We all know that plastic is harmful to the environment however it's use is unavoidable in modern day living, however wherever we can and whenever we can, we should consider alternatives, especially when it comes to our choice of flowers for funerals. Although a sensetive topic, the funeral of our dear Queen Elizabeth lead the way and opened the conversation. Her funeral was watched by over 4 billion viewers and it was estimated that it was the single most watched televised event ever. Much was made of her circular wreath placed on top of her coffin which included flowers and foliage cut from the gardens of Buckingham Palace and Highgrove House. These included rosemary for rememberance, myrtle, English oak, garden roses, pelargoniums, hydrangea, dahlias, scabious and sedum in shades of gold, pink, deep burgundy with touches of white to reflect the Royal Standard.
Now, not everyone has access to an estate however much of the funeral flowers used themselves are unsustainable due to most of the flowers being purchased from abroad. It has being calculated that the carbon footprint of imported flowers can be 10 times that of a homegrown bouquet. Notwithstanding this, the way the flowers are arranged are more of a problem and that is because of what they are arranged in ie the trays and holders and how they are arranged using floral foam or oasis.
Trays and holders used in funeral work are single use and are made with a hard plastic base which is in its entirity is unsustainable.
Floral Foam/Oasis is made up of plastic similar to foam insulation and 1 block of oasisis found to contain the same amount as 1o plastic bags. Most alternatives are no better. Bio Floral Foam has been found to produce more toxil phenols than regular foam and the Bio Foam has been designed for landfill disposal only. Both should never be placed in green waste or composting facilities.
The good news is something can be done and it is relatively straightforward and more importantly it should not more be more expensive. To be completely sustatinable therefore the florist you should use should follow the following principles.
1. Grow their own flowers or use seasonal flowers from local flower growers and support Bristish Flower Farmers, not from imported sources.
2. Use alternatives for floral foam and plastic in their funeral flower tributes.
Here at Jenni Wren Creative, I am happy to say, that not only do we have our own cut flower garden and produce our own flowers, but we also own a woodland so can source a lot of the natural foliage, materials (cones, lichened twigs, birch larch etc). All these elements can be used in flower arranging and more importantly provide the moss needed to use as the alternative to floral foam. All our bases are eco-friendly, using willow or compostible friendly options.
All the traditional shapes and styles are available from wreaths in all shapes and sizes from circular, to heart to crosses and includes flower letters that use MDF as a backing rather than hard back plastic. MDF is also a sustainable product.
So if you are looking for an environmentally friendly option for your funeral flowers in Oxfordshire, particularly in Didcot, Faringdon and the surrounding areas, please do not hesitate to contact me to discuss your personal requirements. Rather than working to a catalogue, every funeral tribute we make are made from the best seasonal flowers and foliage available within that month or indeed that day. The request can be made personalised to include a favourite flower, colour scheme or in the case of a living wreath, a plant. Listed below are what is available to order as well as a compliation of images to give you a reference point of the styles available.
Natural traditional style wreaths: On a willow base are fully compostible with no plastic or oasis. They can be made in any colour scheme or with any seasonal flower variety.
Living Wreaths: Popular with gardeners and in the Spring, these wreaths are an alternative to the more traditional design which include planted elements, flowering bulbs and succulents. For this reason they tend to last longer. A combination of both traditional and Living Wreaths are an option.
These hears are handcrafted with willow or birch and are completely biodegradable so are perfect for green/natural burials.