Beautiful flowers without the carbon cost

This guest post by Bridget Appleby originally appeared on and has been reproduced with permission.

Receiving a beautiful bouquet of flowers is a joy, but the environmental impact of creating that bouquet can be high. Out-of-season, cut flowers are often either flown in from Africa or South America, or raised in greenhouses in the Netherlands, and therefore have a large carbon cost. One red rose could have the carbon equivalent of 4.5 kilos of bananas, making them one of the most carbon-intensive things per pound in your shopping basket.

Fortunately, there are several companies out there making cut flower gifting as sustainable as possible. Here are our recommendations:

Arena Flowers

Officially the UK's most ethical florist, Arena earned a perfect 100 score last year in the Ethical Company Index. Throughout the supply chain, the company uses organic, compostable materials and has taken measures to reduce the amount of plastics in use. For every bunch of flowers bought, they plant a tree in a country experiencing deforestation
Fairtrade? Not all of the bunches, but there are plenty of options that are
Plastic free? Yes, the cellophane wrapping is biodegradable
British bunches? There are four British bouquets to choose from 

Shop Arena Flowers here

Appleyard Flowers
Appleyard packs its flowers in paper, card and biodegradable cellophane and asserts that it is working to ensure all elements in the production process create as little waste as possible. It only sources stems from Britain and occasionally Kenya, putting a percentage of what they pay for these flowers back into the community - that means building new schools and only working with Fairtrade farms that pay workers a decent wage.
Fairtrade? The stems sourced from Kenya are Fairtrade
Plastic free? Yes, the cellophane used is biodegradable
British bunches? Yes, all Appleyard flowers are either British or from Fairtrade Kenyan farms
Bloom & Wild
While Bloom & Wild doesn't claim that its bouquets are organic, it does say that it only uses suppliers that use a minimal amount of chemical pesticides. The packaging contains some plastic elements (like the bud nets and cellophane wrappers) but the company assures us that it's busy working to reduce this. But, it's Bloom & Wild's commitment to workers' welfare in Kenya which impressed us - offering generous perks outlined in its statement.
Fairtrade? No but the company has its own policies in place to ensure workers are well cared for
Plastic free? No, but Bloom & Wild is working on it - starting with swapping the bud nets for more eco-friendly versions this year
British bunches? Some of their stems are source from the UK, but certainly not all of them, and you can't filter British options

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