What does it mean to be sustainable?

Posted by Sarah Freeman on

Hive & Hollow is joining a small number of concerned florists across the world in promoting the slow flower movement. Like the slow food movement (sourcing local, seasonal foods), floral professionals and consumers are looking at ways to reduce their carbon footprints. Green weddings and funerals are gaining in popularity as we reevaluate our values with a growing concern for the climate.

But why?

Our reason for this is simple, the flower industry could do a lot better. Much of the flowers grown in South America and Africa have contributed to devastating deforestation and water pollution, workers are often treated unfairly, and subjected to harmful pesticides. This intensive farming relies on excessive fertilizers, contributing to water pollution, and imported flowers often spend long hours in boxes and are then fumigated when coming into the country. We love working with flowers, but don’t want to do it that way any longer.

How do we change this?

We begin by sourcing flowers and plants from our own land and other local growers in the upper Midwest. During the winter season, when all that can be found in the cold North are evergreens, twigs and pods, we source from other parts of the United States or fair trade certified growers. There is so much beauty in our region, and we are all about celebrating that seasonal beauty in both its simplicity and its majesty. We have committed to sourcing from as close to our brick and mortar shop as is possible to reduces the amount of travel time and energy used to ship flowers.

When sourcing gifts and accessories for the shop we look first to our own community. Is someone making beeswax candles? Beauty products out of locally sourced, natural ingredients? Ceramic pots and vases? We have an amazing community of talented makers, and Hive & Hollow aims to celebrate them. This cuts out shipping costs, keeps money in our own community, and supports other artists.

We have a deep concern about single use plastics and avoid them whenever possible. We don't use plastic picks, just foraged twigs to hold your enclosure card, and no water tubes either. Your arrangement may be in a recycled glass vase, a vintage container, a mason jar or a recycled soup can. Your delivery box may be a repurposed box, and your plant liner may be a repurposed plastic salad clamshell. We rarely use floral foam, as it has been found to have carcinogenic properties and does not decompose. We believe taking these small steps can make a big difference, and we do it not because it is easy, but because we care. This is fairly revolutionary, as Hive & Hollow is the only flower shop in the region to commit to these practices. We hope you’ll join us.

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