Our Commitment to Environmental Sustainability
When it comes to planning an environmentally conscientious event, it can be hard to know what questions you should even be asking your wedding vendors. It’s our job to know what the issues are in the floral industry, do the research, and find solutions. Below is a discussion of the policies we've implemented at Three Notch to make sure your celebration is both beautiful and sustainable.
Petroleum based products like plastic, floral foam, paraffin candles, etc. will never biodegrade. And we now know they also break into microscopic particles that gets into our soil and water systems, which is terrible for us and for future flowers. These products sneak into our work at every level and in unexpected ways. So at Three Notch, we've pulled apart every step of the process in building an event to see how we can reduce or eliminate petroleum based products with the goal of becoming as close to zero waste as possible. Here are the steps we've taken:
We never use floral foam/Oasis in our designs.
We have substituted jute/hemp twine and rope for rubber bands, zip ties, and fishing wire.
We use 100% silk ribbon because artificial fabrics are made out of plastic.
We buy local flowers first because they come in less packaging and use less fuel to arrive at your wedding.
We deliver boutonnieres, corsages, flower crowns, etc. in paper boxes and bags made from recycled paper.
Sourcing product locally is good for the obvious reason that it decreases the amount of fuel needed to obtain flowers. But it's also amazing for some more complicated reasons. Since 1991, when the US signed the Andean Trade Preference Act (which removed tariffs on certain agricultural products, including cut flowers, from Central and South America in an attempt to encourage farmers to grow something other than cocaine), we have predominantly sourced our flowers from large, industrial farms in countries that keep prices low by paying their workers poorly and relying heavily on pesticides and herbicides. Even if a farm wanted to switch to organic-like practices, it could not because US border control requires plant products coming into the country to be sprayed with pesticides and herbicides to prevent non-native species from entering. Sourcing from local farms is one step in decreasing our reliance on labor and agricultural practices that hurt the workers and the land involved.
One of my biggest goals is to keep as much waste out of landfills as possible. The most visible way we do this at Three Notch is to compost organic material at the weekly farmers' markets run by Grow NYC. At every event, you will see us bring a paper yard waste bag for our compost to be kept in separate from any trash. (In fact, sometimes we don't even need a trash bag at events!) But this can also be achieved through reusing items. We encourage you to rent our vases, candle holders, and decor instead of buying new pieces that will be thrown away after the wedding. And we have begun an initiative to melt down and repour partially used candles, which will be scented with flowers and foliage from your wedding as our gift to you.