As I was scrolling the internet the other day looking at everything wedding related I came across a posting about candy buffets. First off, just to be clear, I absolutely love candy buffets! I mean who doesn't love candy?
Candy buffets can be a fun and creative favor at a wedding reception. They can also eco-friendly provided the guests actually eat ALL the candy. However, herein lies the irony and problem with candy buffets. Does all the candy ever really get eaten? This posting I read bothered me a little. I even tweeted about it.
It really got me thinking about our expectations as wedding guests and brides. Why do we allow ourselves to succumb to practices that generate over consumption and unnecessary waste? If you don't need all that candy why do you want to waste money, time and resources on it?
You can still have that candy buffet but why not use your grandmothers mason jars?
Lets face it, summer is wedding season galore! Even if you are not planning on getting married I guarantee you are probably attending at least one wedding this summer. Instead of focusing solely on being a green bride website I thought I would compile a fun How to be a Green Guest list.
Image from Get Married
I saw this article and immediately thought of all you brides out there. This is a natural, inexpensive and eco-friendly DIY spa treatment you can do before your big day! Hopefully it will relieve some stress and allow you to relax a bit. Enjoy!
Spa treatments and luxury products have a way of making us feel like a million bucks. Unfortunately, we don't always have the time, money or inclination to indulge ourselves on a regular basis. Whether you want to pamper your face or soothe that dry, itchy skin, we've got easy, effective and natural ways to treat yourself in the privacy of your own home. So go ahead and take that time out for yourself regularly. No one will be able to tell that your radiant skin is the product of an inexpensive visit to your kitchen and bath.
To treat dry, rough, itchy skin, try these bath add-ins:
· - -Half a pound of sea salt and one pound baking soda. Soak until the water is cool to detoxify your skin and soothe the itch.
· - -Two cups Epsom salt. In addition to soaking in it, while your skin is still wet, rub handfuls of Epsom salt on the rough areas to exfoliate skin.
· - -A few bags of your favorite tea. The tea provides antioxidants as well as a delicious scent.
· - -One cup uncooked oatmeal tied into an old stocking or muslin bag. Oats are not only wonderful for your inner health, but provide a healthy glow on the outside as well, leaving a film on your skin that seals in water.
· - -Equal parts of apple cider vinegar, wheat germ and sesame oil. Apple cider vinegar is both antibacterial and alkalinizing (meaning it helps maintain the proper acid balance), while sesame oil and wheat germ add moisture.
· - -One cup powdered milk with one tablespoon grapeseed oil. The lactic acid in the milk will exfoliate your skin, and the grapeseed oil will give your skin a powerful dose of antioxidants.
Have a homemade facial scrub:
Prepare a homemade oat scrub and use on your face every other day. Oats moisturize and exfoliate your skin at the same time.
Make your own cleansing, moisturizing masks at home:
· - -Mix 1 tablespoon plain yogurt with a few dashes of sesame oil. Leave on for 15 minutes, then rinse.
· - -Mash a banana well and mix with a little honey for an instant dry-skin fix. Leave on for 15 minutes, then rinse.
· - -Mix 1⁄4 cup whipping cream, 1⁄2 teaspoon olive oil, 2 tablespoons ripe mashed avocado, and 1 teaspoon calendula petals. Leave on for 5 minutes, then rinse. (A study completed at the Department of Food Engineering and Biotechnology, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, found avocado oil significantly increased the collagen content in skin, maintaining its youthful look. Not only does the oil in avocado act like an emollient, but the fruit also contains moisturizing vitamin E.)
· -Another good avocado mix is 1 tablespoon mashed avocado, 2 egg whites and 2 tablespoons honey blended until smooth. Leave on for 15 minutes, then rinse.
· - -Lightly scramble an egg and apply to your face while still warm, leaving it on until it hardens. To remove the egg, place a warm, wet washcloth on your face and allow the moisture to soften it. Eggs are great for tightening wrinkles and smoothing skin. If you have oily skin, apply an egg white only; if you have normal skin, use the whole egg.
· - -Simmer an apple covered in water just until soft. Remove from the water, mash, then add to the apple 1 teaspoon lemon juice and 1 teaspoon crushed peppermint leaves. Apply the mixture to your face, leave for 5 minutes, then rinse. This works great on oily skin.
· - -Mash peeled mango flesh until it turns soft and pulpy. Then massage into skin, leave on for a few minutes, and rinse. This helps clean and tighten pores.
· -Add 1 tablespoon of peppermint, yarrow, sage, or hyssop to 1 cup boiling water. Steep for 30 minutes, then strain and cool before dabbing it on your face. This makes a great skin toner for oily skin.
Many of us women are concerned about the environment and want to do our part to protect it for future generations. However, some of us are not quite ready to forgo our dream Yang wedding gown for a dress made out of recycled fabric. (I walk by Luly Yang' s shop on 4th Avenue everyday and am obsessed with her dresses). I think many people have a pre-conceived opinion about what it means to "go green". Often times we can have a big impact by making small changes to our lifestyle. For example, I rarely turn the light on in my office, and instead use the natural light projected from my window. And believe it or not, even our Seattle weather provides me with a fully lit office. In addition, the Starbucks cup that holds my semi-complicated "Grande Americano with light cream, two Splenda and three pumps of sugar-free vanilla syrup" is thrown in our company compost bin instead of the trash.
Making small changes to your wedding ceremony or reception can save you money and impact our environment as well. Think about how many weddings occur each year and how little changes compile into making a real difference. Did you know the average wedding emits anywhere from 9-16 tons of Carbon Dioxide into the air on a single day? That is more CO2 than you or I will emit within an entire year! One suggestion I have on ways to reduce unnecessary waste is to look to your past for inspiration. This helps cut costs and adds a personal touch to your celebration. For my wedding, I used my parents wedding glasses for the traditional toast and their knife set to cut our cake. Using these items provided us with a sentimental touch and retro flare, while eliminating our need to buy two new items for one time use. I know these changes may sound small and insignificant in the grand scheme of things, but trust me, they really add up.
Monica and I are currently working with a client, Mary in the Washington, DC area. She is recently engaged and in the beginning planning stages for her June 2010 nuptials. Naturally, one of the first things on her to do list was to announce her engagement and start thinking about sending save the date cards. After I reviewed her list I realized that many people may not be aware of pingg.com. It is another great green wedding resource which brides might not think to use. I used them to announce my own engagement back in September 2008 and I highly recommend them. They have a beautiful wedding section with famous designers contributing to their designs. In addition, many of the designs are free or available for a small fee of $10. You can even customize and put your own photo in the card! Your tree free save the date is then sent out as an email to your guests. Although I would not recommend this for your wedding invitations it is a great, inexpensive and eco-chic way to communicate with your guests. Once again, going green saves green!
Just look how gorgeous the free ones are.
These ones are available for $10:
The recession is horrible; there is no doubt about that. I have countless number of friends, family members and acquaintances who have either been laid off or taken severe pay cuts as a result. I am sure all of us have been affected in one way or another. It is a scary, scary time. However, every once in awhile I see glimpses of hope. Hope for a new beginning, a new outlook and a new start. This article, posted today by the Wall Street Journal reminded me of that hope.
The article, to me, gets to one of the underlying and foundational problems of global warming: overconsumption. We are all guilty, myself included. It is easy to get wrapped up in the glitz and glamour of things. New iPhone for $99 (even if your current one works just fine)…why not? Cute, trendy top on sale at Forever 21 I tell myself yes, I think I could really use this top for that party I have this weekend. It is hard to force yourself to stop for a second and ask yourself:
Do I really need this?
There is a famous saying when conducting market research where you have to stop and ask yourself the following: Do I need to know? Or, do I just want to know? The same is true with overconsumption. Do I need this? Or, do I simply just want it? After all, do we really need 88 different types of Pantene products when we shop at Target? Or 24 different versions of tape measures available to us at Wal-mart? No, I am not making that up, just read the article.
I have to admit I have struggled with the concept of fabric flowers for awhile. For some reason I just haven't been able to accept them. I know using cut flowers in your wedding, even if they are organic, is not ideal...but do fabric flowers really serve as a viable alternative? Well, I am officially a believer! How beautiful are these? I am in love with them. So cute, so simple and yet so chic. Best part? They are made of 100% organic cotton jersey and you can learn how to make them yourself with this book. These would be perfect for an outdoor, garden wedding!
What a great way to be a savvy recessionista!
Using local, organically grown products is another great idea for wedding favors. For my own wedding my husband and I decided to give a reception favor that could be used by all guests; therefore reducing the waste generated by unwanted, or left behind gifts.
In addition, by using locally grown lavender from Sequim, Washington and printing on recycled paper, we reduced the carbon foot-print of our reception. A lavender filled sachet is just one of the many things you may consider when coming up with creative ideas for your own wedding favors.
For more information about locally grown products, check out "My Wedding Seattle, "Go Green Wedding Favors" section.
An email exchange with an employee of The Green Bride Guide over the past week has made me wonder how many couples actually calculate the carbon footprint of their wedding. I might post something on the knot's discussion board about this and survey all the beautiful brides out there. It is actually a lot less expensive than one would think!TerraPass and Carbon Fund are the best organizations I have come across so far.
Whenever I think back to a wedding I have attended it always brings up such fond memories. It is the celebration of a new beginning between two people who love and are committed to one another.
I love visiting with all the guests that traveled so far just to be there, tasting the great food, dancing to the music, admiring the beautiful decorations, etc. It is such a joyous event; it is hard to think about the true cost of a wedding. And no, I am not talking about the $20,000 plus a couple and their parents spent on the event. I am talking about the true cost.