Are Faux Flowers Eco-Friendly? {Guest Post}

Today’s guest post makes me question which is more eco-friendly: faux or real flowers? I think that the materials in question play an important role. Make sure you weigh in with your opinions in the comments!

Faux Flowers vs. Live Flowers

Most people today are aware of the ever-growing hole in the ozone layer, climate change, and the going green trend. As aware and concerned citizens, one can bring this healthy trend right into the home, and do their part to help save the planet by using faux flowers in decorating. Faux flowers are not like they used to be. The artistry of the flowers is so amazing; most people have to inspect the flowers close up before they realize they are not real. The benefits of using faux vs. live flowers are endless.

Benefits

It can be extremely costly to replace live flowers, which only last a couple of weeks, (if one is lucky). Real flowers are typically more expensive to begin with because they are so delicate, and must be purchased in season. Faux bouquets and arrangements can be collected and stored, and displayed in season. They can also be rearranged and mixed for a fresh, new look. It can be fun to experiment and find the inner decorator within. Another plus with faux, is there are no messes such as spills, or petals dropping. Forget worrying about them dying or wilting, they are perfect for anyone with a busy lifestyle. There is no worry about allergies because there is no pollen. If the household has animals, some plants and flowers are toxic to them when ingested. Lastly, there is the fact the flowers will not be picked from the earth, and one can be proud they are sustaining the planets natural resources.

What Materials to Look For

Many flowers today are made from organic and green materials. All that is required is a little information from the supplier of flowers online, to determine if they contain earth-friendly fabrics. Some of them are:

Bamboo – Bamboo grass is made into a pulp, and in turn produced into a strong fiber. This fiber is in most cases stronger and longer lasting than many textile fabrics.

Cork – Cork can be adapted to a textile, and used in arrangements in place of Styrofoam.

Hemp – Hemp is grown pesticide and fertilizer free. It has been a popular organic material for many years.

Soybean or Soy Material

Organic Cotton

Recycled Polyester

Caring for Your Faux Flowers

There are several rules to follow for care and storage of faux flowers, to make them last longer. Caring for this type of flowers is much less time-consuming than maintaining live flowers. It is important to store the flowers in an upright position to retain shape, and in a cool dry area. To wash them, most can be soaked or wiped with hot, soapy water. They can also be dusted with a feather duster, or blown dry with a blow dryer on low setting. Some craft stores, and distributors of faux flowers also sell a special cleaner, which can restore even brilliant colors. It is usually quite inexpensive and long-lasting as only a small spritz is needed per flower. In addition, when the flowers are being displayed, they should be kept out of direct sunlight to avoid fading.

When it comes to deciding faux over real flowers, there is only one last thing you need to trick your friends and family into thinking they are real, organic scented spray. Then you can be proud when telling them that you are doing your part in saving the planet. Happy decorating!

___________

Patricia Hall works part-time for a florist and flower delivery but loves to surround herself with flowers at any given point of time. Even in her free time she loves to involve herself with everything flora and fauna.
‘To me there is nothing more beautiful and global as the language of flowers – it is the easiest to understand all around the world in the same way. That is one reason why I truly admire flowers for what they represent in some ways – unity of all mankind!’

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Comments

Are Faux Flowers Eco-Friendly? {Guest Post} — 13 Comments

  1. I’m not sure the fact that they last longer or cost less makes faux flowers greener than real ones? It’s true that real flowers are often doused with pesticides and shipped hundreds of miles, but there are also locally grown organic flowers at the farmers’ market. I would think that some of them have a positive impact on the soil, attract bees and ladybugs to control insects on neighboring food crops, are compostable at the end of their lives, and require fewer resources to make. Plants also create oxygen while they’re growing. I rarely get cut flowers for the house because my potted orchids bloom so beautifully.
    Jennifer @noteasy2begreen recently posted..4 Questions to Ask Before Buying Anything

    • I can certainly agree! I have to admit that I was hesitant to publish this guest post, but I thought it would be interesting to see what kind of a discussion we could spark. It seems I am all about discussion lately. ;)

      I do wonder if a more eco-friendly faux flower is a good option to have available for those that do buy a lot of cut flowers or opt for faux flowers anyway? Or should we just focus on continued encouragement of organic cut flowers and houseplants?

      • Discussion is good. :) I prefer real flowers because they look and smell better, but rather than making a judgment call, I’d encourage more conscious buying of all flowers, real or fake. So often we buy flowers out of social expectation rather than true pleasure in their beauty (case in point: funerals, where almost no one is capable of enjoying them). If you can’t use or enjoy something, it’s probably not worth its impact.
        Jennifer @noteasy2begreen recently posted..4 Questions to Ask Before Buying Anything

  2. I actually change the decor in my home so often that faux flowers become the least eco-friendly way to buy flowers. One thing I do like is my potted orchids which last so long and bring a life into the home. We don’t buy cut flowers but we do try to have as many plants around as possible. Because we live in an area with a lot of dust storms (and in a country where fracking is a way of life) the plants and real potted supply valuable oxygen when the acid laden sand storms attack.
    Fake flowers would definitely collect a lot of dust and would find themselves in the bin. That would mean landfill space.
    The Organic Blonde recently posted..Ecumenical Lenten Carbon Fast Day 27

  3. I would be more likely to buy a plant than artificial flowers and I love to bring fresh flowers in from my yard, then I can compost them in the garden when their spent. I do like the felt flowers in the photo, very cute. I did find a neat tutorial on making the felt ones which also work with polar fleece, a fun way to recycle a worn fleece jacket or pullover: http://www.infarrantlycreative.net/2011/10/how-to-make-felt-flowers.html
    Susan P recently posted..The Magic of Lemons – 15 Ways to Capture it

  4. @Jennifer – Well, I definitely have to agree that a local florist who grows his flowers in an organic way is a great approach towards decorating your living environment. Personally, I love real flowers for they have more attributes than faux ones like the fragrance or the soft touch of life still in them.

    On the other hand having faux flowers definitely has a good long term effect which makes them appear more sustainable for you do not toss them after a couple of days but can have them for weeks and months. :)

  5. Flowers speak the language of love. It also speaks your concern and condolence on specific occasions of grief and sorrow. One of the best ways of expressing your love and affection to your beloved ones is through flowers – The flowers, colorful, fragrant and fresh from the gardens. :..

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