|GreenUnion :: Blog Home :: October 2007|
October 30, 2007
Fireworks - can they be ethical?
With November 5th just round the corner, what better time to discuss the ethics of fireworks which now seem to be used so extensively to set modern weddings off with a bang.
Apart from the shear waste of money which goes up in smoke at the touch of a fuse, one has to wonder at the cost to the health and safety of the people who make these often amazing and extraordinarily entertaining explosives, almost exclusively in China.
Much of the fireworks industry in China involves illegal child labour and, in 2001, the Chinese government blamed a horrific explosion which killed at least 41 children on the imaginary attack of a "madman". It was only after villagers pressed the government to acknowledge that local school officials had been forcing students to produce fireworks illegally to pay for their tuition that the government changed their story. Accidents had largely been ignored by the Chinese government or blamed on other circumstances, but since a further series of explosions plagued fireworks factories in the summer of 2003, these safety issues have not gone unnoticed by the rest of the world. Since then the Chinese fireworks industry has been the subject of intense scrutiny and the China Labour Bulletin has now set forth several excellent recommendations to help push the Chinese Fireworks industry toward creating a safer work environment, but there is a long way to go with much of the industry going underground to avoid complying with the new laws.
I expect the most ethical part of the whole Chinese fireworks industry would be the shipping which is generally done by sea (could this be because flying them about the world could be rather an explosive issue...)
So what's the alternative?
October 26, 2007
Peace Love Earth
Our incredibly talented partner Anna Mkhitarian who makes fabulous eco chic wedding dresses under her label Annatarian, has just launched a range of whistful jewellery made from .925 recycled pure sterling silver. Called Peace Love Earth, Anna says "the jewelry was inspired by a need to provoke thought about these three words: PEACE, LOVE, and EARTH and is designed to inspire positive change."
Check out these cute Seven Wishes Bracelets inspired by Armenian traditional wish bracelets, Victoria Foraker, and fairies. The little charms, suspended on surplus string and presented in the gorgeous sealed boxes, make perfect favours or gifts for your bridesmaids.
All Anna's jewellery is made in Los Angeles, California under sweatshop free conditions.
October 23, 2007
If you're in London over the weekend take time out to visit the Designer Wedding Show in Battersea Park, Friday through Sunday. It's here that all the top wedding suppliers strut their stuff. You'll find a lot of very expensive products and, I admit, some of rather dubious origin and not all eco friendly, but you will also find some absolute indie gems. Exceptional and exquisitely small, but perfectly formed businesses that believe in supplying you with the very best they can offer. These businesses are passionate about their ethics and go that extra mile to make eco chic.
A couple of our favourite partners will be there and Samantha Freeman of Idyllic Days will be showcasing her vintage chinaware to die for. If you're thinking of throwing an English country garden party, fete or afternoon tea style wedding day (a great concept for a green wedding), then go and check out her gorgeous mix and match vintage tableware and accessories. As well as hiring you the china, she can also help you style your whole day with cotton bunting and flowers too. The height of recycling chic.
October 19, 2007
Vineeta & Tom
Vineeta & Tom have just begun to plan their wedding and will be filling us in, from time to time, with the ups and downs, highs and lows of throwing an eco wedding in Cornwall.
Wedding date: 9 May 2008
How many guests are coming to your wedding and where from?
I also have a very large number of relatives in India, so to avoid excessive CO2 emmissions by travel, Tom and I have planned another celebration in India in the year 2009. We will travel there, so discouraging another 100 people from flying to UK.
Also we are getting married on a Friday, which has made our guests plan a weekend break in Cornwall.
Do you have a budget and do you think you'll be able to stick to it?
Why is it important to you to throw an eco-wedding? What inspired you?
Please can you tell us a little about the eco-elements of your wedding.
About clothes, we are trying to find clothes from The Dressmarket. At the same time, Tom and I believe in wearing something fun, rather than traditional, since it is a civil ceremony. Although we think wedding dresses are really beautiful, they somehow cannot be reused in our own life, so should be sold or passed on. Rather than buying an organic wedding dress that can only be worn for 10 hours on your wedding day, we are planning to buy clothes which we might be able to use again, for special occasions.
The venue that we have selected has been chosen as a Green Tourism Award winner, and they offer an opportunity to guests to offset their carbon footprint. We're happy that they encourage the use of local and organic food. They use low energy lighting and their environmental policies make us really happy to be holding our wedding at Bedruthan Steps Hotel.
Do you think it's easy to be both stylish and green on your wedding day?
Have you got any tips, so far, for other brides looking to throw an eco-wedding?
It is just very important that we take a stand, to encourage wedding suppliers to make their services much more environmentally friendly. The more people support green issues, the more people will produce things with less environmental impact.
Celebrate on Apple Day
What a brilliant idea for a wedding theme!
Throughout October, wherever apples are grown and loved round the world, communities celebrate their own apple day. In England its 21st October, and throwing a green wedding on, or around Apple Day will go a long way to demonstrating to your guests and the world that you are in tune with the countryside and the seasons.
Celebrate the wonderful variety of our apples which vary from region to region, even village to village in some cases. Have your wedding feast in the midst of an orchard, use apples in your floral decorations, drink apple juice, cider, cider brandy or have a warm apple punch to welcome your guests to the reception.
October 15, 2007
Blog action day
Today's the day - blog action day.
At Greenunion we're supporting Survival International today. Survival is the only international organisation supporting tribal peoples worldwide. It works for tribal peoples' rights in three complementary ways: education, advocacy and campaigns. They also offer tribal people themselves a platform to address the world and work closely with local indigenous organisations, focusing on tribal peoples who have the most to lose, usually those most recently in contact with the outside world.
Other charities we support on a regular basis are Oxfam and Rainforest Concern. You can also find countless charities to support via the Alternative Wedding List, the Green Gift List and Wedding List Giving.
Check them out, you're sure to find a charity that you'd like to reach out to.
October 13, 2007
Looking for a unique wedding dress or vintage groom's suit?
Eco chic brides and grooms should get along to the London Vintage Fashion Fair this Sunday 14 October between 8am and 5pm at the Olympia Hilton Hotel, 380 Kensington High Street in London.
The fair offers an extraordinary collection of exhibits from circa 1800 to 1980. You will find an abundance of vintage clothing, textiles, handbags, linen, embroidery, shoes, hats, textiles, beads, trimmings and costume jewellery. You never know you may just find that elusive wedding gown or groom's suit you've been dreaming of for your eco friendly wedding day.
October 12, 2007
Homophobic venues face loosing their licence
Did you know that in August a loophole in the Civil Partnership Act 2005 was closed thanks to the energetic campaigning of Gino Meriano, founder of Pink Weddings and civil rights campaigner. Approved wedding venues now face losing their licence if they refuse to conduct civil partnerships or discriminate on sexual orientation.
Originally venue owners and managers could apply for and be granted a license to hold Marriages or Civil Partnerships or both. By permitting venue management to choose not to hold Civil Partnerships, it meant many could openly discriminate while hiding behind their approved licence.
Gino said "The new guidance adopts my recommendation that an approved venue must not discriminate simply based on sexual orientation. If a venue is granted a licence and is found to discriminate against gay and lesbian couples they will have their license revoked. This should now close the loophole that any homophobic owners and managers were using to wriggle out of the legislation."
A spokesman for LACORS said "The Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2007 require providers of goods, facilities and services to ensure that they are not treating their customers unfairly on the grounds of sexual orientation. If the holder of an approval is deemed by the Local Authority to discriminate on the grounds of the sexuality of the couple the Council reserves the right to revoke this approval."
This groundbreaking ruling means that homophobic suppliers should now be exposed, and if reported, will have their licence revoked making their venues unavailable to all couples, gay or straight. Here at GreenUnion we wholeheartedly welcome this ruling, ethical businesses do not discriminate.
October 11, 2007
BBC Yorkshire & Lincolnshire call for green weddings
The Cornish green wedding of a few weeks back has created quite a stir and the BBC's Inside Out for Yorkshire and Lincolnshire is searching for a couple planning to throw an eco chic wedding. There's a lot of interest in Yorkshire for all things green, in fact Yorkshire Brides is writing a feature on eco honeymoons next month, so Laura at Inside Out is searching for a couple who would be willing to divulge their green wedding plans for their marriage and follow their journey through to their ethical wedding day.
If you're getting married in Yorkshire or Lincolnshire and feel strongly about treading lightly on this planet here's your chance to show others how one of the most important days of you life can reflect your ethos. Contact Rosie at GreenUnion for more information.
October 10, 2007
Samhain or Hallowe'en?
Samhain (pronounced 'sow'inn'), at the end of October, marks the beginning of a whole new cycle for the Celts, where they believe that in dark silence comes whisperings of new beginnings, the stirring of seeds below ground. For Christians, 31 October is Hallowe'en or All Hallow's Eve and 1 November is All Saints' Day. Many faiths mark this time of the year as one of significant change - Hindus celebrate Navarati and Muslims mark the end of Ramadan with Eid-Ul-Fitr.
The harvest has been gathered in, the animals sheltered for the winter and its a joyous time as families come together for warmth and to chase away the spirits with bonfires and feasts. What a wonderful time for a loving union of souls - a time of new beginnings, warmth, golden light, apples and nuts, loved ones are remembered.
For your late Autumn green wedding think gorgeous, glowing golds and reds, candle light, flares and bonfires for atmosphere. Roasted chestnuts, delicious squash soup, poached pears and baked apples, spices and mulled cider. Hot toasted sausages, baked potatoes and apple pie. Do I need to go on...
October 09, 2007
Creating your authentic wedding
GreenUnion's own expert life coach Lesley Stratton-Hughes is holding another of her creative and rewarding workshops this Saturday 13 October in Brighton, UK.
'Creating Your Authentic Wedding' is all about making wedding planning personal, positive and fun. She says wedding planning doesn't have to be stressful and it all depends on how you go about it. So take a step away from the commercial world of celebrity style weddings and let Lesley help you find out how to apply a very personal approach that will make you feel good.
Tickets cost £10 inclusive of tea/coffee and home made cakes, for more information and to reserve your place you can call Lesley on 01273 239869, or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
October 03, 2007
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month
If you'd like to do something towards Breast Cancer Awareness Month then check out these sites for ideas.
The Brides Against Breast Cancer Project is a neat organisation is touring the US bringing top designer wedding dresses to the public at discounted prices with the proceeds going to the Making Memories Foundation.
In Australia check out the National Breast Cancer Foundation for ideas on how to raise funds this month.
Visit Breast Cancer Care to see what's happening in the UK or suggest your own fund raising day - eco chic brides could throw a hen party. Could be fun...
If you're already married donate your wedding dress to the cause.
Spread the word - help save lives.
October 02, 2007
Tell everyone about it!
Martin Vogle of German Public Radio is still patiently looking for an eco chic couple to interview about their plans to throw a green wedding. Don't be shy, he says he's a nice guy and only wants to have a very informal chat about your green wedding ideas, so do get in touch with email@example.com and help him spread the word to Europe!
Posted in Green Wedding Press
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