An Earth Friendly and Vegan Earth Day, and Everyday

As you know, every day is Earth Day.  Especially here at Gorgeous and Green! A local and green certified Event Planner, Karine Brighten, also treats each day as earth day.  Apart from being green certified and having connections with local green vendors, she is also committed to education as we are.  This past April 22nd, the traditional Earth Day, she put on an event in Berkeley that highlighted her commitment to the environment and her belief in eating and living as a vegan.

 

gorgeous and green's earth day arrangement

I asked her to share more about her event: 1. What was your vision in creating a vegan earth day in Berkeley? My vision for the event was to start a new tradition, and that new tradition was to celebrate the link between veganism and a healthy environment in honor of Earth Day. There are many events in the San Francisco Bay Area that take place on this day, but none that focus specifically on the positive effects of veganism on the environment. My goal was to have people leave the event feeling inspired, and with tools that they can use to help the planet.

2. Please describe the event and who you chose to include in the day? The event consisted of the screening of an award-winning feature documentary, “Call of Life, Facing the Mass Extinction” by Species Alliances. The film investigates the growing threat to Earth’s life support systems as a result of dwindling biodiversity.  Following the film there was a panel discussion of 4 experts in vegan lifestyle, nutrition, and sustainability. After the panel discussion there was a catered vegan reception that everyone loved!

3. Do you feel like your vision was achieved?  What else would you like to include in up and coming vegan earth days? I couldn’t be happier with the ways things turned out! The event sold out and people walked away feeling motivated to make changes in their lifestyle. The tradition will indeed continue next year, and I hope to make it a full day event.

 

Gorgeous and Green was hired to provide the cute edible baskets for the event:

Gorgeous and Green's edible baskets for Vegan Earth Day

in Green and Health, G&G

June 9th: in the boutique this week

Hi all I frequently update on our lovely floral designs, but I tend to leave out so much of what is actually beautiful and lovely for sale in the Gorgeous and Green boutique.  If you've been to the boutique, you probably know about all the lovely tillandsia we have and the great cards all printed on recycled paper, but there's always new items and small changes, almost on a weekly! We always have locally hand-blown tillandsia terrariums or what I like to call air-iums,  (since they float in the air and hold airplants).  The local glass blower and I like to work on new shapes that will work for the plants and add a new element of design.  I recently started offering a few flat glass terrariums for the airplants to live in, one of which you can see here:

These flat terrariums allow it to rest right up against the wall, so you can hang it from a nail or hook in the wall. I have a new collection of locally made pottery designs from the artist Anna Vaughn, who's eye for color, texture and ornate designs go well with the delicate but very earthy style of the shop.  Her art pots continuously sell very well in the boutique, so get them while you can!  They take her a lot of time to create!

I also recently started carrying lovely, vintage and sustainably made jewelry from local artist Jessica Fein.  Her beautiful and sometimes big rings and earrings make quite a statement, and also great gifts.  The pieces I hand select for the boutique are from her vintage collection, so they are often in short supply.  Here's a pic of some of the rings we have nestled in an old silverware box I repurposed:

And here's a pic of some of the orange and yellow local, non-sprayed and even some organic flowers we have outside, I love all the brightness that has come with summer, that's now finally here!

In Green and Health, G&G

Recent deliveries

Here are some deliveries Gorgeous and Green did on Friday. The first arrangement was a specific request for no more than two types of flowers, no roses and somewhat unusual and striking.  The pincushion protea steal the show, but not for long as those parrot tulips will open up and look beautiful in a day or two.  The vase is of course made of recycled glass. The second arrangement was also a specific request for something non traditional, wild and exotic.  I love the protea, as they seem to be prolific this time of year and the cloudy larkspur and blue thistle  add a special wild touch. In local green and health, G&G

more of the bouquet and boutonniere

I was able to get more pics from the photographer Michelle Beckwith for the lovely DIY wedding at Stern Grove in San Francisco last year.  Here are some close-up shots of the bouquet and the boutonniere  Gorgeous and Green made for the bride and groom.  The closeup with the bride and her bouquet is just gorgeous. The dahlias and callas were locally grown as were the succulent rosettes, straight from Oakland.  Lovely. In green and health, G&G

Let's Change Floral Foam

I have had a lot of positive remarks from the community regarding the conversation I've started about Floral Foam on this blog.  Many folks don't even realize how wasteful it is or how toxic it is.  For thousands of floral designers, clients, workers and anyone else who come into contact with floral foam, there should be far greater transparency about what it's made of and how it's affecting our health and the environment. So, there are two items I would like to ask of the floral foam manufacturers.  And I need your help to get this done. 1. They need to immediately share the MSDS hazardous materials report online, and in print with every box of floral foam.  And,  there should be a warning label on the outside of the box that states some basic facts like: don't inhale, don't ingest, don't handle for prolonged amount of time and discard responsibly. 2.  They need to start making a floral foam that is not filled with hazardous chemicals and that is biodegradable.  Then, it's up to the consumer to make the switch to the less hazardous and more eco-friendly option. Now, there was a company in the UK that was offering a biodegradable floral foam.  So I know it's doable. Who would like to join me in demanding that floral foam manufacturers change their practices? In Green and Health, G&G

Gorgeous and Green Deliveries!

I have been doing a lot of gorgeous deliveries for Gorgeous and Green, my new sustainable floral boutique in Berkeley, CA.  It's been hard to remember to take pics, but on occasion I do, and so I have some pics to show you here from past deliveries. Most of my delivery clients are word of mouth, as of now I don't have an online shopping platform, but I hope to get something set up soon. Here is a pic of an arrangement I did for a local Oakland customer: And here's one I did for a Mother's Day arrangement.  The customer wanted as many organic flowers as possible so I included some organic snapdragons, greens and roses I grew!  It was also peony season (a short lived 4 weeks somewhere between April and May) so we had some lovely local bubblegum peonies too.  It was all packaged in a recycled glass vase I carry here in the store. Another arrangement, but this one is actually a living terrarium made with succulents.   I made it by request for a mom who wanted to give something living to her daughter on her birthday.  I love the way the gnarled wood looks in the glass. As always, trying to stay gorgeous and green with reused materials, biodegradable materials and local and organic flowers and plants.  This cylinder was actually left reused from a past event and the wrapping I used was recycled paper and cotton ribbon.  You gotta love biodegradable ribbon!  That plastic/polyester stuff is  bad news. In Green and Health, G&G

Simple Green and Light on the Budget

I just posted a short picture story of a wedding I did a few weeks ago that was very local, very sustainable.   We used locally grown flowers, vintage vases, and I even used a leftover piece of beautiful sage ribbon to tie up the bride's bouquet.  We kept spending low but elegance was high...

Photo by Terry McCarthy tmcphotography.com

Read more about this wedding at my other blog location on the Knot's Green.Weddings.com website. I have many more weddings and pics to include, so I'll be posting in the coming weeks, stay tuned. In Green and Health, G&G

Bay Area (green) Event Venue

And a great place for a soak! I recently posted a blog on The Knot's Green.Weddings.com website about Wilbur hot springs, a wonderful hot spring location not far from the Bay Area.  They offer accomdations and even yoga and guest chef weekends, but what may interest you most is their availability as a wedding venue.  Check out the pics and story below:

(photography above by Gia Canali)

One of the first decisions (and some would argue the most important decision) most couples make when planning their wedding, is deciding where it's going to happen.  The venue...   For the green couple, finding a venue that will represent their value systems and green choices is important.  But, not all venues talk green and not all actually walk the green talk.  This brings us to Wilbur Hot Springs.  Yes, it's a local and sustainable event Venue. If you're a Bay Area local, you may already be familiar, and if not, it's definitely worth checking out, multiple times, I might add. 1. How is Wilbur a sustainable wedding/event venue?  Wilbur is 100% off the grid, powered entirely by solar panels and propane. Renovations and improvements are performed using eco-conscious building materials and practices. The solar panel array was installed in the early 1990s. Up to that time, the Wilbur hotel had been lit with kerosene lamps. The transition to solar-powered lighting was completed in 1991. The refrigerators are all electric and are specifically designed to run on solar power. They are more efficient and use approximately one-third the power of consumer refrigerators The stoves in the kitchen, and the fireplaces, which heat the hotel in winter, are powered by propane. Wilbur uses compact fluorescent light bulbs and low-flow toilets. And the cleaning products we use are all eco-friendly. Wilbur’s hot springs flumes are non-impact. In other words, the water is simply diverted from the geothermal source, held temporarily in the flumes and then returned to the creek. No chemicals are added to the flumes,and as a result no chemicals are being added to the water table. The hotel and hot springs are located on approximately 240 acres. In 1999, the surrounding 1560 acres were purchased and designated as a nature preserve. In 2006, Wilbur began working with range ecologist Craig Thomsen from UC Davis to restore native plants to the area, and combat invasive species. Thomsen’s work continues currently, with Wilbur participating in raising grant money, and providing lodging in trade to guests who work with Craig.... To read more about Wilbur please go to: Green.Weddings.com In Green and Health, G&G

Lovely Local Flowers Delivered...

I recently delivered a beautiful and cheerful bouquet for an out of town customer , and sent her a phone pic of the bouquet, and she loved it so much she put the pic on her blog...  So, I'm reposting it here.   All local, fair trade/organic flowers in a recycled glass vase with biodegradable ribbon and card holder (a G&G signature)!  If you're in the neigborhood, check out our flower and gift shop: ggboutique.com Cathrynsworld.com In Green and Health, G&G

Avoid Oil

OK, so the oil spill is huge.  I think about it daily and it's upsetting that more people aren't outraged.  We need to start doing something besides complain.  If you can, stop driving your car, stop buying plastic, ask for paper containers, take your reusable containers to get take out, grow your own food, buy local, walk, etc. I just blogged about switching to natural and non-toxic candles, and avoiding paraffin candles (toxic and petroleum based) at The Knot's Green.weddings.com website.  Check it out.  In case you didn't know, paraffin wax (which is found in many things besides just candles) is not only linked to that oil spill in the gulf and elsewhere, but is also toxic. Take a look at these disturbing pics if you need more reason to take action! Between the thick oil on the beaches, water and marshes to the dead and dying animals covered in oil, any human with a heart would see that we all need to take action.  It's our fault after all.  Only we are the ones on this planet so hungry for the nasty stuff and so unwilling to make a switch to more healthy and sustainable options.  It's rotting out our soul and soon our earth. G&G