Monday, November 5, 2007

How to Throw a Green Celebration

This past weekend's Crave Show was a smashing success! Thanks to everyone who came out to hear my presentation on "How to Throw a Green Celebration" (without sacrificing beauty, style or tradition).

As promised, I am publishing information here for all the sources and vendors I discussed in my talks. Again, none of these folks are affiliated with Seattle Bride; they're just products I personally think are great. My thinking is, if you're going to throw a big party, such as a wedding, why not make it as locally sourced, organic and earth friendly as possible—especially if the cost is nearly the same?

Sustainable fabric cocktail dresses
Anna Cohen found at Juniper. Gorgeous stuff! This boutique is pricey, but about 80 percent of the clothes sold here are good for the planet and designed in styles you'll wear for years.

Badger Mountain Organic wine, Fish Tale Ale and Dry Fly Distilling
Three examples of great, tasty, locally made wine, beer and spirits that cost the same as booze imported from far-flung places. Buy locally, support your state farmers, vendors and economy, and cut down on carbon emissions emitted through long-distance shipping practices.

Soy candles from Pacifica Candles
I got more feedback about my bit about using soy candles versus paraffin than any other part of the talk. Hooray! To recap:

—Soy candles are nearly 100-percent soot-free. Paraffin candles release soot (carcinogens) upon lighting (you can see the black stuff form on the votive) and continue to do so, staining your furniture, walls and releasing unhealthy chemicals into your home. Studies have shown carcinogens to be as bad for your lungs, heart and nervous system as second-hand smoke. If you don't let smokers light up in your home, then don't burn paraffin candles either!
—Paraffin is a petroleum-based product (refined gasoline) and supports the way-bad-for-the-planet outsourced oil industry.
—Soy burns two-to-three times longer than paraffin. Because soy candles are slow-burning, the wicks are usually made with cotton, as opposed to paraffin wicks that contain lead.
—Soy candles often use natural ingredients for scenting (always check the label, though), as opposed to paraffin candles which usually use artificial chemicals as scents, which release toxic chemicals into the air of your home as they burn.
—Soy is a biodegradable, renewable, sustainable product grown by American farmers. If every American switched to soy candles today, it would create an estimated $68 billion U.S. agricultural business!

Favors: Vegan Divine gift baskets
I was very impressed with this Seattle-based company founded this past summer by two smart, savvy and way-stylish sisters. Finally, gift baskets with healthy offerings that people will actually want to receive and use! The ladies will also custom-design baskets by special request.

There were several other ideas and vendors included in the talk, but these are the big ones. Write me with any questions about how to throw a green celebration or how to throw a green wedding. My years of editing Seattle Bride have made me a mini-expert on the topic!

Oh, and don't forget my two, non-party-related fashion books to read: The Long and Short of It: The Madcap History of the Skirt by Me! (funny how I managed to sneak this one in!) and Deluxe: How Luxury Lost Its Luster by Dana Thomas, an in-depth look at the big business of high-end fashion (Prada, Louie Vuitton, Chanel, et al) and how you don't necessarily get what you pay for anymore. I find this book fascinating and I recommend it!

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