>Let’s Hug a Tree….Shall We?


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.

  • To reduce: choose fewer flowers. Sometimes a single flower can make a big statement. Simplicity can exude elegance.
  • To Reuse: Donate your flowers to a nursing home or hospital and brighten up the day of someone who could really use it. You could also find out who is getting married right before or after you at your ceremony site and see about sharing flowers with them. This is another great way to save money as well as resources.
  • To recycle: When it comes time to get rid of your flowers, throw them into your compost pile to be turned back into soil.
  • 4. Go Flower Free – Instead of using fresh flowers for decoration and bouquets, get creative! Let your imagination take over and personality shine through.

  • Faux flowers have come a long way. Try silk , fabric , or origami flowers for something unique. Stay away from traditional plastic faux flowers, as their production is harmful to the environment and do not decompose in landfills for many years.
  • To have and to hold. Have your bridesmaids hold something other than a flower bouquet like a beautiful silk fan or a cute purse. If you are getting married in the wintertime, have your maids wear a silk shawl to keep bodies warm and their hands busy.
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