How can paper flowers be better for the environment?
Updated: Jun 2, 2022
Here at Page & Bloom were are very conscious of our impact on the environment and we're always looking for ways to work sustainably. Our flowers are made from recycled and salvaged materials including (but not limited to!) books, maps and sheet music. As today is Earth Day, we thought this would be a great opportunity to share some facts about how choosing paper flowers over real flowers can help the environment. You may be thinking: but real flowers are nature.. so they can't do that much damage to the environment...right? But this just isn't the case! Read on to find out more!
The Difference Between Real and Paper Flowers
Research from Cranfield University found that growing 12,000 cut roses in Kenya emitted 2,200kg of CO2, and up to 35,000kg in the Netherlands- that’s a whopping 2.9kg of CO2 per flower!
In comparison, as our flowers aren't grown, the emissions are reduced to just our operational costs (electricity in our studio and transportation for postage etc)
From just ONE average sized paper back book, we can make:
85 roses (plus 900 apple blossom flowers from the off cuts) or
900 heads of lavender or
150 succulents (plus 1200 miniature leaves from the offcuts for wedding buttonholes!)
We can make 1 rose from just 4 pages of an average novel. The average book is 300 pages long, so we can make around 85 roses from 1 book.
In comparison, 85 cultivated (grown) roses would produce around 246.5kg of CO2! According to Ecomatcher, that's close to the estimated CO2 emissions for a 1 hour flight per person!
As you would expect, if you're growing real flowers, you're going to need water! But did you know, that growing 1 single cultivated rose can take up to 5 litres of water?
This would mean to grow 85 roses, around 425 litres of water would be needed. According to Water.org that's the same amount of water as flushing your toilet around 85 times! As our flowers are made from paper, the amount of water is drastically reduced to operational, postage and craft uses such as the water needed for the paint and the glue.
Recycled and Salvaged Materials
In March 2022, we made 656 flowers from 2091 book pages!
That may seem like a lot of books, but to give a comparison, here is a table to show the number of pages in some famous books:
Number of Pages
A Suitable Boy
Lord of the Rings Trilogy
War and Peace
So from four copies of Jane Eyre or two copies War and Peace, that would otherwise have gone to waste, we could have made all of the flowers we needed for March and had some leftover! Most of what we can't re-use gets recycled, and we are always going through the recycling bin in our studio and trying to work out how we can reduce what is going into it!
Our aim for the future is to continue to reduce our impact on the environment through the use of eco-friendly craft materials and recycling. We are hoping to find more ways to use salvaged and recycled materials and recently partnered with Ratchford & Co a bookbinding materials supplier who have kindly been donating their offcuts to us. The photo below shows our winter bouquet, which was made from several different pieces sent to us by them!
We are working hard to make sure that our flowers are as kind as possible to the planet and hope that we can make more progress in the next year. If you have any suggestions on how we can reduce our impact further, please feel free to get in touch, we love to brainstorm and we all agree that working together is the best way to protect our planet.
So there you have it! Every time you purchase our flowers over real flowers, you are helping the environment by reducing CO2 emissions and water usage. But that's not the only thing you'll do: when you buy our flowers, you also helps us to support women affected by domestic abuse. You can find out more about what we do and our social purpose here.