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From birthdays to weddings, the passing of loved ones to anniversaries, flowers have been a part of celebrations both happy and sad since the earliest days of civilization. Flowers are a mainstay for our festivities, but can take a toll on the planet due to farming and shipping practices. The good news is that some floral shops, like Stein Your Florist Co. in Philadelphia, are addressing this issue by implementing more sustainable programs to help ensure we can all continue to enjoy flowers for years to come.

Started in 1887 by the Stein family of Philadelphia, Stein Your Florist has gone from delivering flowers by horse and buggy to serving customers in not only Philadelphia, but also New Jersey and the surrounding suburbs. The business was built by servicing the public with quality merchandise at a value beyond the industry’s norm. This dedication to their customers continued when the company was sold in part to Patrick Kelly in 1996, following 15 years of training under the Stein family. Today, Kelly along with his wife and two daughters, serve as the sole owners, focusing on not only creating beautiful floral designs for all occasions, but also addressing ways the business can decrease their carbon footprint.

One of the main ways Stein Your Florist has focused on sustainability is by helping to increase green space through the installation of a rooftop garden in their Philadelphia location. The garden, which maximized unused space for the business, now includes a carpet of sedums, potted flowers and vegetables, and a Warre beehive. The garden has allowed Stein Your Florist to offset some of the city’s pollutants and provides employees a spot to visit on breaks (and extra snacks to eat!). The layer of sedum also acts as a level of insulation for the shop, keeping it warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer, reducing energy consumption and the company’s energy bill. The beehive also did so well last year that the hive split into three, helping address the issue of declining honey bee population and increasing the amount of pollinators that are essential for the floral industry to operate.

In addition to these outdoor measures, Stein Your Florist has made green strides within the walls of the shops. The company has upgraded traditional thermostats to smart thermostats from Nest to cut energy consumption, as well as added more recycling stations in workspaces and offices to make it easier for staff to separate their disposables responsibly. They have also appointed a “Stein Green Team” that informs employees of new green practices in the workspace and looks for new initiatives to undertake that are beneficial for both the environment and the company.

The Stein Green Team is also focused on finding affordable green alternatives for products that are used every day throughout the shops and offices, including everything from eco-conscience paper and ink to organic ribbons and recycled vases. Additionally, the shops are focusing on eco-friendly product lines and gifts, and sharing their green efforts with the community to encourage others to also help the environment. Stein Your Florist also makes it easy for customers to understand which products are the environmentally friendly choice within the stores through special signage. For example, Stein Your Florist uses signs that show which flowers are locally sourced rather than imported and which hard goods are made from recycled, organic or natural materials.

”While we are in no way the perfect environmentalists, we are routinely taking steps to help our Earth and offset our carbon footprint and green our business practices,” said Jennifer Kelly, head of the Stein Green Team. “We are striving to change the perception that cut flowers are not a green choice and connect with like-minded consumers who care about our planet just as much as we do.”

To learn more about Green Business Bureau Member, Stein Your Florist, and their commitment to changing the perception that cut flowers are not the green choice, visit: http://www.steinyourflorist.com

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