It all soaks in...A year or two ago I came across Skin Deep, a cosmetic database that lists hundreds of different beauty and body products and how potentially harmful they are. Of course most of us know that there are a lot of nasty chemicals in hairspray, nail polish, sunscreen and even lipstick. But taking a look at this database will make you realize that just about everything we put on our bodies is potentially harmful. [caption id="attachment_660" align="aligncenter" width="258" caption="Simply Organic Hairspray "][/caption] I also learned that about 60% of what you put on your skin soaks in to your blood and gets metabolized by your liver. Some washes away and some just hangs out in your skin. That's kind of scary. I definitely watch what I eat, but now I'm doing more to watch what I spray/brush/lather onto my body. [caption id="attachment_662" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Organic Essence Cream"][/caption] You can also view a short blog post I did on The Knot's Green Wedding website, where I highlighted some products I found that are certified USDA organic. There's also more info on the Organic Consumer's Association about the relevance of certified organic and the potential misleading that may go on regarding the use of "natural" and "organic" when it comes to body products. In Green and Health, G&G
Green Weddings and Green People in San Franciscowww.greenfestivals.org And no, we're not all eating granola. I like granola like everyone else, but I definitely don't see myself as "granola" just because I live green or sustainable. Besides, granola isn't a bad word these days. It actually is pretty tasty, especially homemade. Put it into a jar and you've got a great gift or "wedding favor" for your guests. Ok, so what will we be doing at this green festival? Well lots of talking, sharing and looking at new ideas and guest speakers. Check out the Schedule. Online you can download a guide to the festival that gives you all the cool info. It's huge and includes so many inspiring words, visuals and people. Here are just a few of the highlights:
- 450+ exhibitors and organizations in the Green Marketplace
- 45 minutes presentations and speakers on the sustainable economy, ecological balance and social justice
- how-to workshops in the Green Buiding Pavilion
- Hemp fashion shows in the Hemp Pavilion
- Music acts
- Food Demonstrations in the Soul Kitchen
- Green Social Media Demonstrations
- Organic food and drink
- Concerts and dance parties after dark: greenbash.com
So if your in or around the Bay, definitely come check out the SF Green Festival this coming weekend.
In Green and Health,
The work that goes into those lovely flowers...Over the summer, things got so busy with green weddings for Gorgeous and Green Events, that I asked my good friend and fellow florist Danica from Heavenly Gift and Florist, to come and help. Here are some shots from that weekend, lots of beautiful and locally grown flowers and artistic talent crammed into my home studio.
Non-toxic and Biodegradable Floral Foam, Where are You?I wrote a post a few months ago about the toxins found in floral foam and that it's essentially made of plastic that isn't biodegradable. I've gotten so many hits on my blog about it, and yet, I still don't have much in the way of another option. Until I dug up this information from Stanel Co, a bioplastics firm based in the United Kingdom. Here is an informational pdf about a new bioplastic technology that can allow someone to make biodegradable floral foam made from plants: www.stanelcoplc.com . This new polymer: bioplastic 2189 is both biodegradable and compostable! What a relief. Can you imagine? being able to throw the foam and the flowers into the compost bin? What's more, the bioplastic works in the same way as the fossil fuel plastic, so it can be switched out and used in the very same factories and machinery as the other stuff. I can't wait to go order this foam... But wait, who's making it? Well apparently one floral foam specialist company is using this polymer to make biodegradable funeral foams: www.valspicer.co.uk . They have wonderful foam shapes and molds, but I don't see any biodegradable options on their site. I've contacted them and hope to find out what they have available! I will share any updates as soon as I can. I would also urge you to write a letter or email to floral foam manufacturers suggesting they make a switch to nontoxic and biodegradable. Here's a couple of the top manufacturers: Smithers Oasis, Ultra Floral Foam. In the mean time, I totally avoid the stuff, and find creative and fun ways to display flowers without foam. Take a look at how Gorgeous and Green tries to stay sustainable: G&G Services. I know it means more work sometimes and possibly more cost, but to me it's worth it. And it's worth it to a lot of customers to, not to mention to the planet. Check out these two designs from Gorgeous and Green Events that are totally floral foam free: www.seandonnellyphotography.com In Green and Health, G&G
Organic Produce and Flowers from WatsonvilleWe've decided to start going to our local farmer's markets to meet the growers and support them firsthand. (We shop at Berkeley Bowl, a great source for local produce, but one step away from the growers themselves). Last Tuesday, we headed over to the Berkeley Farmer's market. Luckily it's spring/summer, so a few of the local growers had some of their flowers out to sell. I came upon Blue Heron Farms and their bouquets of organic flowers were beautiful. They had bells of ireland, sunflowers, cornflowers and dahlias. I am definitely going to use their flowers in the Green Gala show and fundraiser for the botanical gardens next weekend. Blue Heron Farms are members of the California Certified Organic Farmers and the Community Alliance with Family Farmers. For information about Blue Heron Farms, check out their listing at localharvest.org
Growing Flowers for Sustainable Weddings
part deuxSo, I love gardening. So much so, I've been gardening both at my house and at my good friend's house in Richmond, because she has a big backyard. I mentioned in an earlier post that I would be planting at her house after we cleared her wilderness of a backyard. So far, I've only gotten to the clearing stage, but in the meantime, I've planted a little more at my own house.
On one side of the house, I cleared some space for some ferns and larger leaf plants. Mostly because it's a moist area and doesn't get as much sun as other parts of our lot.
Here are some of what I planted:
And this little guy, I didn't plant, but is a byproduct of our bird feeder. More sunflower seeds to come for the neighborhood birds.
I also planted a few other plants elsewhere in my garden, with the specific idea of using their leaves and flowers for green and sustainable flower design:
A gardenia plant
A small lemon tree
When we moved in to our house, it happened to come with 6 green hydrangea plants. They are so great for floral decor and I just love their light green/chartreuse color. They are just starting to come back this spring/summer, and are looking great so far. Last year we had a little bug issue, maybe some caterpillars eating the leaves, I'm hoping they'll satiate their bellies with just the low leaves, and leave the flowers and top leaves alone. Otherwise, I'll be looking into some pesticide-free methods of dealing with them. I'll let you know how that goes.
I'm excited to watch all these plants grow over the next year, and of course to start using their beautiful leaves and flowers for floral designs. I have to say, it's been so great having fresh flowers to cut and display in my own house. It adds so much joy and seems too easy. I definitely suggest growing your own plants and flowers, (pesticide free of course) not just for the benefit of the planet and the health of our atmosphere, but also for your emotional health.