Little Known Fact: Fresh Cut Flowers are No Longer “Green”
Choices are often based on first perceptions and comparisons of the environmental impact of the indoor use of fresh cut flowers to artificial silk flowers is not as obvious as one might first perceive. It’s easy to assume since fresh cut flowers are natural, they are a “greener” choice than artificial silk flowers. The facts prove differently – and also demonstrate how a small change in behavior can have a dramatic environmental effect.
The carbon footprint resulting from the supply chain transportation for the current indoor use of fresh cut flowers in the home and business environment has gone beyond any consideration of being “green”. Currently, more than 75% of fresh cut flowers in the U.S. are imported and are shipped weekly by air freight. Air freight transportation is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. More information at U.S. EPA, Climate Change - Greenhouse Gas Emissions. The “Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks: 1990 – 2010,” a 481 page pdf report, is available there.
A Smaller Carbon Footprint with Artificial Silk Flowers
Compare the carbon dioxide (CO2)emissions resulting from a shipment of fresh cut flowers to the one-time shipment and 7 years-plus life expectancy of an artificial silk flower arrangement. Factoring in the differences in distances shipped and the modes of transportation used through the floral supply chain, silk shipments have on average 93% fewer CO2 emissions per shipment. That is inclusive of each and every fresh flower purchase from the local flower shop, grocery, or warehouse store.
Furthermore, consider multiple shipments and deliveries of perishable fresh cut flowers and flower arrangements on a recurring basis, 52 times a year to retail stores or business accounts. This amounts to a staggering 364 international air shipments, plus 364 domestic air shipments, and 364 van or truck deliveries over a seven year period. Just for one 10 lb. fresh flower purchase per week, more than 15,000 lbs. CO2 is produced throughout the 7 year plus lifespan of a single purchase of a silk flower arrangement. That single silk purchase only produces 2.86 lbs. of CO2 and is based on an average of a Silkflowers.com 10 lb. arrangement shipping to 5 major U.S. cities. (Note this is not representative of the entire silk industry.)
Bottom Line: Opting for the single silk purchase in lieu of weekly fresh flowers will achieve a massive 99.98% reduction (7.5 tons) in CO2 emissions.
At Silkflowers.com, we love natural flowers, plants, and the great outdoors. After all, copying is said to be the most sincere form of flattery, and our silk florals are realistic to the point of fooling Mother Nature. We sincerely believe our permanent silk plants and flower arrangements are the best and “the greenest” choice for the indoor environment. For more information, click to read our complete Carbon Footprint White Paper