by Sonia Holsen, Summer Intern
Klein’s Floral and Greenhouses is owned by Sue Klein, the granddaughter of the original founders of the family business. We sat down with her to talk about sustainability. Sue is carrying on her family’s 108-year legacy of providing the community with a full-service florist as well as housing a wide selection of annuals, vegetables, herbs, perennials, and shrubs, along with all of the tools and materials one may need to grow a healthy garden.
Sustainability has always been a core value in the Klein’s business as well as personally for the Klein family. Her family grew up during the depression era, so part of her parent’s sustainability ethic was financially motivated, but over time, became a core value and intentional practice. Sue and her siblings learned the value of reusing and recycling materials. This conservation-mindset has now become ingrained in the Klein’s business model. For example, they have a system in place to reuse all of the pots and labels that come with their plants. Customers can bring the pots and labels back to the store after planting them at home, and Klein’s will repurpose them and put them to use again.
Klein’s also prioritizes sourcing their materials and products more sustainably. They source their cardboard boxes, containers, and packaging materials from other businesses that have discarded them.
Energy efficient systems can be found throughout their facility. They have a high-efficiency boiler, automated ventilation that opens and closes by reading the humidity and temperature, an efficient ingrown heat system, and window shades in place of an air conditioning system to keep cool in the summer.
For the future, Sue envisions using zero plastic. She remembers that as a kid they grew plants in reusable clay pots, and when customers came to buy the plants they would wrap the roots and soil in newspaper. Creative sustainable alternatives like these are what Sue imagines the future of Klein’s will be made of. We can’t wait to see these ideas take root and grow even more sustainability practices at Klein’s. ❖