Sunday, March 28, 2010

Green Events Launch Party with Floral Sense's Environentally Sustainable Floral Designs

As you know by now, Floral Sense is on a quest to going Green. The term 'environmentally sustainable design' has been a puzzling one. I mean, aren't flowers already green since they are decompostable? So far, my research proves otherwise. There is something called Veri-flora certification which I will discuss in a later post. But having certified 'green' flowers doesn't seem like enough.

Floral foam is a huge component used in the floral design industry and it is not biodegradable. Many of the vessels we use to design our flowers in are made strictly for decor. Often, these vessels get thrown out after a one-time use. So, what's the solution? Well, its time for you to meet Karen Hsu of Grandiflora in the San Francisco Bay Area. I had seen this post on the Flirty Guide blog by Stacie Tamaki of Karen's amazing sustainable floral designs she made for a NACE event. This was the first time I started to really understand what eco-friendly designs entail. Karen was so gracious enough to allow me to use the deconstructed ti-leaf design for the Green Events Launch Party at Environment Furniture Showroom in South Coast Plaza West to showcase and educate. Here is my version of her design.

The close up of the leaves:

What makes these eco-arrangements? First, rather than using floral foam (non-biodegradable component) to hold the arrangement together, the reconstruction of the leaf created the design. The spikey decor in the middle was actually the center of the ti-leaf that was reused into arrangement, thus using all parts of the plant. And the container is actually a dining plate. So, with a good wash, it can be reused over and over again.

Here is another design created for the launch party.

A close-up shows that I used horsetail as the base to arrange the flowers. The container is a baking glassware.

I even made a succulent arrangement that was planted directly into the container, roots and all.

There were a few succulent pieces that were cut and arranged into the soil. But the great thing about succulents is that you can keep them alive and growing.

I hope you enjoyed these 'green' designs!

A special thank you to Karen Hsu of Grandiflora for your generous help!
And thank you D. Park Photography for the fabulous photos!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Eco-Friendly Plantable Cards and Stationery

This is a fun and innovative eco-friendly idea: plantable stationery that produces flowers.
You can send out wedding invitations to your guests and they can plant the paper in their garden. So when the flowers bloom, it'll remind them of you lovebirds. Now isn't that cute?

Check out their website:

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Sun Chips' 100% Compostable Chip Package

I wasn't a huge Sun Chips fan until I saw this the other day:

Finally, packaging for chips that biodegrades. Enough said!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Toxic Garbage Island the size of Texas?!

Has anyone heard of a supposed garbage island that exists in the Pacific Ocean? Different accounts of the island state that its the size of Texas. Some even claim its twice the size of Texas. Alarming? Yes. But I particularly took an interest in this 'garbage island' because, for the first time, the toll our environment is taking from our trash finally hit home for me. You see, I have a deep affinity for the waters. Surfing is my favorite sport. I've even had some unplanned amazing opportunities to swim with wild dolphins in the ocean. I refuse to live away from the coast.

Naturally, I wondered how bad this garbage island really was. VBS TV did a fabulous video-journalistic report where they actually spent a week sailing out to this 'island'. There are three video segments: Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3. Each clip is about 25 minutes long so if you want to make the time to watch them, its definitely worth it.

But here's the cliff notes version. My first assumption was that it was a literal island of garbage visible on approach in the middle of the Northern Gyre. If its the size of Texas, is shouldn't be hard to miss. But the situation is SO much worse. The garbage isn't visible. The garbage has become microscopic making it impossible to clean up. Plastic is the main culprit. Over time, the plastic is no longer able to hold its shape and breaks down into tiny confetti-like fragments. These tiny pieces are not biodegradable and pollute the ocean to microscopic levels, producing poisonous levels of toxins into the environment. And this trash has now entered the food chain....meaning that we end up eating our own trash.

Needless to say, I find this very disturbing and burdening. The situation seems hopeless. But there has to be a solution, right?

Any thoughts? For now, I'm placing the burden on myself to take responsibility to reduce the use and waste of plastics. What are some things you do and/or plan on doing?

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Career Week and Dr. Seuss' Birthday

Did you know that this past week was National Career Week and March 2nd was Dr. Seuss' birthday?
And you're probably wondering what the 2 have in common. Not much except for the fact that I had the privilege to be a guest for a 1st Grade class to share about my career as a floral designer and to read some great Dr. Seuss books to them. After putting my creative juices to work, I decided to bring in a little floral design project for the kiddos to work on. In an effort to Floral Sense going green, I doctored up a project that used recycled materials you can find around your house.

Here's what I used:
An empty can (this one used to have Almond Roca in it) that we covered with paper to decorate ourselves. This was our vase.

Tissue paper (You know, the ones you save from gifts you've received, swearing that you'll use them for something one day? Well, now here's your chance) and pipe cleaners.

And some sticks (these sticks were saved from a fruit arrangement from 'Edible Arrangements' but you can use any type of stick you might have around the house).

All we did was take four squares of the tissue paper, pinch it in the middle and fluff it up.

With the pipe cleaner, we wired the bottom of our flower and twisted it onto a stick.

We threw our flowers in our can/vase thus, creating, a fab arrangement for the classroom!

If a class of first graders can make this, so can you. And Go Green in the process of it!

Happy Career Week and Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Going Green - Corporate Responsiblity

Alright already. You've probably heard the terms 'going green' or 'corporate responsibility' multiple times but what does this all really mean?

I've had to ask myself the same questions. It seems everyone is jumping onto the bandwagon of recycling and doing their part to make the planet a healthier place. And as I observe businesses claim their 'green-ness', I can't help but become increasingly skeptical. I mean, how can you really measure if a company is truly engaging in the environmentally friendly practices they state they are? Especially with florists, I find myself unsure of terms like 'environmentally sustainable design.'

So, I've decided to start my own journey of uncovering what it really means to 'go green.' If you're curious too, I invite you to come along. All posts that deal with this concept will be labeled under 'Going Green." If you have any thoughts and/or suggestions, leave me a comment so we can do a little exploration together.

Ready? Set. Go!