Flower foam is not the only problem in the floristry industry, it’s all the other single use paraphernalia that we use.
Chicken wire, taped and cable tied to a structure, then stuffed with plastic test tubes, makes me feel a bit queasy.
This is presented as the solution, the way to work without foam, but the only time it’s really acceptable to use this method, is when you know you’ll be back to the event to deconstruct the arrangement and salvage the materials to use again. I struggle with this concept a bit. I use moss and wire more and more now, but anyone who’s used chicken wire knows it’s pitfalls.
I have to admit that often I don’t go back to site after the event. It’s an extra cost to the couple to pay for my time to drive to dismantle an arrangement, and often I’m travelling long distances to venues. So, is leaving moss and wire in place really any better than foam?
Using chicken wire in vessels, makes really good sense to me. I know I’ll get the vessels back, and I can use the wire again and again. It’s actually a time saver.
I already charge a fee which covers my time to deal with waste - I’m often left with a huge mound of cardboard, green waste, plastic wraps, elastic bands and packaging from each job. I break down the boxes for the compost, and have recently started using Florismart who actually collect my recycling, which is wonderful.
But, should I write into my contract that the client must pay for my time to go back to the site to pick apart the wire structure? I think the answer is yes, but only a small few are going to understand and be on board with this.
It’s like charging a green tax for their wedding or event.
I do the following things, but would love to know what other steps I could take to improve my ecological footprint. If you have any tips, please share them.
Reusable cable ties - these are a new find. My father in law bought some to try to childproof his kitchen, and I thought it was the best invention ever! Available online.
I never use cellophane - my gift bouquets are presented in recycled glass jars and paper. The same goes for bridal bouquets. I am on the hunt for a decent ecological sleeve, that will keep the stems fresh, so I can do without the jar and just wrap gift bouquets in paper.
Buying from local farms - this considerably reduces waste. No plastic wrap, elastic bands or packaging. I often buy less flowers, as there is no minimum spend, so waste fewer stems as a result.
Don’t buy stuff - I try to limit buying new props for my studio, using and reusing the same urns and jars again and again. It’s also about being inventive and finding ways of doing things without buying new - such as my garden cane solution to the arch structure photographed I used materials that I already had at home (visit my Instagram to see the mechanics). It’s the old ‘reduce’ message!
Avoid synthetic materials - for ribbons, runners, cleaning products, flower food etc.