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Introducing A Top-of-the-Line Flower Delivery…Bicycle?

Ah, flower deliveries. The sun shining on your face, the wind rushing through your hair, fresh air filling your lungs… no, really! Since we’ve introduced our bicycle delivery trailer, deliveries to normally stressful or difficult locations have become, well, a breeze.

Boulder Blooms' Flower Delivery Bicycle

Boulder Blooms' Flower Delivery Bicycle

Our customers are becoming more and more conscious of the environmental impacts of their purchases. This is especially true of the demographic we call “Generation Y”. At our shop, we are lucky enough to be located right across the street from a college campus filled to the brim with Generation Y-ers. Our latest delivery system has been an attempt to catch the attention of these consumers and to be a little more considerate of our environment at the same time.

Delivering flowers on a bicycle not only reduces the carbon output created by driving a delivery vehicle around, but also becomes a powerful marketing tool in the right area. In our case, the frustration of finding a parking spot (scarce), paying parking fees (expensive), and still having to walk long distances to deliver flowers has been alleviated by using a bicycle rather than a car.

When we decided to purchase a delivery trailer, we assumed we’d be able to purchase something pre-fabricated to suit our needs. Unfortunately, we were not able to find exactly what we needed (what do you mean you don’t sell flower-delivery-bicycle trailers?), so we decided to make one ourselves. The closest we were able to find we purchased from www.wicycle.com; a landscape trailer with no cover to shelter arrangements. We are lucky enough to have a friend who was able to fabricate a customized, hinged cover for the trailer (I saw the inside of this guy’s toolbox once- he travels with his own fire extinguisher. This is a good friend to have.) and we finished the cover with brightly colored decals of our logo, phone number, and website. The inside of the trailer will be lined with a customized foam delivery system to help with stability, although the design of the trailer is deceptively stable as-is.

Our bicycle will be used primarily to deliver campus deliveries, arrangements to the mainly pedestrian downtown area, and to other areas with high levels of foot-traffic. In such a bicycle-friendly city, the marketing possibilities are endless- we can hand out free stems with our contact info before holidays and we are looking into a mobile vendor license so we can tote wrapped dozen-rose bouquets to sell on campus. The visibility and marketing impact we get from the trailer was well worth the small expense- two fringe benefits from what began as an environmentally conscious idea.

Flower Shop Network:  This article was written by Jerrica Park, co-owner of Boulder Blooms, an incredible flower shop in Boulder Colorado with a 100% eco-friendly attitude. Thanks for your contribution, Jerrica! View a video of the new delivery bike in action at YouTube.com.

Flore, Flowers As Medicine Deserves Recognition

Flower Shop Network knows Lori Friedlander is not one to toot her own horn, so we thought we would do it for her.  Lori is the owner of Flore, Flowers as Medicine and is nominated for an award at the 58th Annual Retailer Excellence Awards Gala in New York City. What an honor!

Although a “youngster” in the floral industry, Flore (opened April 2008) has achieved the reputation as a quality Southbury CT florist with an eco-friendly heart. In fact, Lori and co-designer Christopher Issacson have transformed Flore into a flower shop with a European flower market atmosphere specializing in eco-friendly products. With a growing desire to “go green”, Flore’s unique atmosphere and trendy eco-friendly products help keep Flore a special part of what Southbury has to offer.

With their fresh flowers, a signature line of flower and plant-based products for aromatherapy, as well as beauty and medicinal botanical products, Flore is clearly taking care of their customers and the environment at the same time. In a culture where “going green” is encouraged and celebrated, the shop has quickly gained the respect of its customers and fellow florists. Flore is already tops to their health-conscious customers who are both socially aware and have a preference for items that are environmentally friendly.

Whether Lori brings the trophy home or not, we know that Flore, Flowers as Medicine is a winner. That’s why Flower Shop Network salutes Flore for a job well done. Lori, you’re a winner to us!

How Flowers From The Rainforest Are Getting Good At Going Green

Take a look around and you’ll find more than one florist going green these days. However, how many do you actually see getting in their delivery vehicles and picking up recyclables to donate to charity? Exactly.

Flowers From The Rainforest is a flower shop in Fort Lauderdale, Florida whose owner, Sherry Tannozzini, decided to make the best of several available resources. Sherry has been taking in old cases as a way to go green, but a contact at a local charity mentioned a need for ink cartridges. That was the moment when Sherry realized that her delivery drivers visit several offices per day. Offering perks for the businesses that donate their runoff, Sherry has started collecting many items such as old cell phones, vases, ink cartridges, and even Christmas trees during January.

However, it’s more than just going green that earns Sherry and Flowers From The Rainforest a nod. The recyclables that Sherry collects are given to local non-profit charities. One gives points for each printer cartridge which can be used to buy toys for needy children. Another recycles phones for use in women’s shelters.

We are very proud of Sherry for her initiative and undertaking such a big hearted gesture. Way to go!

Eco-Friendly Practices: Saving Green While Going Green

With more and more consumers “going green” and encouraging environmentally friendly practices, flower shops are using tips like these to ensure the highest quality designs and products.

There are many benefits associated with more eco-conscious work habits. First, you gain the trust and patronage of conscientious consumers. Secondly, you reduce your energy dependence and energy bill by proxy. Another great benefit is that you encourage other people to adopt these habits. Every little bit helps.

On a side note, I know of an elementary school in my area that has used the money received from recycling alone to buy new playground equipment. With a student body of a few hundred K-2 students, the school has purchased more than a dozen new pieces of equipment thanks to the hard work of the students. Help keep our planet green for younger generations to enjoy beautiful flowers thanks to eco-friendly practices such as these:

  • Recycle paper, cardboard, plastic containers. Shredded newspaper comes in very handy as packing material. Cardboard boxes from a new shipment of vases can be used around the workstation to absorb water and protect that table from cuts. Empty milk jugs can be used to water plants or hold pre-mixed preservative. Print on both sides of the paper or cut used papers into squares for scrap paper.
  • Phase out / eliminate use of aerosol sprays.
  • Encourage and reuse returned containers. For example, offer a free arrangement with the return of 5 vases.
  • Buy local products when possible for a smaller carbon footprint. Buying products from local nurseries, growers, and suppliers helps keep travel costs down which reduces carbon monoxide emissions.
  • Turn off non-essential electrical appliances at day’s end. With the exception of security systems, floral refrigerators and other essential equipment, reduce your electricity bill and conserve energy by simply shutting off the lights and switching off your computer at the end of the day.
  • Favor the use of cloth towels over paper towels. Cloth towels will need regular cleaning but these costs are minimal when compared to continually supplying paper towels. Another option is to opt for durable shop towels over paper towels. These cloths tend to be made of stronger cloth fibers. Though as disposable as paper towels, shop towels tend to last longer under the stress of big jobs.
  • Fill delivery vehicles with gas during cooler times of the day. The popular belief is that gas vapors do not evaporate as quickly during the cooler morning and evening times. Therefore, you get more bang for your buck because you are gaining an extra fraction of a tank.
  • Recycle vase water by using on outdoor plants. Instead of taking a hose to outdoor plants, conserve water by using your vase water on outdoor plants. Instead of dumping the water from an arrangement that is a few days old, use it instead on outdoor plants.****This is only for clear vase water. If it has floral preservative in it you can not use it.*****
  • Replace standard light bulbs with energy efficient light bulbs. Looking much like a glass curly fry, these light bulbs come in a variety of watts but reduce wasted energy. Plus, they usually last as long if not longer.
  • Use plant-based cleaners to clean spills and workstations. Harmful chemicals can hurt the environment and your plants. Avoid using these chemicals and opt instead for plant based cleaners.

There are many ways to protect the environment. Energy efficiency is at the top of the headlines almost daily. Efforts to save the environment are gaining popularity and spreading like wildfire. Tips like these are a great place to start because they help everyone go green while saving some green.

Inexpensive “Green” Wedding Flowers For North West

Ask the Expert: What flowers are in season in the Great NW on 7/4?

I am planning a wedding to commence on the 4th of July this year.  I am trying to plan it as “‘green,” local, and inexpensive as possible.  My colors are green, purple, white, and perhaps bold yellow highlights.  Please email me your response as soon as possible.  Thank you! Shawnicee

New York Times Recognizes Eco-friendly Santa Cruz Florist

Kudos to Santa Cruz florist Teresa Sabankaya and her flower shop Bonny Doon Garden Co. for their unique eco-friendly flower sales approach. This Valentine’s Day, their sales pitch is more than romance and red hearts. In fact, with their “green” approach you might think it was St. Paddy’s Day. Bonny Doon Garden Co lets customers know the “green” status of the flowers they sell by labeling flowers organic, certified or locally grown. According to the New York Times article “… A bucket held red and fuchsia anemones that were ‘organic’. Ecudorean roses the size of baseballs were ‘certified’. Roses from a nearby farm were ‘locally grown’.” Customers who want organic flowers can easily find them at Bonny Doon. But, giving customers, who normally don’t think about the eco-friendly concept, an introduction to eco-friendly products is a great way to engage them in the eco-friendly dialogue. Creating beautiful flowers arrangements and selling gorgeous flowers by the stem maybe the ultimate goal of Bonny Doon Garden Co., but their effort to connect the customer with the environment is admirable. It is nice to see a florist balance their need to provide a product and service with the need of being a good steward for the whole world.

Flower Shop Network Salutes Arkansas Green Industry Association’s Support of the Keep Arkansas Beautiful Commission

The Arkansas Green Industry Association (ARGIA – formally the Arkansas Nurserymen’s Assoc.) held their annual convention last week in Hot Springs Arkansas. This year the underlying theme was “getting involved” both, with the association and the community. In an effort to get involved, the association gave its support to the Keep Arkansas Beautiful Commission and it’s environmentally friendly program. Going green and being pro-environment is not a new concept for ARGIA, so supporting the Keep Arkansas Beautiful Commission was a natural fit. As Anne Fuller, ARGIA director, put it “our industry was green when green wasn’t cool.” Nurseries and landscapers for many years have used organic and recycled products; created green-scapes that encourage the benefits of nature; promoted the benefits of gardening and giving back to the earth. In fact, the [Read more…]

Eco Friendly Foliage For A Green World

Everywhere I look the term eco friendly is associated with some product. Food, clothing and skin care products have all been linked to the eco friendly trend. So it didn’t surprise me when reading the August issue of Floral Management that greenery (foliage) was considered a good fit for the eco friendly lifestyle.

According to the article foliage appeals to the increased interest in an organic look and an emphasis on things representing the environment. In fact, using greenery only to create a floral arrangement is becoming a trend. The use of assorted foliage can give you the same depth and high design style as cut flowers. Greenery is actually more diverse and colorful than one would think. Foliage comes in a variety of colors dark green, medium green, gray/blue toned, green/white variegated and green/burgundy tones as well as a variety of textures.

It is interesting that a seemingly secondary player in floral design has been pushed to main player status with this eco friendly trend. I wonder how each one of us can create something that follows the eco friendly trend while fulfilling the aesthetic demands of the floral industry.