Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Cool Shower Idea! (Cut the Paper Please!)

Hello Me Heartys! (I set my facebook page to pirate yesterday (which was fun for 10 minutes), and I can't stop with the lingo!)

Just thought that I would take a sec to pass along a super cool idea that me sisters-in-law to be did for my shower. They threw me a "Display Shower." Now perhaps you have all heard of this, but I have...ehem...not.

For those of you who, like me, had not heard of one: A Display Shower is a shower where the guests bring their gifts UNWRAPPED and put them out on a table for the duration of the party with a card attached, so you know who it is from. Why do I LOVE this idea? Let me count the ways:

1. We don't waste paper, time, or MONEY on silly wrapping that will be thrown away in two seconds.

2. I don't have to sit in front of 50 people sweating while I open gifts, and worry that they are bored out of their minds, and just want me to open their gift so we can get on with it.

3. I get to spend more time chatting with the folks who came out to celebrate with me on this special day.

4. Everyone can peruse the gift table to see who gave me what, instead of craning their necks, and yelling, "Who is that from?" "What is it?"

5. We don't waste paper, time or MONEY on silly wrapping that will be thrown away in two seconds.

This one was such a no brainer! And everyone came up to me thanking ME for the idea that saved them all time and money! I gave credit to my girls, of course!

Also-they added to the green theme by giving reusable shopping bags as the favor, and by buying recycled thank you cards for me to give everyone! (Check out this cool idea: They had everyone fill out their name and address on an envelope to be entered in a door prize! Someone won a lovely hanging plant, and I got a stack of addressed envelopes! File this under, LOVE IT!)

Oh, and side note: there are sooo many ways to have an eco friendly shower...or to celebrate ANYTHING in an eco friendly way...check out The Green Party Starring Danielle Venokur of dvGreen Events. She is a sustainable event planner here in the city, and she isn't afraid to share some tools of the trade with you. Plus she is really relate-able (not Martha Stewart-ish at all!) and the web show is fun to watch.) Also-check out planet green today for some tips on eco-friendly entertaining...I just love them!

I am totally stealing the "no wrapping paper" idea for the rest of my gift giving during the event. (and possibly for the rest of my life) I am "wrapping" the few things that need to be wrapped in reusable shopping bags (you can find super cute ones for very cheap) everything else we are going to present on a lovely table for all to see! Good for the planet, and good for my wallet. Now that is what I call an eco-win win!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Kiss and Make Up...

No, I am not talking about the Gene Simmons biography...I am talking about your face! Your wedding make-up that is. Make up is definitely one of those areas where going green can be super tricky...I mean, I want to be nice to the planet, but those chemicals make me look so PREEEEETTTTYYYY!!!

(Let's be honest, did you ever try any of these products back in the day? I wish that I had taken a photo of my friend Juliana when she used a "natural hair color" in the year of 2001. She tried to go blond, and all I will tell you is that the words, "Flesh Toned" were used to describe the resulting hair DISASTER...thank god she looks good in a hat.)

So what's a bride to do? Well-there is good news. The eco-friendly cosmetics situation has improved vastly in the last few years, and it is getting better everyday. At the same time, all of these new options bring up a lot of questions. (for me anyway) What does it mean when it says that something is "eco-friendly" or "natural"? What does it have to mean by law? Interestingly, there was an article about this very topic in Modern Bride Magazine this past month, and they had a little glossary:

A Green Glossary:
Knowing these terms will help you to read labels right:

Natural: The term has not been defined (or regulated) by the FDA, but is commonly assumed to refer to products contain ingredients from nature-such as essential oils, herbs, roots-manufactured without the use of synthetics.

Organic: Refers to how ingredients are grown and processed. Organic production avoids pesticides, synthetic fertilizers or hormones, genetic engineering or irradiation. Organic products are minimally processed, minus artificial ingredients and preservatives.

Fair Trade: A social movement and international trade system promoting the payment of fair prices and the maintenance of social and environmental standards, especially in developing countries.

Wild Crafted: The gathering of plants from their natural, wild habitat without the use of inorganic substances and without eradicating the plant completely.

Sustainable: Refers to the longevity of ecological support systems such as climate, agriculture and industry, forestry and fisheries, with the emphasis on not permanently depleting the environment.

How do you know for sure if something really is organic? They advise you to look for the following:

The USDA Certified Seal: According to Modern Bride (who heard it from the US Department of Agriculture) In order to wear the seal, the product must contain at least 95% organic materials...not too shabby. If they have at least 70% they can say "made with organic ingredients." But no seal.
Eco-Cert: This is similar to the above, but it is from France. :-)

Soil Association: Again with the 95% business...this time from Brittan.

Certified Natural Cosmetics: This means that the product was approved by the European Union natural-ingredient guidelines. (Meaning that they don't use a list of banned chemicals)

Ok, we know what to look for, but once we find the do we know that it is any good? I mean heck, I'd love to buy one of everything and try it out...but isn't that wasteful? (And..ehem, who has the MONEY to do something like that?) Also, I mean, this is my wedding day, not Saturday night at some bar. These pictures will be forever, not for like three seconds onfacebook until I untag them. There isn't a large margin for error here people. I want to look like a movie star!!! So, who do we turn to? Well, how about checking in with a green celebrity make up artist? Here is one that I like a lot:

Paige Padgett, who's work can be seen on celebs like Cheryl Tiegs, and Jillian Michaels went green in 2008. Paige's mission statement is: To create impeccably beautiful faces while striving to be ecologically responsible and chemically safe in my cosmetic choices and practices. I seriously dig that. So until she comes out with her own line...any time now Paige... here are some brands she recommends:

Josie Maran
Alison Raffaele

For tools she uses Eco-tools (hi, you can get these at Walgreen's!)

As you will see when you check out her site, and her blog; Paige uses these lines to create some serious looks on the runway and the red carpet. (I.E. This make up actually works, and won't leave people saying-"Isn't it nice that she is wearing eco-friendly make up?" It will leave them saying...nothing. They will be speechless from your beauty.)

So if you are like me, you can't necessarily afford to hire Paige to actually do your make-up on your big day, but you probably can afford to take a trip to Sephora to pick up some items from the lines above. To catch a great blog where Paige shares some of her tips on buying eco friendly make-up: click here. Having your makeup done? Call the make-up artist, and see if they would be open to doing a trial with some items from these brands.

Still not sure? Well, click here for some of Paige's tips on how to look red carpet ready with no make up at all!

I don't know about you guys, but I feel so much better already.

Monday, May 11, 2009

A New Green Wedding Guide

One of my favorite sights, Planet Green, has a new Green Wedding Guide!!! It is pretty new, but there a already a few good articles on there...check it out my greenlicious brideys!

Green Wedding Guide!

Ok, back to work!