The End of Floral Foam

Any one who has ever worked alongside me has occasionally heard me gripe about nasty, toxic floral foam which was developed in 1954 to make floral design easier. There's no doubt that it makes designing easier as it holds flowers in place perfectly, allowing for more sculptural designs. But like many products that were developed in the 50's, the ease and convenience factor is high, while the impact on human health and the environment is questionable at best. 

Though rarely discussed until recently, it turns out that floral foam is composed of toxic materials (go figure) that expose humans to known carcinogens like formaldehyde and carbon black among other hazardous elements. Not only does this expose florists to harmful materials on a regular basis (like when the bricks are dry and we inhale that awful green dust, ahem), but it also leaches into our community's water and land once it's been disposed of, after just one use. Suffice it to say, I really can't stand the stuff and have long wondered when someone smarter than me would crack the code and cash in on a compostable, non-toxic version. In the meantime it's been chicken wire and tape for me.

Until now. (woo-hoo!)

After SIXTY years, someone has finally set their brilliant, beautiful mind to developing a healthy, environmentally-sound alternative to floral foam. That person is Mickey Blake and she is the raddest. Her new product Floral Soil is not just non-toxic, it is so good for the earth that you can actually use it to plant seeds in or add to your garden to IMPROVE SOIL. Say what?! Floral Soil is currently being tested by florists around the country and before long, we will finally see the end of toxic floral foam and will usher in this product that is actually GOOD for the earth. I for one couldn't be more ready. I tip my hat to you Ms. Blake. 

Here are 10 reasons why Mickey and her new product Floral Soil are the raddest:

1. Mickey = Female. Scientist. CEO. a.k.a. Badass. 

2. Floral Soil = 100% plant-derived.

3. Biodegradable.

4. Compostable.

5. Re-usable.

6. Grows seeds.

7. Holds water. 

8. Supports cut flowers.

9. Safe enough to eat. 

10. No green death dust. 

For more on this huge development for the floral industry, listen to this excellent interview with Mickey Blake and Debra Prinzing, the founder of the Slow Flower Movement.


Posted on December 15, 2014 and filed under sustainability.