Our Commitment to Environmental Sustainability
You make environmentally conscientious choices in your personal life, and you probably prioritize companies that do the same. But when it comes to planning an environmentally conscientious event, it can be hard to even know what questions you should be asking your wedding vendors. It’s my job to know what the major environmental concerns are in the floral industry and to find solutions. At Three Notch, our love of nature extends beyond creating designs that look natural. I spend a lot of time and effort improving our impact on the environment. These are the major areas of concern I have identified, and the steps we have taken to address them.
Single-use plastics are one of the largest environmental issues of our time. Plastics are created from petroleum, do not biodegrade, and break into microscopic particles that are now found in almost all of our water and soil. 40% of all plastic created is used for packaging, but it also creeps into floral design in unexpected ways like floral foam or zip ties. The following chart shows the single-use plastic I've identified in the floral design process and how we've dealt with it. And truthfully I have not found solutions for all plastics yet.
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.