Is there anything as beautiful and traditional as a spring wedding?
We love to see the brides dressed in shades of white cavorting with their guests in the park, horse-drawn carriage rides, and restaurants around the city; but, the waste produced by some lavish weddings also makes us cringe a little.
Luckily, it is possible to host a fabulous celebration without leaving a trail of wasted resources and environmental damage in your wake. If you’re planning a wedding this season or attending a joyful event in the coming months, let us know what you think of these eco-friendly wedding ideas and what other tips you can suggest to our environmental brides-to-be.
An Eco-Friendly Wedding Dress
There are a number of options out there for finding an eco-wedding gown: local and handmade, used or vintage, new designer or renting. If you do decide to have a dress created for you—and that’s fine if you do—look for designers that work with fair trade and organically grown materials or even a sustainable fabric such as hemp, organic cotton, bamboo, or vintage fabrics.
Plantable Wedding Invitations
Handmade with 100% recycled paper and embedded with wildflower or garden herb seeds that your guests can plant in their gardens. Our extraordinary plantable wedding invitations will blow your guests away. The invitations are also made with carbon neutral energy, which makes these some of the greenest invitations available! See all the color and seedling options
Seedling Wedding Favors
Give your guests a Live Tree Seedling Favor or Tree Seed and share growing memories. A wedding tree is an inspirational green gift for the environmentally-consciousness in all of us.
These “green” favors are created 100% from nature with recycled paper and finished with raffia ribbon. Tree Favors include personalization, thank you message and growing instructions. Plant a wedding tree today, for tomorrow and forever, earth-friendly wedding favors last a lifetime or two.
Flowers and Wedding Decor
We’re passionate about repurposing and recycling whenever possible. A chic wedding idea is to reuse found items and repurpose them into creative table pieces and wedding décor. If you’ve been dreaming about a bevy of flowers, look for organic flowers grown without chemical pesticides. They’ll even smell better since most flowers are over bred to the point where the scent is almost completely gone. Search a green wedding directory for local organic florists.
Sustainable, local Menu
A chic, eco-friendly wedding wouldn’t be complete without a delicious menu at the reception dinner. Select a caterer that specializes in farm-to-table cuisine and uses locally sourced ingredients to prepare dishes. In New York City, caterer, Great Performances is well known for producing high end eco-chic weddings.
Post-Party Clean Up
Use nontoxic cleaning products to clean up after the wedding reception is over. If your cleaning crew doesn’t supply their own natural cleaning solutions, we recommend EcoSpirit all natural, 100% biodegradable products. And, of course, we should remind you that GreenHouse Eco-Cleaning offers post-party green cleaning services
Savvy brides can do even more to make sure their big day is as eco-friendly as it is joyous. Are you a bride-to-be planning an upcoming eco-chic wedding? We’d love to hear about your experiences and vendor recommendations. Chat with us on Facebook, Twitter, or send us photos to pin on Pinterest!
Turns out that social media can (and should!) be used for something other than complaining about your boss or finding out what events to attend over the weekend.
These sharing tools such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and many others allow us to glimpse another person’s daily life and – in the best cases—be inspired and motivated to make changes to our own routines.
Connecting with others who share our passion for living an eco-friendly lifestyle gives us someone to be accountable to and a community of likeminded people to challenge us.
When inspiration is hard to come by, look to this list of influential, positive people to follow. After all, can’t everybody learn a little something from each other?
Who to Follow on Pinterest
Described as “a one-stop shop for green news, solutions, and product information.”
Eco Party Time (ecopartytime)
Watch for fun — and doable — eco-friendly party ideas, from weddings to birthdays.
Ecouterre, an online magazine dedicated to all things eco-friendly design and fashion, has a companion Pinterest that offers everything from shoes made from recycled material to “living” fashion.
Green Living (greenlivingblog)
Green Living’s “Gone Green” board has more than 200 pins (and over 3,500 followers) and “Tips to Go Green” has almost 150 pins with simple advice (use white chalk to remove greasy stains) to fantastic green products. Looking to get rid of unwanted pests (even lice) naturally? Green Living is loaded with eco-friendly solutions.
GreenHouse EcoCleaning (greenhouse)
You know we have to include our own Pinterest account! We pin healthy, sustainable recipes, community photos, and DIY projects to help you reuse, recycle, and repurpose household items.
Who to Follow on Twitter
@EcoGlamourista – Sheila V. Flores tweets about sustainable beauty, fashion and lifestyle topics.
@ecowarriorr – Hillary Newman covers green news and issues for the Huffington Post. She tweets about trends in green and eco living and is very involved with her followers.
@GreenHouseEco – of course we have to add a plug for our own Twitter feed. We tweet tips and information about living an eco-friendly lifestyle as well as keeping you up to date on developments within the company and our natural cleaning product brand, EcoSpirit.
To find more green tweeters to follow or just to join in a conversation, follow the #EcoMonday hashtag — the environmental equivalent of #FollowFriday.
Organizations to Follow on Facebook
Environmental Advocates of New York – the state’s government watchdog, holding lawmakers and agencies accountable for enacting and enforcing laws that protect our natural resources and safeguard public health. They are the New York affiliate of the National Wildlife Federation.
EcoWatch – EcoWatch’s online news service focuses on the issues of water, air, food, energy and biodiversity. EcoWatch showcases the insights of world-renowned environmental leaders and promotes ongoing environmental campaigns including climate change, fracking, mountaintop removal, factory farming, sustainable agriculture and renewable energy.
Nature Find New York– a great hub for local nature-based organizations and nature enthusiasts to share favorite places, upcoming events, interests, photos and more – there’s even an iPhone app for nature-finders on the go.
Riverkeeper – a member-supported watchdog organization dedicated to defending the Hudson River and its tributaries and protecting the drinking water supply of nine million New York City and Hudson Valley residents.
Leave it Better – a re-generation Educational Program, youth empowerment, food justice, farming, mobilizing, sustainability, grassroots organizing, activism, civic engagement, nutrition, health, farmers’ markets, environmental stewardship, food & environmental policy.
GreenHouse Eco-Cleaning – a great place to chat with us and share how you’re living a green lifestyle daily. We are building a community of healthy, happy fans of the sustainable lifestyle and we’d love to connect with you there.
Learn About the Impact of Food Production on the Environment
The typical American diet is infamous for its focus on fried foods, fatty entrees, and high-sugar and salt content.
Anyone who’s ever attempted to lose a few pounds is aware that the typical diet can balloon waistlines and leave skin looking drab and dull; but, did you know that our average menu is also taking its toll on the environment?
The main culprit to an earth-friendly meal plan is the traditional staple of Sunday suppers across the country: meat. Specifically—and surprisingly—pork is a worse offender than beef, which has long been touted as an environmentally un-friendly ingredient.
We weren’t the first to wonder why pork, beef, and other livestock are such a burden on the environment. After all, isn’t meat a natural byproduct of our world?
Turns out the overall cost to raise livestock such as cows, pigs, and sheep are becoming a drain on the earth’s resources and tax payer dollars.
Consider these surprising statistics:
149 million acres
According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG) that’s how much cropland it takes to raise our nation’s livestock, which contribute to the 208 pounds of meat eaten in America on average every year. Add to that number the 167 million pounds of pesticide and 17 billion pounds of fertilizer necessary to subsidize this much livestock.
500 Million Tons of Manure
Manure is a natural byproduct of our nation’s livestock digestion, but the nitrous dioxide and methane produced from 500 million tons of manure—more than three times the amount of human waste in America–is also the source of toxic amounts of air and water pollution.
The number of animal processing plants that consistently rank in the nation’s top 20 industrial polluters. These 8 slaughterhouses are responsible for 30 million pounds of contaminants in 2009 alone.
20% of Meat Ends Up in Landfills
Since almost a quarter of the meat produced ends up in garbage heaps anyway, doesn’t the overall production cost to taxpayers and the environment make you think twice about contributing to this earth-shocking industry?
Are you making changes to your diet to support the environment and your overall health? If so, we’d love to know what new alternatives you’ve found to the typical meat-based menu plan. Let us know on our Pinterest or Facebook pages or tweet us a photo of your favorite meal.
If you’re like almost half of America, you’re not satisfied in your current job and you’d like to make a career change that gives you more satisfaction at work. Even if you’re only curious about other careers that give more back to the environment than they take from it, you’ll be interested to learn that a recent study shows that environmentally-conscious jobs are on the rise for 2013 and long into the future! And even better news, these jobs are ideal for mature professionals who combine years of traditional work experience with a new outlook on their careers and what’s possible in a new and environmentally friendly job.
Take a look at this inspiring example reported by More magazine; Becky Lessard, 53, had worked only in finance at Fox River Mills, an Iowa sock maker, until 2006, when she designed a new job and took on the additional role of Chief Environmental Officer. She had already proven to her bosses that smart environmental policies (recycling materials, painting walls lighter colors to save on electricity) could cut costs. She’d also worked in her community with Wes Birdsall, a nationally known green activist, to get a feel for local green politics.
Chief Green Officer – the Job Title of the Future
Chief Green Officer, otherwise known as Chief Environmental Officer, has a job description that includes finding the funds and the appropriate technology to rework a company and its products and services into a more eco-friendly footprint.
Even if you work (or have your eye on working for) a smaller company that doesn’t offer this type of position right now, you may be able to create an environmental leadership job by volunteering to take on green improvements at work or even represent your company with government organizations that look for organizations that are actively making changes to reduce their carbon footprint and make strides toward becoming more environmentally friendly.
Now’s the Time for Change!
Ever since former-President Bush signed the Green Jobs Act in 2007, authorizing $125 million for green-job training programs, going green has been a mandatory direction for savvy organizations. The new Green Jobs study from the Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS), says the outlook for green jobs is extremely positive, and on track to provide a helpful boost to our growing economy.
Colleges and professional associations are working to add programs that train professionals to take on a new green career.
Where are the Jobs?
Green jobs growth is great news for those who are unemployed or struggling to find a job that delivers big on both satisfaction and salary.
New York came in 2nd in the country with 248,500 green jobs, preceded only by California at 338,400 green jobs. Texas (229,700), Pennsylvania (182,000), Illinois (139,800) and Ohio (126,900) fill out the remainder of the list of states offering green jobs.
Most of those jobs are in the manufacturing and oil and gas industries. Manufacturing alone accounts for nearly 500,000 jobs across the US; “the most among any private sector industry” according to BLS.
Going Green is Worth a Lot of Green
Although you may have to volunteer for additional green responsibility at first if you’re trying to carve out a new environmental position for yourself at your current company, compensation for green jobs varies; at large organizations a chief environmental officer will often report directly to a CEO and earn six-figure salaries. Add that to the satisfaction you’ll feel doing good for the environment in your professional life as well as personally, and you’ll have scored a new career to love. And wouldn’t that be nice!
Are you doing anything in your job to make your organization more environmentally friendly? Would you ever consider switching jobs to take on a green career path? Let us know what you’re doing professionally to give back to the earth and the environment on Facebook, Pinterest, or Twitter.