Scientifically proven to heal hearts, minds and the environment.
Although Michael Jackson may not have been thinking of flowers when he crooned about making the world a better place, we certainly are. Today marks the start of our campaign for Earth Day, April 22 to use flower power to touch lives and save the environment in the process.
Beautiful blooms brighten up any room. They’re perfect for decorating both indoor events and outdoor parties, and they make lovely gifts for loved ones. But can they really heal the world, you ask? You bet. There’s serious science to back up this claim.
Flowers make people happier, kinder and more productive
A group of American researchers performed a series of experiments in which they gave people bouquets of flowers and then used measured their reactions. Here’s what the study found (drumroll please): flowers make people smile.
The results weren’t earth-shattering but what was cool was they found that everybody reacted very positively, even the men. The researchers took extra steps to prove that these were genuine smiles – where your cheeks are raised and your eyes get a little squinty – and not the kind you give when you’re just being polite. So flowers truly made people happier. What’s more, participants reported that the flowers had a lasting effect on their happiness over the next couple of days.
Flowers also promote compassion, according to a study by Harvard University. Researchers got people to place flowers around their homes and then track their moods. They found that the flowers evoked feelings of compassion and kindness for others. Flowers also helped to fight negative emotions, increase energy and enthusiasm at work. To top it off, flowers promote healing. Patients exposed to flowers and plants recovered more quickly post-surgery.
Worrying about business performance? Flowers can help with that too. Research shows that having flowers and plants in the workplace boosts idea generation, creative performance and problem solving skills significantly, and particularly for men.
The bad news is that while flowers are great for humans, cut flowers are bad for the earth
Image credit: imagesthai.com/Pexels
Unfortunately, the cut flower industry is a big contributor to air, soil and water pollution. Farmers tend to use pesticides liberally. Because flowers aren’t edible, there are few regulations on pesticide use. The agrochemicals contaminate the soil and surface water. They may even pose health risks to people who come into contact with the pesticide residue on the flowers.
Lots of water and energy goes into growing these flowers. And then they have to be flown into the country on fuel-guzzling planes and transported in refrigerated containers, after which they are kept in refrigerated warehouses. This leaves a huge carbon footprint in their wake. Yet, cut flowers only last a few days before they are thrown out.
What’s a flower-lover to do? Reduce, Reuse and Recycle your blooms
We think we have a solution to #BloomBacktheEarth.
First, you can reduce floral wastage by using preserved flowers. Cut flowers wither but preserved flowers look fresh for up to a year (or even longer!). Preserved flowers can be used in place of cut flowers at hotel banquets, corporate events, as gifts or in daily life. You’ll help reduce carbon emissions, water wastage and, of course, flower waste.
Next, reuse those preserved flowers! Since they have a long lifespan, you can use them over and over for photoshoots (in your wedding shoot, or a fun photo session with your friends, or even as part of your Instagram flatlay), then retire them to a nice display case at home where they can be admired.
Finally, if you do have cut flowers leftover from an event, recycle them by donating to BloomBack. We repurpose and repackage your flowers so we can give them away to those who might need a boost in their emotional wellbeing. These include low-income residents who live alone and hospice patients. Giving them flowers is different from handing out tins of Milo or biscuits, because flowers bring about emotional healing and we get to engage with them on a deeper level. By donating your flowers, you won’t just be helping the planet, you’ll help people too.