got a knack for growing plants, why not grow your own flowers for your wedding? You’ll save money and you’ll have complete control over how they are grown. Make sure to have a back-up plan in case something goes awry. Also, remember to plan your garden to bloom in time with your wedding. If gardening is not your thing, head to your local farmer’s market and buy your flowers directly from the source. You’ll likely get what’s in season and save a lot of money to boot. For my own wedding, my husband and I went directly to an organic farm near the ceremony site the day before and cut our own flowers for table decorations. Our friends volunteered to arrange them in vases I collected throughout the year. They turned out better than I ever would have imagined. If you don’t live near a farmer’s market or don’t have access to a U-pick farm, check your local nursery for plants and flowers to use for decoration and bouquets.
3. Reduce/Reuse/Recycle – You’ve heard this phrase before, and it applies here as well.
4. Go Flower Free – Instead of using fresh flowers for decoration and bouquets, get creative! Let your imagination take over and personality shine through.