Bay Area (green) Event Venue

And a great place for a soak! I recently posted a blog on The Knot's 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: In Green and Health, G&G

Green Planner for your Green Event

Check out a recent post I did for The Knot's blog.  All about a green event planner I have recently worked with here in the Bay Area..

Planning Green

Photographer: Cathryn Lovecraft
For a wedding or large event, there are a lot of little details. And those details can start to get overwhelming, so hiring a professional planner or coordinator can be a stress-reliever, if it's in your budget.  Hiring a green even planner and coordinator is even more important when you're trying to go green.  Not only are they super organized and adept at planning events, but someone who knows green can also help you make your event the most sustainable and eco-friendly it can be.
Photographer: Cathryn Lovecraft
I have had the opportunity to work with and get to know a local green event planner, Karine Brighten, here in the Bay Area.  I've asked her to share a little about green event planning.  Here is what she had to say:
1. Why did you choose green event planning?
I decided to do green event planning because I am very passionate about environmental issues in my personal life as well as in business.  I love educating my clients on how to make their events eco-friendly.  It's great when they realize they can actually save money while feeling great about their eco-conscious choices.
Photographer: Genvieve Shiffrar
2. How is a green event planner different from other event planners?
A green event planner is different than other event planners because we work very closely with other green businesses, we are very conscious about the environmental impacts that events can have, and we make decisions that will reduce our environmental footprint.
Photographer: Genvieve Shiffrar
3. Besides hiring a green event planner, what do you see to be the most valuable green choice a couple can make in their event planning process?
The most valuable green choices in my opinion are reducing the amount of paper (using electronic tools instead), having the event close to home, and working with local green businesses.
Not only is Karine green-minded, Karine Brighten Events is also certified Green Business.  Meaning that her own business practices are green like the events she plans.
In Green and Health,

Going Vintage

I just did a quick blog on the website for the Knot, and mentioned that it's super green to go vintage.  Not only are you keeping lovely items from going into the landfill, you're reducing the carbon impact that making and selling new items has on the world. In the G&G boutique, I keep on stock a lot of vintage glass.  I love the idea of using vintage items for weddings and events. I've also had many brides use not only used dresses, but vintage dresses for their weddings.  Vintage lace and silk, it's often so beautiful.

Photo Courtesy of HeartStudios

Check out the cool designs from a local shop here in the Bay Area at Recapture: In Green and Health, G&G

Green Wedding Photography

An interview with a green photographer

A few weeks ago I posted an interview I did with a local sustainable  photographer here in the Bay Area.  Her name is Kira Stackhouse and her website is Here is an image from one of her weddings featured on her blog: You can check out what she had to say about green wedding photography at The Knot's Green Wedding Website.  I also gave some helpful ways to be sustainable when it comes to your photographer, no matter who they are. In green and health, G&G

Organic or All Natural Beauty Products

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

The Green details of a Green Wedding

More green in a Summer Wedding

Over the summer I worked with Meredith and Ben on their outside wedding at a local community center.  I just recently posted some great details of how they infused green and sustainable into their event on The Knot's Green Wedding Website.  Take a look:

Event and Floral design by Gorgeous and Green Events

Photography by Sean Donnelly Photography


In Green and Health, G&G

Green Wedding Registry from The Knot's Green website

A Re-Share of Some Green Registry Tips

I posted a blog on The Knot's green wedding website a few weeks ago about greening your wedding registry.  I think that it's a great way to spread the message of a green couple and help folks change their spending habits. Take a look: The handmade ceramics above are from It's not only made by a person's hands, but it is also art. The website offers a wedding registry that allows you to choose the pieces you want so that your guests can order them for you. They have dinnerware(photo at top) as well as kitchen items like these cute ramekins just above.

Look at this spacious fair trade hammock made of reclaimed cotton by a family owned workshop in El Salvador. The workers are paid above standard wages and receive benefits. Available

This registry allows couples to register for charities, so guests can donate using their credit card or write a check to your favorite cause in place of a tangible gift. From The Global Fund for Women to Amazon Watch, they probably have a charity you support on their list.

To view the whole blog post go to The Knot's green wedding website where I am guest blogging:

In Green and Health,


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