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Going Green: How to Make Your Business More Eco-friendly

In a world where we all need to be mindful of looking after our beautiful planet, the floristry industry must play its part and we, as florists, are a key segment of the industry. Each one of us can make a difference, as collectively, we are big!


We can all make changes, no matter how small we think they may be, so here are some tips and ideas that can help your business to become more eco-friendly.


Supply Chain

Start with where you source your flowers, foliage and plants. Look at sourcing from local growers and suppliers by calling them and just having a general conversation. There are some terrific seasonal growers and suppliers within the UK and Ireland, and you may be surprised at the product choice, prices, service and seasonal availability on offer. Note: Be cautious not to rely on locally grown, for large or variety-specific orders as the British weather can cause delays in cutting crops.


Product

Try to reduce your use of plastic, green floral foam, spray paints, cellophane, glitter, helium – all products that are damaging our planet and giving our industry a bad name. Consider offering houseplants or more plants, as these are on-trend with consumers. Think of what alternatives you could introduce into all areas of your business; if you need to use floral foam in areas of your business, use as little as possible and use the more environmentally friendly versions. Offer alternative designs and styles to your customers. This can give you an opportunity to promote your business as offering eco-friendly designs.


Packaging

Look at your packaging. Is it eco-friendly? Our naturally creative minds want and desire our beautiful products to be presented in the best possible way, to wow customers and recipients as well as create your brand awareness to the world.


Historically, we have used lots of cellophane, metres of ribbon, non-recyclable bags and boxes (due to the printing inks and gloss finishes used). Now is the time if you haven’t already done so, to look at alternatives. Manufacturers and suppliers are working hard to offer alternative packaging. Search out cellophane, ribbon etc that is made from recycled or recyclable materials. Kraft papers are becoming prettier with design-led pattens, using vegetable dye. Cotton ribbons are plentiful and have a much wider choice of colours and widths. Natural raffia of course is always a good one!



Collateral

Look at the collateral that you add to each product. Gift message cards and envelopes, flower food sachets, care cards, business cards, loyalty cards, in fact any piece of collateral that you enclose or offer to your customers. Look at how you can start to change them to natural materials. Cards and envelopes can be sourced from recycled paper, vegetable dye can be used for printing and flower food sachets can now be ordered in paper sachets.



Wastage

How you dispose of your various types of waste can very much depend on your local council. It is preferable that your waste is separated (just as household waste is done) into recyclable, compostable, and non-recyclable. Wherever I work around the UK and the world, I always check on how my team and I can dispose of waste and how it can be separated.

You may need to have separate bins in your work room, and space might be at a premium, but once you and your team get into a routine of separating waste, it will become the norm and you will feel so much better that everything going in to land fill.



Deliveries

Planning your deliveries goes without saying, but it’s worth noting that there are electronic planners out there that can plan your routes for you in the most economical way. Look at how far in distance, you currently offer your delivery areas. Is it worth it to deliver to all the postcodes you are delivering to? Only you can make that judgement and it will depend on:

  • profit you can make on the orders you deliver

  • brand awareness by ‘spreading’ your name

  • protecting your business from your competitors

  • loyalty and future orders.

Related article: The True Cost of Delivery


Delivery Vehicle

  • How economical is the vehicle you are running?

  • Have you considered a hybrid van or car?

  • Have a look at options - you may be surprised at what is out there, that not only can help you financially, but also help the planet.

  • Have you considered using an alternative method of delivery vehicle such as a bicycle? (Only for short deliveries!) This may sound bonkers, but it could be something you could do “only on Saturday’s” for example and have a university student deliver within a 3-mile radius - great marketing opportunity and eco-friendly!


Staff / In-house ethos

Consider ways that you and your team can help you become eco-friendly in your workplace and business. Ask your staff for their ideas and just see what they come up with.


Lots to consider….but a must!


Karen Barnes

NDSF, IoPF, AIFD, CFD, CAFA, UKFJG

Related articles:

 

With over 35 years’ experience, Karen Barnes is one of the UK’s leading consultants to the floral industry and an expert in product development, future trends & colours, and floral photography design & planning.


She’s an interior floral designer, high profile wedding and event floral planner, and prominent international competition judge.

From teaching on a one-to-one basis to coaching small, intimate classes and larger teams, Karen can encourage, motivate and mentor your next step in the florist industry. Sharing her vast experience, Karen can help you expand your knowledge and creativity.










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