I have worked in other florists before where it felt like no one cared but me. Everything that was stripped, removed and taken off the flowers was thrown on the floor and then eventually made its way into the rubbish bin destined for landfill. It was only because of my efforts of separating and sorting that at least some of the waste caused by our industry made it into the correct bins.
Unfortunately it is a fact, maybe not well known, that the floristry industry does create a huge amount of waste. Every bunch from the wholesaler comes individually wrapped, one to two rubber bands per bunch, extra fluff for transportation, the boxes that the flowers are packed in, then there is all the green waste, which if not disposed of correctly rots and causes methane gases.
However, at the Green Room we care. Not just myself, but all of us. We have so many guidelines in play to ensure that we are doing our best to exercise sustainable practices.
AFTER ALL, IF THE ENVIRONMENT DIES, SO DOES OUR INDUSTRY
It all starts with our green waste. We take extra care to separate everything that can be composted from everything that can not. We pile it all up into rubbish bins and once we are full, we give Vera from Alpine Blooms
a call. Vera is truely amazing. Not only does she supply us with an amazing array of locally grown flowers, but she also collects our green waste, takes it to her farm for composting and then returns our bins all within a day. Some times it is like magic,
over night our bins are returned for us to refill once again.
Then we have the cardboard boxes, the sleeves around roses, the plastics, rubber bands and what we call ‘fluff’ are all separated into their own areas. We reuse where we can, rubber bands are collected to be used again, appropriate boxes are kept for out of town deliveries or to carry special cargo like wedding bouquets , the fluff is kept for packing and the rest is collected and removed by the great team at Wastebusters
. Our local heroes who collect, sort and organise the towns rubbish and recycling. Our collection for them far outweighs our trip to the dump.
We are also lucky enough that we have two fantastic stores in town where we are able to refill. Between the two, all cleaning products, tea and coffee are refilled without waste. Honest Wholefoods
started in 2019 and we are super proud to be able to support another small local business and Wholefood Haven
is tucked away off Dungarvon Street, where we are even able to refill our toilet cleaner!
IT IS SMALL CHANGES LIKE THESE THAT MAKE A BIG IMPACT
Not only do dried flowers look beautiful but they are also very economical. I remember when I was doing my traineeship; flowers had a process of elimination. We of course would use as many as we could while they were at their peak and fresh. Then as they started to open they would be placed in a corner incase of a funeral where arrangements need to be as blooming as possible. Then if not used, they would make their way to the bin. We do of course get some flowers in just for drying but others are hung up once we are unable to use them in fresh bouquets. This intern lessen our impact on the environment by making use of a product in a different way. Lengthening their life.
Of course we aren’t perfect and we are trying our best learning as we go. We will continue to fight the battle of waste in our industry with the next focus on wedding and events. We hope that we will be able to inspire not only other people in the floristry world, but other businesses around Wanaka and beyond.
UNLESS SOMEONE LIKE YOU CARES A WHOLE AWFUL LOT, NOTHING IS GOING TO GET BETTER. IT'S NOT
-Dr Seuss The lorax
If you have other ways and ideas of how we can continue our path please let us know below!