Working from a design studio rather than a storefront has allowed me to be more environmentally friendly because I have more control over the waste associated with flowers and the packaging materials that vase shipments come in.
These are some of the things I do to have less impact on the environment:
-Use only energy efficient lighting.
-Use only non toxic green cleaning products.
-Recycle all boxes, bubble wrap, and packing materials that vases are shipped in.
-Take all waste stems, branches, and flowers to the local Yard Waste Center to be made into compost.
-Use all the old water from flower buckets to water my garden instead of pouring it down the drain.
In addition to this I purchase my flowers from "green" or organic growers and wholesalers. Green flower growers have adopted practices that reduce their impact on the environment by eliminating or drastically reducing the use of pesticides and other chemicals. Their workers are fairly compensated, taken care of with safe practices, and provided with medical plans. Green flowers are slightly more expensive but I feel they are well worth it.
Many South American flower growers have workers that have extreme medical problems and birth defects due to exposure to pesticides and other chemicals. They are poorly paid and are not provided with medical coverage for the resulting health problems. Not only do I not want to contribute to these unsafe practices but I do not want to handle chemically treated flowers myself or expose them to my customers even though there has not been any proven adverse effects to just handling these flowers.
Most of the flowers you find in the grocery stores come from these toxic farms because they are cheaper to produce than "green" flowers and the grocery stores seem to be more interested in price than the environment or poor working conditions of farm workers.
Whenever I have a choice between locally grown or imported flowers I pick local flowers. Local flowers are much fresher and this supports local growers. It also reduces the impact on the environment because the flowers are not flown half way around the world. I feel it is everyone's responsibility to take whatever action they can to ensure a healthy planet for years to come.