July 11, 2020
Buy local. Shop local. Shop small.
We hear it all of the time. We see it all of the time. But what does this mean when it comes to flowers?
The floral industry is traditionally an incredibly dirty business. Floral foam is toxic, cellophane ends up in landfills, and imported flowers are covered in toxic chemicals. It doesn't have to be this way. Buy local. Shop local. Shop small. See what I did there?
In the last decade, local florists, farmers, growers, and consumers have embraced the idea that like food, flowers should be seasonal and local whenever possible. US grown flowers, free of harsh chemicals and pesticides, are readily available from many local florists. More and more florists are committing to using no floral foam techniques and other sustainable practices. You just have to know where to look - and no, it doesn't begin with 1-800 or Tele anything. Ever.
So how do you find a reputable local florist who embraces sustainable practices and uses US grown product whenever available?
This is the easy part. If you're shopping in your own city get to know your local florists. Build a relationship. Ask them about their product and what is freshest that week. Ask if they are buying from local growers. I love to talk flowers with people who love them as much as I do. I will remember you. I will remember your favorites. I'll become invested.
And if I don't deliver to where you want the flowers to go I have some easy suggestions for you to check out on your own:
The first is to shop one of my partners LORA Bloom. LORA Bloom is an e-commerce site dedicated to finding a local florist in your neighborhood. The florists who are listed on the site commit to using no floral foam and at least 80% U.S. grown flowers in their arrangements. The arrangements listed are the florist's own designs - not those of a generic wire service calling out orders across the nation to any florist who will take it. What you see is what you get - a beautifully seasonal, artistically designed arrangement. Right now LORA Bloom primarily serves Western Washington as far north as Bellingham and even has a partner in Montana. However, plans to expand to Oregon, California, and other parts of the nation are currently underway.
If LORA Bloom does not currently serve the area you're looking to send flowers in, I recommend taking a look at Slow Flowers and using their directory to search by city or zip code. Created by writer, speaker, and advocate for the U.S. grown flowers movement Debra Prinzing, the Slow Flowers directory is a compilation of like minded florists, growers, and farmers who believe in the value of local, seasonal, and sustainably grown flowers.
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