In our current issue of Living we ran a feature about how to make your own Christmas wreath.
Shortly after publication a lovely lady called Bettina from GillyFlower in Berkhamsted made contact to explain that the foam oases we recommended in our feature are, in fact, extremely bad for the environment and that most people are using far more eco-friendly alternatives these days.
We’re always up for learning news things, and are always trying to be more eco-friendly, so we took the opportunity to speak to Bettina to find out more.
‘Foam oases contain several ingredients that are known carcinogenics,’ she explains. ‘It also isn’t a very biodegradable material, so the hundreds of tonnes that are discarded in the UK every year after a single use will sit in landfill for a long time.
‘Most of the UK’s on-trend designers have ditched foam in favour of more eco-friendly alternatives such as metal wreath rings (available from floristry suppliers). These are re-useable; wrap them in UK-grown moss and tie foliage to them with florists’ wire. If you keep the moss moist, any traditional evergreen foliage such as holly and ivy will last at least as long as in an oasis. Our wreaths are made on a base of locally-grown willow and are entirely bio-degradable.’
So, if you’re looking for a more sustainable way of making your wreath this year, take Bettina’s advice and avoid the foam oases – we know we certainly will be from now on!
For details on Bettina’s wreath-making courses, contact her via the website: www.gillyflower.org.uk.