It's not easy being green
You might not think it, the floral design business being so much about natural, organic (in its original sense) and beautiful things, but it's not a particularly 'green' industry.
That green floral foam that most florists use and you might be familiar with? It's a kind of plastic (and therefore derived from oil), it doesn't biodegrade, it's impregnated with formaldehyde and all sorts of other nasty things.. it's just really not great for the environment. Thing is, though, it's so convenient and easy to work with. It's cheap, it does a great job of holding water and holding up flowers, extending their lives and let's not forget, super fun to squish when it's dry. It's been linked to some quite serious diseases too, so besides not being great for the planet, it's not great for florists either.
But I have committed to being as green a business as I can, so I don't use it at pistils & stamen. Oftentimes that means a design will take much longer than it might otherwise have done and cost more to make (I use chicken wire stuffed with moss when I need to make designs without containers) I wish there were an easier alternative, but I have searche'd the four corners of the interweb and haven't found any biodegradable options anywhere.
Another thing I can't seem to find is an alternative to plastic wrap for the ready made bouquets I have for sale every day at the shop. I mostly use unbleached Kraft paper but it certainly doesn't hold up well to the weather that Oregon throws at us for nine months of the year. I've been looking for months for a biodegradable plastic wrap but can find nothing strong enough - and I end up being rather depressed by the hundreds of florist supply sites preferring only landfill-bound (or worse, trash island-bound) plastic flower sleeves. Even companies like Whole Foods and New Seasons use loads of plastic in their floral sales! I'm going to be experimenting with glassine, wax and freezer paper, to see if any of those options might work to keep my flowers looking professional and neatly presented.
End minor rant about the difficulties of being a green florist.