Introducing Perpetual Blooms – where flowers from weddings and events have a second life, bringing joy to people in the community who need it most.
“I started Perpetual Blooms because it really upset me to come to the end of an event and have to throw the flowers so beautifully arranged in the bin.”Anita Howell
A nurse and events specialist, Anita Howell, saw both the waste in the events industry and the need in the caring sector and started a business to provide a solution to these two issues.
“As an event manager, I quickly learnt that flowers were an incredible tool to help set the mood and style of a room.
Arrangements artfully created for an occasion were discarded just hours after they had been painstakingly put together. Time and time again, I found myself asking guests, staff and anyone to take a bunch so I wouldn’t have to see them go to waste and I knew many other event professionals who were experiencing the same thing.
“That’s a whole lot of beautiful flowers going to waste and oftentimes, straight to landfill!”
Having also worked as a nurse in general, palliative and aged care, I witnessed first-hand the isolation and lack of community and support people going through a difficult time in their lives can experience.
So I began the journey of creating a service where people with a social and environmental conscience could use their event flowers to send a message of love to someone who is going through a difficult time whether it be cancer treatment, escaping a domestic violence situation or aging and isolation.
“I knew the model for Perpetual Blooms could be part of the solution to both these problems.”Anita Howell, Founder of Perpetual Blooms
Perpetual Blooms repurposes event flowers into individual posies for delivery to residential not for profit organisations like cancer treatment facilities, nursing homes, womens shelters etc. After the blooms have been enjoyed a second time, I pick them up for composting and recycle the vases next time.
For some, the lack of community can make them feel invisible and unimportant to the rest of the world. Regifting your event flowers can change that and send a message of love and let someone know you wish them well and care about them. What a wonderful way for a business, an individual or married couple to have a positive impact on the lives of people in their community.
How it works
To ensure each posy is a gift of love takes preparation. The Perpetual Blooms team arrives immediately after the event and removes all flowers and foliage and returns to the studio to begin the next journey for the flowers.
Each event arrangement is deconstructed, cleaned, trimmed, rehydrated and then rearranged into individual posies with a tag identifying the donor.
The posies are then delivered to a residential service like a hospice, cancer treatment facility, shelter or nursing home.
The donor receives a lovely email with photos telling the story of the second journey, we post to Instagram and LinkedIn to share the story with our community and we also coordinate a letter of thanks from the charity for them.
Finally, the other important issue Perpetual Blooms hopes to address is the effect on our environment by reducing the amount of waste being produced by events. when I was designing the model for Perpetual Blooms, I wanted to ensure that the service would be a part of the solution and not add to the problem. As part of the service, we will pick up spent blooms for composting after they have been enjoyed a second time and vases and jars are cleaned and stored away to be used again and again.
It’s a completely environmentally friendly process resulting in a zero waste for event flowers.
I’m very excited about delivering this service and have seen some beautiful messages of love exchanged. Big businesses reaching out to women escaping domestic violence to let them know they care. For staff at the shelters to be able to give the women a personal gift which is a luxury item means so much. For the women who have been removed from all their contacts and social structure it lets them know that someone is cheering them on.
Making a delivery of flowers to a veteran nursing home during the Invictus Games was another great joy. Letting our aging veterans who couldn’t join in the games physically know they were also being acknowledged and appreciated.
We live in an age where sustainability and social purpose is what consumers want from the products and services they buy.
By including Perpetual Blooms in their offering, event venues, planners and florists can offer their customers a service that is in line with their values. It’s also a wonderful way for businesses to connect with and positively impact the communities they serve. Including the Perpetual Blooms service as part of their events reduces the carbon footprint and can also help businesses achieve the targets for their social and environmental impact reporting.
Perpetual Blooms is a for purpose organisation that helps others put kindness and sustainability into action by repurposing their event flowers to brighten the lives of people going through a difficult time. It’s a tremendous joy and privilege to be the vehicle for kindness in community and our environment and I look forward to sharing many more stories with you in 2019!
If you’d like to enquire about having your event flowers repurposed and find out more about how it works, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Similar services around the world
Floral Angels – London www.floralangels.com
Blossom and Grace Project, Virginia www.instagram.com/blossomngraceproject
Reflower Project, Boston www.reflowerproject.org
Petals for Hope, Maryland www.petalsforhope.com