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25 Ways Flower Shops Can Recycle For Earth Day

Earth Day is a unique holiday where we take the time to celebrate the earth and it’s resources that we tend to look over in our busy lives. Everything we have has come from the earth: the wood in our houses, the water in our coffee, the food we’re eating for lunch, and so much more. Isn’t it our time to give back?

This Earth Day, find a new way to use the 3 R’s in your daily life: Reduce Reuse Recycle!

Recycle for Earth DayHere are some great methods florists already use in their flower shops. (If you’re a florist, perhaps you can find a way to start using some of these great, earth-friendly actions.)

  • 1. Recycle and reuse cardboard.
  • 2. Encourage customers to bring in glass vases for reuse or recycling.
  • 3. Give bubblewrap to the local packaging store (UPS).
  • 4. Use terry towels instead of paper towels at your design table.
  • 5. Reuse packing material whenever possible.
  • 6. Use recycled office paper to make notepads for shop use.
  • 7. Use a hybrid or other earth-friendly vehicle to do deliveries.
  • 8. Empty cooler bucket water onto outdoor plants.
  • 9. Recycle stems and other organic waste in a compost, or find a local composter to give it to.
  • 10. Give flower boxes back to wholesalers.
  • 11. Keep mug boxes and other pretty containers to use as ‘economy’ containers by using a plastic liner for small arrangements.
  • 12. Save extra pieces of ribbon, fabric, cardboard tubes and foil to give to local pre-schools for art projects. [Read more…]

Treasures From The Back Room: The Florists New Source of Creativity

Floral Designers in the Back Room

The dreaded back room…. every florist knows exactly what I mean… The old vases, the stale and crumbly floral products, the mounds and mounds of ribbon, buckets, boxes… ya, the back room

I’m here to tell you, it doesn’t have to be scary! The backroom is a great place for florists to GET CREATIVE! Think of it as your artist’s studio. It’s time we see all of our old junk for what it is = $$!

Sell-able – if its sell-able, get it OUT of the backroom!

  • Vases – Those decorative “It’s a Boy!” new baby flower vases won’t sell themselves! Put them on the self for impulse buyers! “Oh this is sooo cute, my friend just had a boy, she’d love this!” Put a variety of vases on your shelves; add a few quick-and-easy hand-tied bouquets for examples.
  • Ribbon – create a Ribbon Station in your shop! This is a great way to show the types of ribbon you carry. Also consider selling your ribbon by the yard. Crafters and scrapbookers LOVE ribbon and you will quickly become a favorite stop!
  • Wedding/Party Supplies – Create unique floral environments with your party and wedding supplies.

Usable/Recyclable – Step out of the box for a second and take a look at your backroom… See anything you might use or ‘reuse’ in some way?

  • Packing Materials – See the picture to the right? Those circles are made of white polycord strapping material. You know, the white cords on your shipped boxes. I’ve also seen top floral designers use cardboard, cellophane, mailing tubes and so much more!
  • Candles – Many people burn candles in their shops and homes… Don’t throw away those lovely jars after the wick is spent! Put the used candle into your freezer! After a few hours, the used wax should shrink just enough to pop it out. You might also start a candle-jar recycling program.
  • Stencils – One way to give new life to an old vase is by stenciling a new design! Your local craft store will have a large variety of stencils for you to use. You can use regular craft acrylic paint on your terracotta vases and enamel paint for your glass vases.

Labeling – after things sit in our backrooms for a while, we forget the true value of what we have.

A great tip for keeping up with our $ and backroom is by labeling everything with the amount we paid for it. You can easily see how much money you have sitting on your shelves. Next time you get a shipment of decorative vases, label them! ([total shipment cost] ÷ [number of vases]=total $ per vase) Now, you can quickly price a small, for-pick-up arrangement at a lower price without worrying about losing $. (Great for sales, promotions and clearance events!)

This post is brought to you by local Cambridge MA florists.
Not in Cambridge? No problem, use Flower Shop Network‘s real local florist directory to find YOUR real local florist!

Last-Minute Earth Day Celebration Ideas

Earth Day is a day designed to inspire awareness and appreciation for the Earth’s environment.
I love Earth Day! I don’t think there is anything more inspiring than the earth and mother nature. Together, they have created some of the most fascinating and intricate forms in our universe. We are lucky to call the earth our home, and in this fast-paced world of cellphones, computers, skyscrapers and concrete we tend to neglect her.

So what can you do this Earth Day to show our great planet some love? Well, here are some great and very easy ideas you can do at home or work to get you in the Earth Day spirit!

1. Make A Pledge

The easiest thing to do is make yourself a pledge or resolution to help your planet in your daily life. This can be as easy as picking up litter when you see it on the sidewalk, turn off the faucets in your home when you are not actively using them, stop using plastic water bottles — there are so many ways you can help! If we all do these small gestures, they will add up!

The US EPA has created this great Pick 5 For the Environment pledge that allows you to pick 5 small actions to add to your routine that will make a world of difference! Check it out!

Once you’ve picked your 5, write them down or print them out and hang them somewhere you will see them daily to remind you. A great place for them is on a bulletin board at your shop. You and all of your employees should tack their 5 to your Earth Day pledge board. This will remind you of the things you pledged to do this Earth Day, as well as set an example for your customers and other visitors.

2. Clean Up Your Neighborhood

Take a moment of your day to walk around the block at your house or shop and pick up any trash or debris. While you are walking, really notice the small blessings nature has provided us with. In the floral industry, it is easy to look over natural beauty sometimes. I think, being close to nature and natural materials on a daily basis, we should be more inclined to find beauty in some of the most unique places. Even if your block is surrounded with skyscrapers and concrete, I guarantee you could find some strong, little plant making the most of a crack in the sidewalk.

If you’re feeling more ambitious, take a scenic drive to your closest lake or river and a leisurely walk alongside the water. Pick up any trash you see along the bank.

3. Sidewalk Chalk Awareness

To raise Earth Day Awareness, draw flowers and trees along the sidewalk in front of your shop or house. In big letters write, “HAPPY EARTH DAY,” (and you might include any promotion your shop is having!)

If you can, draw little cartoons of people recycling in different ways. This will give passers-by the real idea of what Earth Day is!

Make sure to buy environmentally-friendly sidewalk chalk! Even if you have no artistic talent, you can draw a tree! If you’re feeling creative, draw a big earth with people holding hands around it. Have fun!

Photos courtesy of ramseymohsen.

This Earth Day Awarenes article is brought to you by local Portland, OR florists.

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.