Many of us know that floral foam has been used in the flower industry for decades. This revolutionary product originated in Akron, Ohio in the 1950's and it changed the floral world. There was now a product that could help keep flowers alive for a much longer period of time by providing a much needed water source.
As innovative and wonderful as this product was back in the 50's the effects it would eventually have in our environment weren't taken into consideration. Fast forward 70 years to 2020 and we now have a much better understanding of how floral foam affects us and our world.
Here are two reasons why we strive to be as foam-free as we possibly can.
When the foam is dry, the small dust particles that float into the air can be inhaled and cause harm to our respiratory system. Because Phenol and Formaldehyde are just two of the toxic chemicals contained in floral foam, excessive exposure to floral foam can be very harmful to humans. Not to mention that these chemicals are also carcinogens.
The chemicals that are in floral foam are intended to make this product last a LONG time, and by long time I mean, it can take hundreds of years to decompose. When used in floral design, the water used to soak these foam products goes down the drain and the foam itself is eventually thrown away after a long day's work. The contaminated water ends up in our water systems while the foam goes to a landfill to begin it's decomposing journey that will be much longer than our own lifetimes.
For a deep dive into the harmful effects of floral foam, check out this article by Flowers Magazine.
While floral foam is useful we still do not know what the long lasting effects of it can be when used on a regular basis. I also believe that when our floral designs are more in line with what we can find in nature, much more beautiful arrangements are created. I find foam-free designs to be much more organic, they have more movement and create a sense of awe that designs with foam simply don't. Much like this one.