Trashing Those Centerpieces

White hydrangeas and deep orange roses and lilies helped turn the dinner on the opening night of the Host Global Alliance 4th Annual HGA Global Forum into a special affair. That wouldn’t be the final act for the gorgeous buds and blooms. Rather than a trip to the dumpster. The flowers made their way to the Ronald McDonald House of South Florida.  To brighten the day of the families of pediatric cancer patients.

Jennifer Grove, founder and CEO of Repeat Roses (left), with her sales director Amy Nathan at the HGA Global Forum in July.

The service was provided by a company called Repeat Roses. Launched in 2014 by Jennifer Grove, a former event industry planner who is on a mission to do something about the volume of floral waste at events. Grove addressed the HGA audience, explaining that recycling the flowers not only removes them from the waste stream, but also brings joy to the community. Depending on local needs, the flowers may go to hospices, nursing homes, women’s shelters, or cancer care facilities.

Repeat Roses charges between $750 and $2,000 for the service. This includes pickup on the night of the event, redistribution of the flowers into many small vases. Also a photo confirmation of the delivery so clients can see where the flowers end up, and a nonprofit donation letter. A week later, the company picks up the wilted flowers from the charity in order to compost the flowers (ensuring they don’t end up in a plastic bag in a landfill) and reuse the vases.

Event attendees can also get involved in the process. During the coffee break after Grove’s talk at the HGA Global Forum, attendees had a chance to help make small arrangements out of the bouquets from the previous night—“floral therapy” is what Grove likes to call the relaxing, optional activity.

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