Sustainable flowers: what are they and where to buy them
Extend some love to the environment with our pick of the best sustainable flower bouquets
What are sustainable flowers?
Sustainable flowers are defined by the amount of damage they cause to the planet. Many flowers you can buy are unsustainable for a number of reasons: being flown in from overseas during off-seasons, stems being wasted, and picking more than are grown, just to name a few.
Sustainable flowers, however, are more accessible than you might think. Sustainable flowers are those that are grown locally and are picked or cut to order.
Sustainable flowers can also be defined by their packaging. Look for sellers who use recyclable or biodegradable packaging rather than plastics.
Where to buy sustainably-sourced flowers for Valentine's Day
The Real Flower Company
Based within The South Downs National Park, The Real Flower Company have sustainability at the forefront of their business. One of the biggest environmental problems in the flower growing industry is the amount of energy used to keep cut stems refrigerated, something this company has cut down on as much as possible. Stems are only kept in cold storage for two days before being sent out to customers.
They also only cut the number of flowers they believe will sell to reduce waste as much as possible. On the days where they do have a few flowers left over, they kindly donate them to local hospices so nothing needs to be thrown away, and they can put a smile on a few people's faces.
Romantic Valentine's bouquet
The romantic Valentine's bouquet is a classic arrangement for the day of love. There are six different bouquet size options for all of their arrangements to suit your taste and budget. Each size is explained on the website, so you will know exactly what to expect. Featuring a selection of roses in beautiful pinks and reds, it's the perfect romantic gesture for your significant other!
Buy romantic Valentines bouquet from The Real Flower Company (from £56)
Pure Valentine's bouquet
Classy and sophisticated, the pure Valentine's bouquet is a beautiful bouquet for those who prefer neutral tones over bright and colourful. Filled with white roses, seasonal flowers and an abundance of greenery, it's a truly impressive bouquet to send someone you love.
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Buy pure Valentine's bouquet from The Real Flower Company (from £55)
Garden romance Valentine's bouquet
If you're sending a bouquet to someone who loves English countryside flowers, the garden romance Valentine's bouquet is a gorgeous option. Filled with tulips, narcissi, hyacinth, anemone and plenty of greenery, this bouquet is an ideal alternative to the classic Valentine's Day roses.
Buy garden romance Valentine's bouquet from The Real Flower Company (from £49)
Certified as carbon neutral by the Carbon Trust, Freddie's Flowers have made lots of green decisions to ensure the company is sustainable in as many areas as they can. As well as following the cut to order system, Freddie's Flowers use completely recyclable or biodegradable packaging, and they try to collect all boxes from deliveries made by their in-house courier to be reused.
Emissions are one of the areas the company has focused on when it comes to sustainability. They have set a target of reducing their emissions by 5% each year, supported by their decision to switch their office energy supply to sustainable providers. They also make 75% of London deliveries by bicycle courier, so they really are covering all bases!
Freddie's Flowers subscription
Freddie's Flowers work on a subscription basis so they can make the most accurate estimate on how many flowers they will need to pick. Each box costs £25 and you can decide how often you receive a fresh bouquet. You can choose to see a preview of the flowers you receive each time, or leave it as a surprise when they arrive.
Buy a subscription from Freddie's Flowers (£25)
For some companies, it's not possible to reduce the amount of travel needed to deliver flowers. Arena Flowers are based in Droitwich, but for agricultural reasons they have to grow their flowers elsewhere. To combat the impact on the environment, they have found ways to ensure the travel they do is as efficient as it can be. Flowers are delivered from the farm closest to the customer and they always try to travel with full loads of deliveries, cutting down on the amount of trips taken.
Selling flowers when they are out of season means they either have to be imported or grown in artificial environments which use a large amount of energy. To avoid these sorts of issues, Arena Flowers made the decision to only sell flowers when they are in season, except for a few favourites that they have found low-energy solutions for growing.
Another area of the flower growing process they are focusing on is water usage. Water used in their flower growing process is largely collected rainwater, and all their flowers are grown in trays of water rather than the conventional method of growing them in soil, reducing their water usage by as much as 40%.
Letterbox Fairtrade dozen red roses
You can't go wrong with a classic bouquet of red roses on Valentine's Day. 12 beautiful roses will be delivered to the recipients door, carefully packaged in a recyclable cardboard box.
Buy letterbox Fairtrade dozen red roses from Arena Flowers (£24)
Pretty in pink bouquet
Mix it up with the pretty in pink bouquet, made up of pink roses, lisianthus and hypericum alongside other seasonal blooms. The perfect bouquet for someone who loves a colourful, romantic bouquet.
Buy pretty in pink bouquet from Arena Flowers (£38)
Pure love bouquet
Keep it elegant with a gorgeous bouquet filled with a variety of white flowers. The pure love bouquet features avalanche roses, lisianthus, veronica and phlox, perfectly complimented by green foliage.
Buy pure love bouquet from Arena Flowers (£50)
Believing that we should 'leave an impact, not a trace', Bloom have been a leading company when it comes to sustainability in the floristry industry. They have taken it one step further with their packaging, with the aim to make their packaging completely waste-free, rather than just being recyclable.
For Bloom, sustainability is more than just the impacts on the planet, but also the wellbeing of the company and those who work for them. They strive for an ethical way of working, both within the company and those they partner with.
Cotton candy pink fringe tulips
If you can send a full bouquet of roses for Valentine's Day, why not send a bouquet of pretty pink tulips? The cotton candy pink fringe tulips are said to represent love and happiness, perfect for a romantic celebration.
Buy cotton candy pink fringe tulips from Bloom (£60)
Coral sunset bouquet
There are few things more beautiful than a sunset, but this flower arrangement full of stems inspired by its natural beauty is just as wonderful. Featuring peach and orange roses, freesia, coral pink hypericum berries, orange alstroemeria and pink phlox, the coral sunset bouquet is a unique bunch for Valentine's Day.
Buy coral sunset bouquet from Bloom (£141)
Cerise pink bouvardia bouquet
Something more delicate but just as lovely, the cerise pink bouvardia is a star-shaped flower that looks beautiful in a bouquet both alone and accompanied by other blooms. They are a longer-lasting flower, so whoever you send them to can enjoy them for an extended amount of time.
Buy cerise pink bouvardia bouquet from Bloom (from £45)
Launched in 2014, Blooming Haus is a London based florist committed to being sustainable. They have implemented many processes to be more eco-friendly, including making small deliveries by bike courier, using green energy to power their studio, composting organic waste, sourcing local flowers and using probiotic cleaning materials, just to name a few.
But something that has really made a positive impact is their 'plant a tree' campaign in collaboration with National Forest, Woodland Trust and Carbon Footprint Organisation. Since its launch, they have planted around 100 trees across London and Surrey, hugely helping with their mission to reduce their carbon footprint.
Pretty pastels are perfect for this time of year and have a soft, romantic feel to them - perfect for Valentine's Day. The pastel bouquet features some familiar favourites, including roses, clematis, carnations and masterworts.
Buy pastel bouquet from Blooming Haus (from £95)
Saffron fuchsia bouquet
A colourful take on a classic bouquet, the bright colours in the saffron fuchsia bouquet will make a statement, but most importantly, a beautiful gift for Valentine's Day.
Buy saffron fuchsia bouquet from Blooming Haus (from £95)
White rose classic bouquet
If you are looking for a showstopper bouquet, the white rose classic is exactly that. The hand-tied arrangement is curated with luxury white roses and includes a quality glass bowl vase.
Buy white rose classic bouquet from Blooming Haus (from £300)
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