More Green Florists

Posted by on April 14, 2007 in Cut Flowers | 4 comments

Blumebox
I just had a note from the owners of BlumeBox, a company that makes these easy-to-recycle cardboard vases with a plastic liner.  They’re pretty cute–somebody gave me some flowers in one of these boxes while I was on the book tour–but what really interested me was the fact that florists are getting in touch with them because they are concerned about the environmental impacts of their packaging material and vases. 

It’s fascinating to me to see that in a relatively short time, florists have gone from saying that they hardly get any questions from customers about where their flowers were grown or what was sprayed on them, to now, when I am getting e-mails almost daily from florists who want to buy organic or environmentally friendly flowers for their shop. 

And as this note from the owners of BlumeBox proves, florists are already taking the concept of sustainability and applying it to the environmental impact of shipping, and the other products they use, like vases and other materials.  It is certainly true that for this industry to really go green, it will have to think about sustainability in a much broader way. 

For example, what about compact fluorescent lights?  What about more energy efficient refrigeration?  What about water use?  What about recycling or composting?  Look at the plastic sleeves the bouquets come in.  How about switching to the biodegradable versions that are cornstarch based but look just as good as Mylar?

What about switching to solar at warehouses and distribution centers?  What about more energy efficient vehicles for transporting flowers?  Or buying carbon credits to offset the pollution generated from shipping?

The point is that going green doesn’t just apply to growers.  It also applies to wholesalers and distributors and retailers. And here’s a great example of a company that manufactures vases- a part of the floral industry most people don’t think much about-but even today are going green:

Recently we have
fielded a number of calls regarding the environmental benefits of the new
blumebud.  Like our entire product range, we keep the environmental benefits and
carbon footprint at the top of the design requirements list.  Awareness for the
carbon footprint of everything we do and consume is becoming more widely
publicized, almost mainstream, and here at blumebox we think
right-on!

 In response to
the questions asked of our products, lets begin with the materials.  All
blumeboxes are made from as much post consumer waste material as possible, and
such that it allows us to maintain the structural integrity and visual design
aspects of our products.  A major piece of the puzzle that is often overlooked
is the energy consumed in the supply chain.  This is largely driven by the
weight and volume of the goods.  All blumebox products are designed so that they
can be supplied flat and simply popped or folded into place.  This removes a
huge amount of cost and waste out of the supply chain.  Lets think of a typical
florist pushing standard glass vases.   These vases are typically supplied in a
box of 12.  Blumebox can ship 50 blumeboxes in a case about the same size as
that used to ship those 12 vases.  Therefore, blumebox is already reducing the
impact by 75%.  Consider the storage and handling costs of multiple cases,
heating and lighting the buildings, the multiplied waste through loses from
damaged or smashed vases and we’re really offering a great
alternative.

 Our business
model also eliminates the intermediary where possible, such as distribution
warehouses and wholesalers.  Not only does this offer the consumer a cost
saving, we are not promoting the additional energy consumption used to light,
heat and handle good in the locations, and not to mention the extra
transportation required.   

 The story of the
blumebud is even better.  Because blumebuds are made locally we have eliminated
the additional shipping from the offshore manufacturers.  Blumebud is also made
from recycled paper and can be stored and shipped flat dramatically reducing the
carbon footprint. Blumebuds are so compact that we estimate they will use less
than 5% of the energy required to ship and store typical bud vases due to their
folding design. We hope this answers some of your inquiries regarding the
environmental benefits of blumebox.

Are you a florist or a wholesaler with a "green" story to tell? Drop me a note!

4 Comments

  1. Very interesting. I am the co-owner of Enchanted Florist in Las Vegas. My business partner and I have made a commitment to becoming a green business and have receieved a fabulous response from our customers! We even printed our GREEN PLAN on our website.

  2. We launched our green policy this week. We are interested if we are on the right lines and if there is any more we can do to minimise our impact on the world.

  3. Nice florists, I also fascinated to this post, Hahaha… that’s why Fern is my name. Thanks for sharing I enjoyed reading your story.
    -fern-

  4. I had not heard of Blumebox here in the frozen North. All of us and our customers are looking for ways to be more eco-friendly and this is certainly one approach. My only concern is that a glass vase – washed and reused – is equally eco-friendly, don’t you think? http://www.florists.charlottetownarea.com/