10 Ways to Plan Eco Friendly Wedding Flowers

10 Ways to Plan Eco Friendly Wedding Flowers

1. Rent your vases

Most florists will offer a line of rental vases for you to use at your wedding. Not only will you save some cash, but you are not going to be stuck with throwing 30 containers in a dumpster after your wedding.

2. Hire an Eco Friendly Florist

It doesn’t hurt to ask your florist if they are Eco friendly. Our long term goal for Mocha Rose is to produce zero waste. Everything that can be recycled is sorted out each week. All leftover plant material goes to compost. Right now, we only produce 2-3 bags of trash per week. Our aim is less than one. We also work out of an 800 sq. foot green building with a brand new high efficiency furnace and AC to reduce our energy consumption. If your florist doesn’t already follow Eco friendly practices, ask them to consider recycling and composting for your wedding to reduce the impact.

3. Incorporate potted plants into your decor

Your florist can provide you with amazing potted plants to bring color into your reception centerpieces. After the wedding, the guests can take these to enjoy at their office, home or even their garden.

We provided these gorgeous pink cyclamen in groups of three for Kate’s wedding at The Rivers Club.

(Photography by: http://www.weddingsbyheather.com/)

4. Choose in season blooms

Ask your florist what flowers are in season for your wedding and stay away from those that are not. You might love peonies for your December wedding, but they are most definitely not growing anywhere in Pennsylvania that time of the year. In fact, if your florist is lucky enough to get them that time of the year, the are probably being shipped all the way from New Zealand.

If you are concerned with global impact, ask your florist what flowers are available locally and which will have the least impact in transportation. Importing flowers from California is still less impact than Holland, Ecuador or New Zealand.

5. Donate your leftover flowers

Make arrangements with your florist, wedding planner or a friend to take your floral centerpieces to be donated. Nursing homes and hospitals are always very appreciative of the extra cheer and many will return the rental vases to the florist. Meals on Wheels also loves to have loose flowers to add to bud vases for home deliveries.

6. Donate fruit

If you are using fresh fruit such as apples, check to see if your local food bank can use the fruit after your wedding. Here in Pittsburgh, The Three Rivers Table Program will actually come at the end of your wedding reception and will pick up any usable fruit (or cookies from your cookie table). This fruit is then given to local programs such as shelters and after school programs.

The apples to the left were donated to the Table Program after Meghan and Bill’s wedding last year at Heinz Field.

For more information on the Three Rivers Table Program, click here: http://www.pittsburghfoodbank.org/donate/donate_food.aspx

7. Re-purposed Materials

I LOVE using non conventional containers for flowers. Goodwill is a great resource for funky vases for a shabby chic look at your reception. In Pittsburgh we also have Construction Junction: http://www.constructionjunction.org/ (Which also happens to be the recycling center we use). I love this place! People can donate old construction materials like columns, doors, window panes, hardware, etc. I could spend a whole day here.

8. Give Bulbs, Trees or Seeds as Favors

Instead of giving away something that will end up in a junk drawer (just say no to monogrammed items!), why not give your guests something that they can plant and enjoy at home in their garden for years to come.
Check out these favors available from Mocha Rose for $2.50 each. They are matchstick gardens in which your guests can plant each “match stick” to grow their own herb or wildflower garden to enjoy throughout the summer.

9. Reuse Arrangements

If your church requests that you remove all decorations after the ceremony, make sure that you can reuse them at your reception.
10. Donate to Terra Pass to offset the carbon footprint of your wedding
http://www.terrapass.com/wedding/ Try out the calculator here to see what is the carbon footprint of your wedding. Make sure you include the time your vendors and major supplies (IE roses from Ecuador) will be traveling. You can make a financial donation through this site to offset the carbon footprint for your event. When you buy a Terra Pass, your money funds clean energy and efficiency projects such as wind farms. These projects result in verified reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.