The theme of this year’s earth day, coming up Saturday April 22, is Invest in Our Planet. The effects of the environment and global warming play a huge role in the flower industry. We know, as many industries do, that our business is only as sustainable as the earth we rely on. We also know, the flower industry has a reputation for environmental unfriendliness. While this is improving, as an industry changes are slow. Team members at Garden Party Flowers are very conscious of our environmental impact and are constantly looking at ways to reduce the impact our business leaves on the environment. We are working with our partners and growers to make sustainability part of our conversations and an ongoing priority.
Think Global, Shop Local
We source 90% of our flowers locally. We work with growers who value the environment, often paying more to source local blooms when possible to lessen our impact on the environment. We have exclusive arrangements with local growers who will be growing for us this summer. In our studio, we budget to have a more diversified recycling program including soft plastics, compost, battery recycling, etc in addition to the standard cardboard and waste disposal we are provided. We’re focusing our efforts where we can have the most meaningful impact. We value sustainability and choosing local above cost savings. Every decision, partner, supplier and product we touch is done with consideration of our goal to reduce environmental impact. It’s important to us to continue to move the sustainability dial and be transparent about our process.
Here are ways we’re currently incorporating the three R’s into our business.
Reduce - We’re minimising the use of floral foam in all of our designs. We use compostable wrapping whenever possible but aren't yet 100% compostable. To reduce our carbon emissions, our staff uses Modo car sharing for our deliveries and auction pick-ups and most of our team take public transport to work.
Reuse - We reuse chicken wire and bubble wrap from received packaging to secure vases during delivery. Our corporate subscription program involves a vase-swap which reuses all glassware. We send all pots and planters back to our growers so we can pick them up again full of fresh flowers!
Recycle - The plastic flower sleeves our flowers are wrapped in are recycled. We compost leaves and stems from flower processing in partnership with Regenerative Waste Labs.
Regenerative Waste Labs
Every week, someone from our neighbour business, Regenerative Waste Labs (RGL) walks over to collect one of the three compost bins we have on loan. They use our flower waste to create compost and test compostable products. Using our waste and the waste of other local businesses, RGL provides accessible, scientific testing that enables businesses to assess the bio-degradation behaviour and eco-toxic effects of their products.
This business began through a conversation between three Vancouver-based waste experts, about emerging bio-plastics and the lack of waste management solutions for them. After forming a research collaboration, they launched RWL in 2020.
Regenerative Waste Labs’ goal is to support sustainable production and consumption by helping businesses design truly sustainable products and find value in organic waste, a vision Garden Party Flowers supports wholeheartedly. Learn more about designing, procuring, and managing sustainable products, packaging and business at www.regenwastelabs.com.
Learn more about Earth Day 2023, Saturday April 22, and how you can Invest in our Planet at www.earthday.org/earth-day-2023