So much going on. I got sidetracked. It was supposed to be a piece about wedding trends. But there's so much going on. And now I'm working myself up because of environmental issues. I'm thinking back to the days when I worried about CFC's, and the amount of packaging in supermarkets, and I'm still worrying about the amount of packaging on everything.
Social media is giving a voice to our concerns, and I'm loving a new Instagram account called @nofloralfoam which is highlighting the use of foam in the floristry industry. Traditional floral foam is a plastic product containing known cancer causing compounds including phenol and formaldehyde. It is not biodegradable. So I'm encouraging other florists to think about how and more importantly why they use floral foam. I also find it strange that colleges continue to teach students to use it. We need to educate the florists of the future that it simply isn't an option. It's not just colleges, it is used extensively at RHS flower shows, and flower arranging clubs the country over and they see no problem with that.
When I had my shop a few years back, I chose to wrap my flowers in paper, cellophane was biodegradable and bags were paper, soy based inks and cotton handles. The packaging looked good, design didn't suffer. This year I'm working on some big weddings, with larger scale installations. Chicken wire is my friend, moss and jars. Containers that hold water. I'm going to take some snaps to show you how I'm achieving the designs.
Don't get me wrong, I'm no saint. I have used foam in the past. Past being the operative word. But from where I stand at this moment in time, with the Chinese ban on UK plastic waste imports posing big challenges for the UK as a whole. I don't want to be part of the problem through lack of thought and education.
On the non-floristry front I'm campaigning like crazy and trying to get people to change the way they operate. Single use plastic water bottles in schools and running events is on the agenda, glass over plastic milk bottles another. I'm talking with the people that supply my everyday living items to see if we can change how we do things. If they don't know customers are concerned how can things move on?
Top tips are you don't need cling film, use a plate over a bowl in the fridge instead, or a damp tea towel if you're baking bread. Even sanitary products come under scrutiny as towels can contain up to 90% plastic. Use these guys Natracare. I bet when you came on here today to read this you were expecting pretty flower pictures. Never one to disappoint (see below) It's a bit of a rant isn't it?! Well if you can't rant on your own journal where can you!
P.S No foam was used in the urn! Image Jo Bradbury.