Perpetual Blooms is a unique service created by Anita Howell that repurposes flowers from events and gives them to those who need their world brightened the most.
They pick up flowers from events (think large corporate lunches, conferences etc), rehydrate and rearrange them and then deliver them to places like domestic violence shelters, homeless shelters, cancer treatment centers, and more.
For Anita, it was an idea that has long been in the making over the fifteen years she spend as an event manager, where she saw so much waste in the industry and was often pleading with guests to take the flowers home.
Many of the floral displays had tool and foam added for decoration, so much of it just ended up being general waste. This was where Anita realised they could be doing so much more.
“I had a background in nursing and did events for not for profits so knew there were many people who are isolated or alone going through very difficult circumstances like cancer treatment, ageing or escaping domestic violence.
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“Oh how lovely someone is thinking of me” is the response Janet Dandy-Ward, Practice Manager @womens.girls.emergency.centre received when she delivered one of the repurposed posies from the @womensagenda Leadership Awards last Friday. Thank you Womens Agenda for choosing to be #kind and #sustainable
“Not being able to find anyone to do what Perpetual Blooms made me decide to be the solution for others and use event flowers to connect parts of our community that wouldn’t otherwise have that connection by facilitating a gift from one to the other, and to solve a huge problem for our environment by picking up the flowers after they’re spent and composting them.
“It had to be a service that would not create more work for anyone else or more waste in our landfill.”
Anita was able to donate over 1000 posies in the last year, which equates to almost a tonne of green waste, including 40 or so from the tables of our own recent Women’s Agenda Leadership Awards luncheon, which were repurposed for two Women and Girls’ Emergency Centres.
However, the social impact may be even greater. Flowers are often too expensive or not even thought of for people going through a distressing and financially unstable time, but Perpetual Blooms is providing people with a physical sign that shows someone cares.
“The staff at the women’s shelters I deliver to often comment on how nice it is to be able to give their women a personal luxury that their budgets would never stretch to allow them to give. They say the flowers instantly brighten up the houses and lift the mood when delivered.
“Just last week, I was told one of the women said how nice it was that someone was thinking of her as she went through this difficult time.
“Another lady had been in Sydney with her husband for 6 weeks while he received his cancer treatment. On receiving the flowers, she said that they were flower farmers and that they gave her hope that she would return to her community and farm one day and strengthened her to keep going and being the support for her husband as he completed his treatment.”