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

Review: www.greenyour.com

Review of the site: www.greenyour.com

I'm always on the lookout for helpful eco-conscious sites that have good and easily accessible information about weddings and wedding planning.  Well,  I happened upon www.greenyour.com and was excited.  First of all, being in green business, it's hard to find people or places that offer up good and deliberately hearty information such as this.  Looking under what they had to say about greening your wedding flowers, the facts were strong and depressing, and highly motivating.   I was really impressed that they talked about the flower industry so clearly and without remorse.  70% of all cut flowers in the US are from Latin America, where we have no control over how much pesticide they use on those flowers.  Then they are shipped to us and we put them in our hair and on our dining tables.  What do you think happens to all those chemicals, at some counts more than 120 that are used on flowers and greens in out of country flower production?  Not only are they poisoning both adult and children who work as flower farm workers in Latin American countries (and probably Thailand, China and wherever else flowers are being grown these days), but you guessed it, it's all ending up right in our homes, in our lives, in our water and in our dirt.  So much for beauty.   Now, being a florist, I knew this, and I know most people out there buying flowers don't.  I know some of us do know this and choose to look the other way.  But when facts are flown in your face, so clearly and without apology as on this website, you almost have to pay attention.  One downfall to the site, is the lack of pizazz.  Now, I know knowledge and truth go far and empowering people to make a difference shouldn't require marketing and flourishing design elements, but for many people on the web, pizazz makes people stop to watch.  Overall, the site is clean.  A nice medley of green and white with symbols everywhere so you know where to go.  It's easy and simple.  The also have a whole section under lifestyle on events, from birthdays to weddings.  Fantastic.  But still, a little plain for being so fantastic.  So my only comment would be, to add some design elements, especially if you're talking about weddings and events and such.  Not too much, just a nice flower pic here or cute dress there.  I smell a letter to the editor. This site also included information about other wedding decisions in their 15 ways to green your wedding, from finding a green event or buying a vintage dress to carbon offsets for your event and travel.  I would definitely suggest this site to anyone looking to know why these decisions are important ones and a few steps in how to actually make those decisions happen.  Thanks greenyour.com!  Now, if I could only get you to list more local resources in the Bay Area, I would be a happy camper.  Many engaged couples don't have a ton of time, so sometimes the best thing to do is list where to go.  But then again, I guess that's why I'm in business, to make it easier for those of you interested in planning and/or decorating a green event or wedding.   So look me up (pilar@gorgeousandgreenevents.com) , and definitely check out www.greenyour.com   In Green and Health, G&G

Eco-Conscious Wedding in Mexico Part 1

The Breathtaking Wedding in Baja 

I was a generally conscious person, aware of the benefits of organic produce, recycling and carpooling.  I even favor vintage designs, art and clothes and had become accustomed to recycling and selling my clothes for needed cash or shopping sprees (thanks Berkeley).  But my when I became engaged to a vegan who had studied sustainable development, the eco-consciousness raising was significant. After we became engaged, we set forth to plan the most sustainable event we could.  And when we picked our venue, we decided on a quaint place in Mexico.  Generally, it's more sustainable to stick closer to home.  The less you and your guests travel, the less gas and jet fuel is burned.  But we chose Mexico for a few different reasons.  One: we had free lodging and transportation available to us there since my parents and their neighbors offered their lodging and vehicles for our use.  Two: we both resided in the Bay Area, but a good amount of our family and friends lived in San Diego and LA, and the location of our event was only about an hour or so below the San Diego/Mexico border.  Three:  it was a little easier on our pocket book.  With the money we saved on location, we could spend on getting organic and local flowers and other items that would have been more expensive in the US.   We also chose to offset the costs of our jet travel.  For more information about traveling carbon neutral or even carbon offsetting gift certificates check out:

www.carbonfund.org  

[caption id="attachment_105" align="aligncenter" width="130" caption="carbon fund carbon offsets"]carbon fund carbon offsets[/caption]  

www.terrapass.com

[caption id="attachment_106" align="aligncenter" width="200" caption="Terrapass gift certificate"]Terrapass gift certificate[/caption]   After we booked the location, the next item was the dress.  My dress.  Partly because as a bride-to-be there is a lot of pressure out there from magazines and commercials to pick the perfect dress, and partly because I myself was fascinated with the process of finding one.  I chose to search far and wide (mostly on the internet) for a used or recycled dress to my liking.  But this was no easy task in 2007.  There were but a couple of websites, and the pickings were dismally slim.  Since then, new sites have popped up and the pickings are vast.  Here are a few of the websites I ventured to and many new sites now selling used and recycled dresses:

www.preownedweddingdresses.com

www.woreitonce.com

www.budgetbridalgowns.com

www.oncewed.com

www.encorebridal.com

www.weddingdressmarket.com

www.sellyourweddingdress.com

www.buyselldress.com

www.savethedress.com

www.craigslist.org

www.ebay.com 

I myself found an older pronovias dress on ebay, for darn cheap.  Now, it wasn't totally what I imagined, there was a lot of lace involved that didn't suit my taste, but the price was right and the fit and style was exactly what I wanted.  I also know how to sew, so for a few weeks before the wedding I managed to take most of the lace off and recreate the top in a way I preferred.  

twist and turnWedding photography by Erin Beach at www.erinbeach.com

If you are interested in doing the same and you don't sew, find a local seamstress/tailor and have them make the alterations.  Not only can you get the perfect fit for your shape, you'll also be paying the worker fair wages and supporting a local business! After the dress, we did some event and dinner planning.  We wanted to go vegan, but realizing that many people eat meat, we felt it was important to offer a few options.  So, we offered plenty of vegan sides like beans and rice, fresh grilled vegetables and potatoes, organic spring salad, tortillas, guacamole and salsa.  For the main dishes we offered locally caught fish and mango chicken.   We also had an appetizer buffet of freshly made tacos of either fish or beans during cocktail hour.  Those fish tacos were a huge hit and a Baja delicacy.  Local food was definitely getting the spotlight, so tasty and fresh! appetizer buffet I asked some friends to make some natural aguas frescas for guests who didn't want soda or wine.  My mother contributed a few cases of great Mexican wine and sparking wine from a local Baja vineyard, Santo Tomas.  

Find info here about Santo Tomas:  

santo-tomas1 We decided to go with a vegan and organic cake from a local bakery in San Diego: Stephanie's Bakery in Ocean Beach.  What a remarkable flavor explosion!  We chose three different cakes, mostly because we couldn't make up our minds.  My favorite was the chocolate with chocolate and more chocolate.  Can you tell I like chocolate?

www.stephaniesbakery.com

cake and kisses Along with the dress, food, cake and location, there were many other details that needed planning and greening.  Please tune in next blog for more!

In Green and Health,

G&G