With this month being ‘Plastic Free July’, we thought this was the perfect time to share Coco & Bloom contribution in the fight to protect our fragile planet. In April, we celebrated Earth Day and touched on this topic via our social media channels. However, whilst it’s nice to adopt good practices in celebration of our planet, these practices need to be carried out every day.
How can we be an eco-friendly florist?
We are by no means perfect, but we are definitely trying our best in a world full of plastics, big and small, to be more environmentally friendly. We headed over to plasticfreejuly.org to take their challenge and see how we could further ourselves in this battle against change.
Whilst most florists, our team included, are in the industry because of their love for flowers, nature and the beauty of it all, it is quite unbelievable how much of a negative impact the floristry industry can have on our planet.
At Coco & Bloom, we aim to reduce our negative impact on the environment from our activities and our product selection. We aim to raise awareness amongst our team encouraging them to manage waste correctly by recycling when possible. In order to achieve these aims we need to educate you, our customers, which hopefully this blog post will begin to do. You’ll see we are beginning to implement a sustainable purchasing policy with our stockists alongside buying local where possible.
Playing our part as a sustainable florist
In the day to day running of our shop, we find it simple to reduce the need for single-use plastics, we use bio-degradable cellophane for flower wrapping, brown paper bags instead of plastic bags and we use recycled packaging for our gifts and bouquets. It’s in the creation of larger floral displays, often funeral tributes, which require floral foam. Floral foam is a product which cannot be recycled as it is oil-based. We use it because its convenient however this cannot be an excuse we fall back on time after time. We are always keeping ourselves up to date with the latest innovations in eco-floristry. We have recently started to use a natural floral foam which is made from Basalt and a type of sucrose which is 100% biodegradable. The basalt is also extremely good for improving soil quality so any leftovers we have can be used as a replacement for potting soil.
How can you request sustainable floristry?
We feel its about educating you too. Talking to our customers about possible options for sustainable arrangements and bouquets is the first step. Whilst the convenience of floral foam allows for easy creations and stable transportation, using the natural floral foam comes at an expense to our planet so another option is to use chicken wire and moss. The chicken wire is reusable and without the use of foam it allows the flowers to drink naturally and therefore stay fresh for longer.
For larger arrangements for weddings and events this would need to be made a the venue rather than be transported which with venue access times always a constraint it can make this option rather impossible. For those planning a wedding or event, access times for set up should be a top priority when requesting sustainable floristry.
How can flower choice make an impact?
If you popped by our shop or scrolled our Instagram back in June you will have seen and heard us shouting about British Flower Week. This is one of our favourite weeks of the year, not only because the flowers are simply beautiful and grown so close by but also because using local flowers has a huge benefit to the environment. Throughout the year the majority of our flowers come direct from the flower market in Holland, these flowers are grown mainly in Europe however in the winter months we also have flowers coming from further afield to meet the demand for specific requests from our customers. Using British flowers majorly reduces our carbon footprint, this is why we also like to grow our own on the farm. Whilst our dahlias seem to be the highlight of our home-grown flowers, so far this year we’ve had peonies and of course not forgetting to take advantage of the year round foliage. You must know how much we love foliage!
Just as much as our love for foliage is our love of dried flowers – another great way to minimise leftover flower stock. Flowers are very simple to dry and whilst sometimes its a bit trial and error, alongside our purchased dried stock we also have some of our own dried flowers. We love using dried flower alongside fresh flowers in arrangements. Not only does it look beautiful and provide a different texture, these dried flowers can be reused again.
If you would like to play a part in sustainable floristry but dried flowers are not quite your style, artificial silk flowers are also a great alternative. Gone are the days of plastic flowers which look as fake as they are, our range of artificial flowers made from silk look as good as the real thing. Silk flowers last forever if you ensure they are kept clean by a light dusting every so often.
We have an extensive selection of dried and silk flowers in our shop, bouquets can be made simply of these. If you have a vase already at home, feel free to bring it in and we can arrange in store for you, alternatively choose a new vase in store.
The definition of ecological sustainability originated in 1987 and is described as one that satisfies the needs of the present without adversely affecting the conditions for future generations. This is why being eco-friendly also extends to our choice of products stocked in our shop.
Myrtle & Soap create handmade soaps and skincare ranges using all natural and plant-based ingredients. These materials are all sustainably sourced and packaged in biodegradable paper bags, whilst they use glass or aluminium containers for their skincare products.
If you’ve purchased items from our homeware section, it’s quite likely one of these items is from Nkuku. Nkuku was founded on the principle to support and work with artisans around the world focusing on handmade techniques, traditional skills and considering the impact on the environment. They achieve this through their use of natural and recycled materials. The list of recycled products they use is endless, from recycled glass, recycled cotton paper to recycled saris and leftovers from the garment industry.
As your first step in becoming plastic free, a Chilly’s water bottle is an easy start. Chilly’s mission is to accelerate the everyday use of reusable products. Founded in 2010, Chilly’s had the aim to provide people to always have cold water on-the-go without having to buy single-use plastic bottles. The Chilly’s bottle was born and since they have expanded their range to include a large selection of reusable products.
Finally, something that we all purchase multiple times throughout the year, gift cards! All our gift cards in store are without plastic wrappers. Alongside Caroline Gardener and Paper Salad cards, we also have a local card designer stocked, Made By Jo, individually hand-painted and delivered by Jo straight to our door.
How can you take a step towards being plastic-free?
For those of you who want to start playing your part today, head over to plasticfreejuly.org and take their challenge and then take the first step with us.