My Sustainability Journey: Packaging

My Sustainability Journey: Packaging

At The Meadow Flower Co, I aim for beautiful blooms that meet a commitment to sustainability. As the founder of this business, I'm dedicated to cultivating not just stunning flowers but also a sustainable ethos. Having said this, I am very aware of the problems of greenwashing; in order to reduce this myself, I am writing this blog series to be as transparent as possible to my customers, while holding myself to account for constant improvement. In this blog, I am focussing on how my flowers are presented and the impact of my packaging.

The Packaging Predicament

In the floral industry, packaging presents a significant challenge. Too often, flowers are wrapped in single-use plastics that end up in landfill, or worse, as pollution. It's disheartening to think that the joy of receiving flowers can be overshadowed by the waste they generate.

My Commitment to Sustainability 

At The Meadow Flower Co, I've made a deliberate choice to use only recyclable and/or compostable materials for packaging. Each bouquet that I create is wrapped in Kraft paper, tissue paper, and secured with paper tape. These can all be composted, even in someone’s garden compost heap. The tissue paper and tape cannot be recycled, but the Kraft paper is easily put into the recycling system. Although some tissue paper and paper tape may end up in landfill, if customers do not put it in the compost waste stream, it should not cause long-term environmental damage (i.e. no toxic chemicals).

For larger, premium arrangements, I opt for elegant vases, from recycled glass that can be reused and cherished. Glass is a great sustainable option as it can be infinitely recycled (unlike plastics which can only be recycled a few times).

Striving for Better

But I don't stop there. I'm continually seeking out even better sources for our packaging materials. Moving forward, I'll consider not just the end-life of my packaging (ensuring no plastic ends up in landfills) but also where it comes from - sourcing only from sustainable forestry sources. I will also consider how I can better let my customers know the best way to dispose of the packaging.

It’s also about learning from my mistakes: For a time, I put bouquets into “biodegradable cellophane” bags filled with water if customers had a longer journey home from a market, on the hope that this would help the flowers last longer. Having researched this product further, I now know that the claim of biodegradability is a contentious one; the plastic might break down, but in doing so causes the release of microplastics. Needless to say, I no longer use these bags and am searching for a genuinely sustainable alternative.

Honesty and constant improvement 

I recognize that I’m not perfect. The journey towards sustainability can be challenging, but I'm committed to navigating it with honesty and transparency. My goal is to avoid greenwashing – making empty claims about being eco-friendly – by being upfront about what I use and why.

I recognise that, for a small business such as mine, sustainability is a journey, not a destination. I'm always exploring new ways to reduce my environmental footprint, from reevaluating my sourcing practices to engaging with my customers on sustainable flower production.

Join Me on this Journey

As I continue to grow my business, I invite you to join me on this journey towards a greener future. Every bouquet you purchase supports my commitment to sustainability. Together, we can celebrate the beauty of flowers while nurturing the planet we all call home. For me, The Meadow Flower Co isn't just about selling flowers; it's about making a positive impact. It's about showing that beauty and sustainability can go hand in hand.

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