Sending Love and Sustainability: How to Ship Flowers Responsibly

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To ship flowers responsibly, it is recommended to choose flowers grown sustainably and use companies with recyclable packaging. Additionally, selecting local or in-season flowers helps reduce transportation emissions.

Is it environmentally friendly to buy flowers?

It depends on where you buy your flowers and how they are grown. If you buy flowers from a local, sustainable farm that uses eco-friendly growing methods, then yes, it can be considered environmentally friendly.

On the other hand, if you purchase flowers that have been shipped from halfway around the world using air transport, then the environmental impact is much greater.

How to buy flowers sustainably?

First and foremost, look for flowers that are locally grown and in season. This not only reduces the environmental impact of shipping and refrigeration but also supports local farmers and businesses.

Next, consider the type of flowers you are buying. Some varieties, such as roses, are often grown using harmful pesticides and require large amounts of water. Opt for more eco-friendly options such as sunflowers, dahlias, or wildflowers.

Additionally, consider the packaging of your flowers. Choose florists or online retailers that use sustainable packaging materials, such as biodegradable or recycled paper, and avoid excessive packaging such as plastic wrap or styrofoam.

Lastly, don’t forget about the vase! Choose a reusable vase or one made from eco-friendly materials, such as bamboo or glass.

Environmental Impact of Flower Shipping

Shipping flowers across the world has significant environmental consequences due to the energy used in transportation and the packaging materials used.

Flower shipping is responsible for greenhouse gas emissions, as transportation requires energy and produces emissions. Shipping also requires a lot of packaging materials, which often end up in landfills or polluting the ocean. The pesticides and chemicals used in flower production can also harm the environment, wildlife, and human health.

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Which flowers are sustainable?

Firstly, look for flowers that are locally grown and in season. Locally grown flowers have a smaller carbon footprint as they don’t require long-distance transportation. In-season flowers are more likely to be grown sustainably and require less energy-intensive methods of production.

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Next, opt for flowers that are grown using organic or sustainable farming practices. This means avoiding flowers that have been treated with harmful pesticides or grown in monoculture systems that deplete the soil. Look for certifications such as USDA Organic or VeriFlora, which ensure that the flowers were grown in an environmentally-friendly manner.

Lastly, consider the longevity of the flowers. Choosing long-lasting varieties will reduce the need for frequent replacements and, in turn, reduce waste. Flowers such as sunflowers, dahlias, and carnations tend to have a longer vase life.

Are fake flowers eco-friendly?

While fake flowers may seem like a good alternative to traditional flower shipping, they are not necessarily eco-friendly.

Many fake flowers are made from non-biodegradable materials like plastic, which contributes to landfill waste and pollution. Additionally, the production and transportation of these flowers also have a significant carbon footprint.

What is the bad side of the flower industry?

Pesticides and chemicals

One of the main concerns is the use of pesticides and chemicals in flower production, which can harm both workers and wildlife.

Carbon emissions

The flower shipping process also contributes to environmental damage. Air freight is often used to transport flowers long distances, resulting in high carbon emissions.

Packing material

Non-recyclable materials, such as plastic packaging, are often used to ship flowers and contribute to waste.


the flower industry often promotes monoculture, which is the practice of cultivating a single crop on a large scale. This practice can lead to soil degradation, loss of biodiversity, and the need for excessive water and fertilizer use.

Is sending flowers bad for the environment?

Common flower shipping practices involve a significant amount of carbon emissions, waste, and the use of harmful chemicals.

Many flowers are grown with synthetic fertilizers and pesticides that can harm the soil and pollute water sources. Shipping flowers also often involves refrigeration and packaging materials that are not eco-friendly.

However, sending flowers can still be a sustainable and thoughtful gesture with the right practices. Choosing locally grown and organic flowers, using biodegradable and recyclable packaging materials, and supporting businesses with sustainable practices can all make a positive impact.

Additionally, opting for digital or virtual gifts such as e-cards or online plant deliveries can also reduce the environmental footprint of gift-giving.

5 tips to ship flower responsibly

1. Choose local and seasonal flowers: Opt for flowers that are in season and locally grown. This helps to reduce the carbon footprint and ensures that the flowers are fresher and last longer.

2. Use eco-friendly packaging: Instead of using traditional plastic packaging, opt for biodegradable or compostable options such as cardboard, paper, or plant-based materials.

3. Avoid floral foam: Floral foam is non-biodegradable and contains harmful chemicals that can leach into the environment. Use alternative options such as chicken wire, moss, or vases with water for stability.

4. Ship with a carbon-neutral carrier: Look for shipping carriers that offset their carbon emissions by investing in renewable energy or planting trees.

5. Choose sustainable flower shops: Research and support flower shops that prioritize sustainable and ethical practices, such as using organic and fair-trade flowers, recycling, and reducing waste. This ensures that your flower purchase supports a business that is doing its part in preserving the environment.

7 Best sustainable flower shops

1. The Bouqs Co. – The Bouqs Co. sources their flowers directly from sustainable farms, eliminating the need for middlemen and reducing waste. They also prioritize eco-friendly packaging and offer carbon-neutral shipping options.

2. Farmgirl Flowers – Farmgirl Flowers uses locally grown, seasonal flowers and compostable packaging materials to minimize their environmental impact. They also donate 1% of their sales to support sustainable agriculture initiatives.

3. UrbanStems – UrbanStems sources their flowers from Rainforest Alliance Certified farms and uses eco-friendly packaging materials. They also partner with local florists to minimize shipping distances.

4. BloomThat – BloomThat partners with Rainforest Alliance Certified farms and uses compostable packaging materials. They also offer carbon-neutral shipping options.

5. Winston Flowers – Winston Flowers is committed to using sustainable practices throughout their supply chain, including partnering with farms that prioritize responsible growing methods and using reusable containers for deliveries.

6. The Sill – The Sill sources their flowers from local, eco-conscious growers and uses sustainable packaging materials. They also prioritize waste reduction through composting and recycling.

7. Bloom & Wild – Bloom & Wild sources their flowers from farms with sustainable growing practices and offers compostable packaging materials. They also work to minimize carbon emissions during shipping through efficient route planning.