How to Rescue Leftovers

By Melissa Sersland, June 21, 2019

The flowers are repurposed into petite bouquets that are taken to hospice homes, cancer treatment centers, mental health facilities, and domestic abuse and homeless shelters. After the flowers have enjoyed a second life, Repeat Roses returns to compost them and recycle the containers.

Grove encourages planners to keep sustainability in mind throughout the planning process. This includes considering where flowers are being shipped from and how they may be flown, refrigerated and trucked along the way. The organization’s staff has been known to walk repurposed flowers to their place of donation instead of driving to reduce their carbon footprint. Another way planners can ensure their floral pieces result in zero waste is to order flowers in reusable containers instead of in floral foam that cannot be repurposed.

The nonprofit Random Acts of Flowers, which will celebrate its 10th anniversary this year, repurposes leftover flowers from grocery stores, floral wholesalers and events into bouquets. The organization currently operates in Knoxville, Tennessee; Tampa Bay,  Florida; Chicago and Indianapolis, and asks for a donation in exchange for pickup. Planners can ensure their leftover flowers will brighten someone’s day for as long as possible by being mindful of the types of flowers they purchase for the event. “Hydrangeas are super-popular flowers, but they don’t last,” says Christina Scott Sayer, national director of marketing and communications at Random Acts of Flowers. “If we pick them up from a wedding or event, they will probably end up in compost.”

During its 10-year tenure, Random Acts of Flowers has completed more than 340,000 deliveries and has recycled 355,000 vases. In addition to reducing waste, Scott Sayer says planners hoping to plan more sustainable events can achieve a positive human benefit.

“We’re purposing vases that would have been put in landfills,” Scott Sayer says. “We have delivered so many bouquets; we’ve delivered flowers every 15 minutes for 10 years. But it’s also the connection between people. When you deliver flowers, you are visiting with someone and having a conversation, and flowers can have an impact on health, healing and improvement. Our mission is a simple one, but it’s impactful.”

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