Fake flowers have become monumental in the Instagram world, with venues all over the world adopting the trend of incorporating flower walls and backdrops into both their interior and exterior design.
In recent weeks, newspaper platforms such as The Daily Mail and The Guardian have highlighted the exponential growth in the faux flower trend in a bid to drive sales and encourage guests to take selfies. Ultimately, questioning if it is tacky or trendy.
Published lists online are now revealing the ‘most Instagrammable restaurants’ mostly boast elaborate faux floral displays, suggesting that celebrities and others are embracing the insta-flower craze despite experts deeming them ‘tacky’ and harmful to the environment.
However, the team at Siamais have done some research in response to this, and have found many benefits to owning and using fake flowers in restaurants and other venues. With the recent spotlight on the climate and global warming, buying fresh flowers regularly may actually incur more damage than fake flowers.
As most fresh cut flowers are grown overseas in South America and Africa, not only are banned (in Europe and the US) pesticides being used, but fresh flowers are also transported by airplane to their destination country and then transported in refrigerated trucks to their final destination, producing emissions at 637-847 grams per ton-kilometer (so, a lot).
However, comparing this to fake flowers, due to not having a shelf life they can be stored in boxes and placed on ships for transport which produces far fewer emissions (10-15 grams per ton-kilometer). So, when looking at emissions and toxins, faux flowers may have an edge over fresh flowers due to the difference in their transportation.
Not only is the mode of transport important, but packaging plays a vital role in the environmental impacts. Each bouquet of freshly cut flowers are often wrapped in cellophane or plastic packaging. Whereas most faux plants require very little packaging, and what they do require is often made out of cardboard which is biodegradable.
The three primary principles of sustainability are reduce, reuse and recycle, and fake flowers are the clear winners in this case – fake flowers can be resold and reused for many purposes and can last for years, reducing your costs and your carbon footprint. Whereas fresh cut flowers have a maximum shelf life of one month. So if you want fresh flowers all of the time, whether it be for decoration or not, you re-incur all of the toxins, emissions and packaging every time you purchase a new bouquet.
If we’re thinking about long-term, faux flowers require less care and commitment, ultimately doing less damage to the environment due to the ability of being reused year after year. However, if you use locally grown fresh flowers, you may be able to start reducing your carbon footprint.
So, ultimately, even though experts may deem fake flowers as a ‘tacky insta-craze’, they may actually be baby steps in helping to reduce negative environmental impacts in several industries.