Flowers play a major role in the most important occasions in life, be it a celebration of love (like weddings and anniversaries), graduations, birthdays, or funerals. The use of flowers to express emotions and feelings that cannot be conveyed with words had started since the Victorian-era, and this tradition still holds true in our culture today, more than a century later.
Little did we know, there is a serious environmental impact behind the beautifully wrapped bouquet. This stems from multiple reasons, one of which is the excessive use of pesticides and herbicides, resulting in water pollution and the decline in pollinating insects. Further, cut flowers are heavily imported, contributing to high carbon emission. Australia had imported around AUD$73.4 billion worth of cut flowers in 2019. The flowers are imported from countries such as Singapore, South America, Kenya, and Vietnam. For example, there is a preference for imported roses from Ecuador and Columbia, as they are bigger and cheaper than locally grown roses. Although the interests in domestic suppliers have been increasing in the recent years, the preference for international cut flowers in the past had inadvertently forced smaller, local growers out of the industry.
Although, I'd say, nothing shall stand in our way of the joy a beautiful bouquet brings (Yes, I love my flowers, it makes me all warm and fluffy).
There are many options. You could either hand-pick fresh flowers from your garden (or your neighbours'), or send a potted plant. You could also support a local, small business such as Little Concrete Garden, a Sydney-based business selling home-propagated succulents in gorgeous home-made cement pots.
Photo from Little Concrete Garden
If you are looking to send a bouquet instead, I have compiled a list of sustainable florists in Australia that you can find. Do note that this list is not sponsored or endorsed by the florists - I have prepared it because I believe what they do is amazing!
The Fresh Flower Project is a Sydney-based and Sydney-focused florist that simplifies choice by providing less, but beautiful, options, which minimises wastage. They compost their clippings, and use eco-friendly materials to put their bouquet together, such as recycled paper towels, twine, and up-cycled coffee sacks from local coffee roasters. The Fresh Flower Project also source quality gifts made by Australians, that you can pair up with a bouquet. Their delivery locations can be found on the website.
Little Flowers is a Sydney-based and Sydney-focused florist that keeps things simple. You can select from a range of bouquet sizes, and they take care of the rest. Little Flowers arranges beautiful bouquets upon order, using fresh flowers selected from markets. They also use eco-friendly materials to wrap the bouquets. I love their minimalistic approach, it keeps things simple and its low waste!
Daily Blooms is a Melbourne-based florist, delivering only to Melbourne metro and Geelong. Daily Blooms sources freshly cut flowers straight from local farmers, on the same day they arrange the bouquets. Similar to Little Flowers, their concept is simple - you choose the size, they handle the rest, preparing the bouquets upon order. You may view the arrangement of the day on their instagram page.
The Little Market Bunch is a Melbourne-based, and Melbourne-focused florist. They source fresh flowers from Victorian flower growers, and prepare their bouquets upon order based on their daily bundle announcement on their social media pages. Check out their daily bundle on their Instagram and Facebook page. They also prepare little vegetable and fruit pack, and a variety of gift boxes.
The Local Bunch is an Adelaide-based, Adelaide-focused florist that focuses on running an eco-friendly business. Similar to Little Flowers, and Daily Blooms, they offer a unique arrangement each day, preparing the bouquets upon order, where you are only required to choose the size. This minimises waste. Their other sustainable practices include avoiding the use of plastic and unsustainable paper, and wrapping their bouquets in reusable and recycled materials.
Stones Corner Flower Shop is a Brisbane-based and Brisbane-focused florist that sources flowers from local farmers, that use environmentally sustainable production methods. They also practice other sustainable practices such as using environmentally friendly wrapping materials, using recycled or reusable containers, and making compost with plant clippings.
The Green Florist is a Perth-based eco-florist that delivers across Perth and Australia. They share the same space with a few other sustainable brands in the Little Green Studio. The Green Florist sources blooms from WA farms, and their flower arrangements are completely plastic-free, wrapped in recycled and biodegradable wrapping.
Lilac and the Cat is is a Melbourne-based ethical and eco-friendly florist, delivering to Melbourne and surrounding suburbs. Lilac and the Cat sources flowers from locally and ethically grown flowers. They carry out other sustainable practices such as opting out of using cellophane, floral foam, ribbons or any other unnatural elements in their flora designs, and where possible, they use recycled materials and up-cycled pots and vases.
Bloombox Co partners directly with local flower growers in Australia to delivery fresh seasonal Australian grown flowers. By working with local farmers, they are able to deliver the flowers with minimal waste and a low environmental footprint. Bloombox Co delivers only to Sydney and Melbourne.
Floraly packs the bouquets to order (while flowers are traditionally arranged and displayed, waiting to be purchased), ensuring that the flowers remain fresh for longer, and minimising wastes. They are also carbon neutral and donates 1% of all revenue to environmental charities. Floraly delivers to most of Australia.
Enjoy your flowers! I can't wait to receive one from you too!