Flower Information News

A Guide to Sustainable Flowers: Questions to Ask

flower farm on side of volcano, flower farmers, lush orange and red roses bouquet

What is sustainable flower delivery? Sustainable flower delivery streamlines the process of every step from the farm to your doorstep, minimizing waste and eliminating any environmental inefficiencies. Fortunately, what’s good for the environment always means fresher, more vibrant flowers that last longer for our customers.

Sustainability doesn’t begin and end with one or two stages of the journey. Sustainability is a commitment that must be examined and addressed at every point along the way, from the source to your door. Sustainable flower delivery includes minimizing waste and recycling water on the farms, reducing the amount of fuel used, decreasing how many hands touch your flowers by shipping directly from farm to doorstep and using the most eco-friendly packaging.

The Bouqs Co.innovated the flower industry by focusing on what’s best for the recipient. Our customers love our artisan-crafted arrangements that last longer. We even developed a model for flexible flower subscriptions so subscribers can send flowers to different recipients or themselves every month, week, or bi-weekly. You can also learn more about what makes The Bouqs Co. different.

Fresh Flowers Shipped Directly from Flower Farms

The word sustainability gets thrown around a lot. We think about the sustainability of our food and other materials that we use daily. In many cases, sustainability may not cross our minds at all. We often don’t think about how those flowers find their way from a farm to our vases. Yet, there is a good reason to be concerned about sustainability in the floral industry.

Sustainably grown and shipped flowers last longer and often are longer more vibrant blooms! Traditional ways of buying flowers mean your flowers can sit in warehouses and be handled by middlemen for 1-2 weeks before they reach the recipient. Sustainable farm-to-table delivery gives flowers a lot of extra vase life so you and your recipients can enjoy the benefits of fresh flowers for longer. It’s a win-win for you and the environment.

Questions About Sustainable Flowers

If you want to be more eco-conscious the next time you’re picking up some fresh flowers, the following questions help you understand why sustainable flower delivery benefits you.

Where Were the Flowers Grown?

It’s often assumed that the flowers we see at local flower shops are grown nearby—maybe not right next door, but certainly within a state or two. The reality is usually far different.

Did you know that 80 percent of all flowers sold in the U.S. are imported, primarily from South American flower farms? The Department of Agriculture reports that in the past five years, the number of small flower farms is up 20%. In 2012, the U.S. had close to 6,000 flower farms, making local flower delivery much easier to come by.

You may wonder why it matters where flowers are grown. Part of the problem lies in the fact that some farms use pesticides and chemical fertilizers that can be very harmful to the environment or workers. If we keep up the demand for these blooms rather than opting for sustainable flowers, then we contribute to the ongoing use of environmentally harmful products.

What’s the Ideal Climate for Growing Flowers?

Sometimes imported flowers, that have been grown in cooler climates (such as those grown in Holland), are cultivated in hothouses. These hothouses use a lot of extra energy as they are constantly employing artificial light, heating, and cooling throughout each crop’s growing cycle.

In contrast, flowers grown in hotter areas (such as Africa or Ecuador) require far less artificial energy. Farms that exist in hotter areas can grow outdoors, so there is no excess consumption of fuel or energy to create an ideal growing environment.

Growing flowers in the most optimal environment is the first step in sustainable flower delivery. Luminosity and altitude are important conditions for flowers to grow the largest and healthiest. For instance, our first farms were on the side of a volcano in Ecuador where the combination of high elevation and tropical climate means flowers like roses grow bigger and healthier than in other locations.
But the sustainability trail only begins with the flowers. There’s much more involved

Have You Considered the Journey?

It’s not just the fact that some growers may have different farming practices that are an issue. You also need to consider the distance and how many hands touch those flowers on their journey. When you’re thinking about flower delivery, you have to factor in all the fuel used to get those sunny blossoms to your local store. Many flowers make so many stops on the way, first by airplane to be stored in warehouses and then hauled by semi trucks to two or more distributors, which leaves a very large carbon footprint.

The key to reducing carbon footprint is simplification. The Bouqs Co. reduces unnecessary bloat at each step of the journey. By working directly with the farms, we reduce the number of middlemen between you and your stunning bouquets. This direct sourcing drastically reduces stem waste.

infographic show the difference between traditional flower delivery and streamlined farm direct direct delivery which results in less flower waste

How Many Flowers Are Wasted on the Journey?

Traditional flower delivery results in up to 50% stem waste. Our practice of delivering directly from farms results in less than 10% stem waste. Direct delivery from the farm means fewer middlemen and hands touching the flowers This tremendously reduces fuel use compared to multiple distributor hubs along the journey.

How Were The Flowers Grown?

With ever-increasing concerns about climate change, many farms with tropical climates are putting a lot of research and resources toward sustainable, drought-resistant agriculture, including flower farming.
Common sustainable practices include minimizing waste, recycling water, and maximizing the natural advantages of tropical climates with high elevations. Recycling plant waste through composting and adding mulch reduces water and ensures the flowers receive the nutrients they need to grow healthy. Our farms also use organic pest control to reduce the number of dangerous toxins present.

Most of our farms are certified by third parties that focus on sustainable farming including Rainforest Alliance, BloomCheck, and Florverde Sustainable Flowers. The benefit of these practices for you, the recipient, is fresh, healthy blooms that come directly from the responsibly-sourced farms that grow them.

How Are the Workers Treated?

Another big factor to consider when shopping for sustainable flowers is how the farm workers are treated. When we buy flowers, we don’t often give a lot of thought to how they’re grown. Fair wages, good working conditions, and other benefits given to workers are all factors that should be considered in the sustainable flower delivery process.

Aside from the human element of fair treatment of workers, a sustainable workforce is crucial to a sustainable farm and thus makes a genuinely sustainable partner. Workers who are respected and fairly compensated for their contribution respond with loyalty. This element of sustainability cannot be undervalued.

How to Grow Flowers Responsibly

At The Bouqs Co., we encourage our customers to join us in our commitment to sustainable gardening. In addition to good stewardship, it will ultimately save you time and money and bring joy year after year. Drought-tolerant gardens, for example, are suited to most environments.

You can start by knowing the gardening climate zone you’re living in. After establishing this, look for plants that are native to your region and zone. Perennial flowers grow deep roots, fortifying the soil and requiring less water, whereas annual flowers leave the soil vulnerable due to their short planting season.

Though this is a particular issue in the southwest where water is scarce, drought-tolerant gardens can benefit gardeners in any climate zone.

Longer-Lasting Flower Bouquets Grown Responsibly

You can see now how important every part of the journey is to sustainable flower delivery. The Bouqs innovated flower delivery by delivering the freshest, longest-lasting flowers and dramatically shortening the trip from farm to vase.

So, the next time you want to send a bunch of blooms to someone important for a special occasion, or if you love to send flowers just because, consider sustainable flowers. Sustainable flower delivery deserves our attention as it addresses a number of environmental and social concerns. The Bouqs is committed to eco-friendly flower farming and delivering you the freshest, longest-lasting blooms possible.

Give us a try—Mother Earth will thank you.

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