|GreenUnion :: Blog Home :: Gifts & Favours|
Wedding favours for National Tree Week
We love trees - ancient monuments, forests, woodlands and beautiful individuals. Trees are the lungs of the world and we need to protect them and grow them.
What better way to get involved with planting trees, making a difference and marking one of the most important days of your life than to plant trees. Give them as wedding favours to your guests and you could be responsible for a small forest of your own!
Go to Trees of Tomorrow for your very own trees seedling wedding favours.
Delightful wildflower wedding favours
We just love it when someone comes along with beautiful ideas for weddings and what could be more lovely than favours, stationary and paper all made with wild flower seeds in mind, that do something good for nature too.
Weddings are a wonderful way of spreading wildflower love. It’s simple, there’s no need to preach, just hand out packets of seeds and send your wedding guests away to grow the delightfully named ragged robins, soldiers buttons, cornflowers, forget-me-nots and daisies in their own gardens.
Go on - be a bit different, spread your love and grow some too, the bees and butterflies will love you for it!
Let your love grow...
...with eco-friendly wildflower seed wedding favours, gifts and invitations. You should take a look at Wildflower Favours because they have some great ideas for wedding decor and stationary plus giving you heaps of tips on how to use them seasonally. So if your wedding is planned for next Autumn, here are a few tips from Teresa:
Image: Heline Bekker
Decorate your plantable wedding invitations with pressed flowers in the colour scheme that your wedding will be.
As you can see, we love everything Wildflower Favours do because they are constantly thinking about how it will effect the environment, particularly our precious British flora and fauna. Go to their website to find out more and buy lovely things from the online shop.
Wedding gift inspiration
My husband David designs and hand makes beautiful pieces of furniture to commission. He also makes small wooden items for sale through galleries and at craft shows like these gorgeous wooden vases with glass tubes to display individual flowers stems. We call stem vases.
He recently received this email that made me think it would be great inspiration for couples wondering what to do about wedding gifts:
"I purchased one of your 'test tube rack' vases from the Dartington Shop - a wedding present for a couple who have asked for the presents to 'remind them of the person that gave it to them' - as I am a retired science teacher who loves botany, this is the perfect present! Also, I like the fact that it is unique - in fact, I would really like to keep it! Many thanks, Steven T
While most couples these days don't want, or need, conventional wedding gifts like toasters and bed linen and don't feel that a wedding list is relevant to their unique union, wedding guests still love to give a gift to mark the occasion and so its always a good idea to have some way of letting your guests know what it is you would love to receive.
Naturally gorgeous Christmas wedding gift designs
Take a look at these gorgeous decorations specially created by Paper Tree for Christmas. There are little rosebud wreaths, mini mistletoe kissing sprigs:
Rosebud hearts and rosey wreaths:
For a Christmas wedding you could line up these sweet rose topiary pots all the way down your reception table:
Trees of Tomorrow – in the Seeds of Today
Now that the leaves have been blown away by November’s storms, we are blessed with the beauty of the trees’ winter silhouettes. The gradually multiplying branches reaching skyward against a dwindling light is a poignant symbol of longevity and growth and all that is to come.
It was with this thought that Trees of Tomorrow, who supply little seedling wedding favours, was born. So we asked Margaret Fox to tell us a little more about her seedling company, now into its second year of providing these enchanting favours to couples wanting a more meaningful gift for their guests which, like their marriage, is all about the future. Over to you Margaret:
“We firmly believe that our Wedding Seedling Favours are the greenest gift there is and we focus exclusively on British native species:
Oak, of course, is a firm favourite being symbolic of strength and an essential feature of our British landscape, supporting thousands of other species as it grows and develops. The slender, graceful Silver Birch, whose little heart shaped leaves make it an obvious choice, is also very popular. Folklore tells us that babies’ cradles were made of birch due to its purifying qualities! One couple chose crab apple seedlings as the groom had proposed to the bride in an orchard!
There are also some species specially suited to winter weddings. The courageous Holly revels in winter while anticipating the spring; the Blue Spruce, whose evergreen needles appear in pairs symbolizing permanence in love, is ideally suited to Christmas weddings. Or, if you’d rather avoid a conifer, there is the brave Holm Oak, whose evergreen leaves, something between an oak and a holly, are very beautiful. So, whether you are guided in your choice by the traditional language of trees or choose a species with a special personal relevance, a unique wedding tree favour is guaranteed.
Naturally designed wedding stationary
When Ann-Marie Edmondson contacted us to tell us about her gorgeous ethically produced wedding stationary and decorations, we were not only bowled over by the products, but also by the lengths the company takes to make sure they are all created using sustainably sourced materials.
Paper Tree has all manner of hand crafted wedding invitations, coloured paper petals, roses, flowers and garlands made from eco-friendly Saa paper. Saa paper is a sustainable resource made from the bark of the Mulberry tree. The tree is a persistently growing perennial regenerating itself after harvest and the bark can be made into a natural paper without destroying the tree.
We particularly like these pretty paper rosebud cards which can be personalised as wedding invitations or menus for your wedding reception. By the way, the rose buds can also be bought separately in case you want to create your own hand made wedding invitations.
Eggscellent Easter wedding decor
Every year for the past 3 years we've had a fabulously warm and balmy Easter season overflowing with blossom, sunshine and the promise of new life. So we think it's got to be a perfect time to throw a wedding, with great opportunities for fresh Easter themed wedding decorations.
One of our favourite and creative decoration companies is POSH Graffiti by Emily Readett-Bayley, which has recently launched a new range of ornate painted eggs and other decorations.
For a burst of spring loveliness, hang on blossom boughs to make a wishing tree and use their signature hand carved painted letters to create a statement in your wedding venue.
For more ideas and to see their full range visit the POSH Graffiti website.
Perfect rings for a perfect match
Valentines day is fast approaching, a busy time for proposals and, since Wills popped the question to Kate with that sapphire ring, it seems alternative coloured gemstones are all the rage for engagements.
And with impeccable timing CRED have launched their Eden range of engagement and wedding rings with a fabulous collection of traceable and naturally coloured stones set in Oro Verde Fair Trade 18 ct green gold and platinum.
They’re not only gorgeous but also ethical and completely comparative in price to un-ethical rings!
Wedding Tree Favours - sad farewell
We're mourning the loss of one of our favourite partners.
Wedding Tree Favours is closing its doors after three fabulous years of supplying hand grown tree saplings for so many eco friendly weddings!
Alan Waterman, originally a farmer, set up Wedding Tree Favours after his own daughter asked him to provide her with some tree saplings for wedding favours when she got married. Over the years he has collected and planted thousands of indigenous tree seeds and lovingly nurtured them to sapling stage, then sent them out to eco savvy couples who have used them as favours and gifts for weddings. The trees were all British Natives like Oak and Yew, or species like Walnut and Sweet Chestnut which were introduced to Britain hundreds of years ago. Alan estimates that they have sent out over 10,000 trees - now that's a huge leg up for the British countryside!
Alan is retiring and plans to do a bit of travelling. We reckon he deserves a well earned rest and wish him and his family all the best for the future.
If you still hope to give trees as a lasting reminder of your wedding day that will not only live way beyond your own lifetime, but also that of your children, grandchildren and great grandchildren, you can still buy saplings from Tree 2 My Door who supply saplings, seeds and trees for wedding gifts and favours.
Alan's story reminds me of a beautiful little book called The Man Who Planted Trees by Jean Giorno. Treat yourself or give it to your bridesmaids, best man, ushers and parents as a big thank you for all their love, help and support.
Felt from the heart
Your guests will be hard pressed to throw these wedding favours in the bin when they get home!
We are totally bowled over by these gorgeous felt hearts hand sewn by a group of women in Makapanstad,South Africa who have created a little heartfelt something which makes a perfectly unique idea as a little thank you gift for your wedding guests.
Julie who, with her friend Martha, set up The Heartfelt Project thinks that the wedding industry at the moment has taken the whole emphasis off what a wedding is really about - namely the love and commitment of two individuals - and that it has become greedy. She believes that more and more couples are beginning to realise this and that they want to tailor-make their wedding day, creating a more individual feel where it really is about the bride and groom and their values, and they are more discerning about how they spend their wedding budget, putting it where it can really make a difference. Buying these little wedding favours will do just that.
Spring savings on wedding favours!
We've got a fabulous special offer to celebrate the welcome arrival of wonderful Spring sunshine!
Pebble in the Pond are offering an amazing discount of 15% off any of their gorgeous handmade wedding favours ordered during the months of April and May.
Their quirky range of eco beautiful gifts includes:
Handmade soaps wrapped in vintage fabrics
So there is definitely something for everyone, we think, and the lovely Emma at Pebble in the Pond will be more than happy to send you samples of any of their wedding favours so you can take a close look prior to ordering, This special offer runs till the end of May so there's plenty of time for you to decide which one to choose.
To receive an automatic 15% off, please quote GU2 when ordering. For more information follow the link to Pebble in the Pond's wedding favours page.
Winning wedding stationery
When Jemma and Amanda of GreenLeaf Press contacted us to tell us all about their new stationery range we couldn't believe our ears. Even the ribbon they use is eco friendly! Not only that but it's made right here in the UK, in the lovely county of Cheshire.
GreenLeaf Press makes a simply stunning collection of 'off the peg’ and bespoke ethical wedding and special occasion stationery which can be adapted to suit any occasion. Everything is printed on eco friendly paper and you can choose from a range of papers made from wood pulp, straw, hemp, beer and cotton. Everything is ethically sourced and their website is even powered by wind!
So if you're searching for wedding invitations that have a strong green pedigree you must check out their range.
Along with the usual wedding invitations, save-the-dates, thank you cards and RSVP's, they also make gorgeous gift and favour bags, like the ones in the picture above, and they love creating beautiful eco chic stationery to complement their clients’ events.
They also run their own blog which is stuffed full of beautiful styling tips and ideas of how to co-ordinate your wedding stationery with your wedding theme.
Valentine’s flowers from Rebel Rebel
Earn rave reviews from your leading lady with Valentine’s flowers from Rebel Rebel. Sweep your leading lady off her feet this Valentine’s Day with flowers to take her breath away.
Flowers - gorgeous, fresh, fragrant flowers – are always affordable, always romantic and always rapturously received. Bouquets are beautifully hand-tied, swathed in chic colours of tissue and beribboned, is romance with a capital R.
A special Christmas gift voucher
Special Offer - three nights for the price of two on one of their courses during January.
Stay an extra night and totally unwind with a free massage.
2 day Women's Health 8th - 10th January 2010
2 day Food & Health 13th - 15th January 2010
To buy a Gift Voucher follow one of the links above or phone: 01544 230720
For more information on all Greencuisine courses visit www.greencuisine.org
Christmas candle inspiration
Guaranteed to give you a warm glow! Choose the most natural candles you can find for your Christmas winter wedding. All our candles are hand made in England using soy wax from sustainable sources, or beeswax from Gloucestershire.
Our soy wax candles have a lovely creamy texture and burn very cleanly, so they're better for your health and for the planet.
Our all natural beeswax candles are hand made by a beekeeper in Gloucestershire, England who uses wax from his own hives.
Don't just use them for your wedding, all our natural candles make perfect gifts and stocking fillers too.
The perfect wedding gift
Are the linens you choose safe and healthy for you? Are they made renewably and energy-efficiently, by a socially responsible company? Are they organic? We know that so many of you are making huge efforts to lead a sustainable lifestyle and trying to find safe and natural linens without sacrificing style or quality.
So we're doing our level best to find the most natural, environmentally friendly fine linens to stock in our Eco Chic Boutique that meet many, or all, of these criteria and which you can happily add to your wedding list.
We've just added a fabulous new range of Italian organic table linen which we know you will love! This luxury table linen is beautifully finished with mitred corners and subtle coloured stitch detailing around the extra deep hems. It's available in 3 colourways and comes in a range of tablecloths, napkins, place mats and table runners.
If the Italian organic linen is too pricey for you, we also have lovely organic cotton table linen at very affordable prices, so check out our Eco Chic Boutique for more information about our eco friendly table linens.
Summer loving berry scrumptious!
The sun is shining again and British summer goes hand in hand with British Strawberries. Which beings to mind our lovely partners Berry Scrumptious who grow their own strawberries in Aberdeenshire and then dip them in the most luscious chocolate creating sublime wedding favours, alternative wedding cakes, wedding desserts, gifts and special treats.
Now they're entering the BBC Four Food and Farming Awards and we can help them scoop this prestigious award which they wholeheartedly deserve! All you need to do is go to the nomination form and choose Best Food Producer from the drop down categories, fill in your personal details then put Berry Scruptious and their contact details in the copy entry and wax lyrical about them! Easy peasy.
Oh, and if you're stuck for a present for the person who has everything, a box of their fresh chocolate covered strawberries will do the trick. Order online at www.berryscrumptious.co.uk/shop before 10.30am for next day delivery from Tuesday – Saturday.
We're so loving Lorna Henderson's sublimely beautiful and affordable range of bright jewels. Expertly and lovingly crafted by Lorna herself in Bedfordshire, right here in the UK, she creates intricate designs of semi-precious gems woven amongst hand forged silver flowers and delicately strung between silver links.
What we especially love about this new range is that you can splash out on a statement piece for yourself like the Rose Quartz Flower Cluster Bracelet, or you can afford to buy all your bridesmaids a beautiful Gem Twister Necklace as a gift.
The colourful collection includes, crystals, blues, citrus, pinks and pearls.
‘I like to think of my jewels as works of art that can adorn the body, which have life, are unusual and make the wearer happy,’ says Lorna.
Go to our Eco Chic Boutique to view the whole collection.
Home made wedding favours
I loved Kerry's latest blog entry all about making jam using pick your own berries from an organic farm and bottling it up for their very personal wedding favours.
At the moment everything in the garden at GU HQ is ripening and we're picking and bottling, preserving and pickling it all ready for the winter months. There's nothing like opening a jar of summer sunshine when its cold and frosty outside and I can't think of a better gift to give all your wedding guests as a lovely reminder of that glorious summer's day when you tied the knot.
The image is from Make-Jam where you can find English jam recipes and all the equipment you might need to make your own wedding favour preserves.
Posted in Green Wedding Gifts & Favours
Lately in the Green Wedding Adventure - Wedding Favors
Lately there has been little time to reflect on the wedding planning process - we are in production mode, and with about 6 weeks until the wedding, we are nearing the end of the major To Do's on the list...
After finalizing our menu earlier this month, and with a solid plan in place for decorations, we had only a few final details to work out. One of them included what to do about favors. We knew we didn’t want our guests to leave with something that was less than useful, or worse would be tossed immediately. We also knew we wanted to stay within our budget, so we nixed a few of the options we looked into because they were too expensive.
What we decided on is very “us”, locally produced and within the budget - we made and canned homemade berry jam for all our guests last weekend. We picked the berries at a local (organic) farm, and spent an entire day preparing and canning the jam (realizing how grateful we are to live in a time when canning is optional and fun, not a necessity).
Here's the recipe:
8 cups crushed berries
Mix these ingredients in a pan over medium-low heat, bring to a boil slowly, and boil until it starts to thicken (depends on the pectin in the berries how long this will take). As it cools it will continue to thicken too.
Click on this link for the step by step instructions and how to bottle the jam up.
My fiancé will design a label for the jars and we’ll integrate our wedding colors into the display of the favors by putting a swatch of fabric between the lids and metal rings. We are excited to have found something that will definitely be used (and the jars reused) which will give our guests a taste of our new home ... Oregon is known for the myriad berries that thrive here.
Next on the agenda: finalizing the ceremony, which we are putting together ourselves and meeting with our officiant, a close friend.
Posted by Kerry - Blogger Bride
Bright idea! Special offer...
Falling Star makes candles with a conscience.
Christina Hockey hand makes votive candles, pillar candles and candles in tins using 100% natural, eco-friendly soya wax. With real cotton wicks and scented with pure essential oils, who can’t light up to these candles?
Worried about the environment? The wax is sustainably sourced and biodegradable.
Offer valid till 31 December 2009.
A venue decorator with a difference!
When Emma from Pebble in the Pond contacted me about joining GreenUnion I had to ask her why her wedding stylist and decoration service considered itself 'planet friendly'. Her response was very convincing:
'we love supporting local artists and those lucky enough to be blessed with green fingers. We much prefer to use natural or organic products to those shipped in from afar. We’re busy collecting beautiful crockery, linens and glass from bygone eras and it goes without saying, we make sure that anything that can be is recycled and replanted.'
Wherever possible they:
* support local suppliers and use local products
On top of that they do all the boring stuff too:
* offset all our petrol miles
Although all that sounds very worthy, they're not willing to compromise on elegance, style or inspiration when setting the scene for your perfect day.
So if you're throwing a green wedding in the Manchester area and you're looking for some inspiring wedding decorations or just prefer to have a venue decorator come and do it all for you then contact Pebble in the Pond for a chat.
By the way they also supply gorgeous green wedding favours too and will be launching their gift service soon. In the meantime contact email@example.com or call Emma on 07538 176829 for more information on their gifts and wedding favours.
Stuck for a Mother's Day Gift?
Mother's Day is this Sunday 22nd March and there's still time to get a gift for your mum or mother-in-law to show how much you appreciate them.
Find plenty of gorgeous gifts in our Eco Chic Boutique.
Don't forget how important your Mum and Mum-in-Law are on the run up to your gorgeous green wedding. Support, friendship, experience, maturity - all great assets to tap into when planning the big day.
If you're still thinking of that little gift, don't delay any longer, to get your gift there by the weekend you need to order soon!
Fresh Vintage Teacup Candles
Wondering what to give your loved one for V-Day, or just thinking of treating yourself? We've just added these lovely new vintage teacup candles to our online shop. Made by a new supplier Clara Bows, these candles are gorgeous, glamorous and eco friendly.
Each one of her candles is unique in individually sourced vintage crockery or glassware. Lovingly hand poured using 100% natural soy wax from sustainable sources. She uses only the highest quality fragrance, essential oils and wicks. Most importantly, they smell of delicious sugary buttery shortbread or tea!
Once your candle is finished you only need to rinse it out with warm soapy water and then you’re left with this lovely tea trio of cup, saucer and plate to use for an afternoon tea.
Every candle comes beautifully boxed and wrapped in tissue paper all tied up with a bow, and the prices all include post and packing.
Lustrous Lingerie for Valentine's
Enamore has created this delightful new range of lingerie for Valentine's Day 2009 and you can buy it from our Eco Chic Boutique.
Featured in February's You & Your Wedding Magazine, Bamboo Parfait is made from a lustrous black bamboo satin trimmed with icing pink lace and candy pink bows. The five piece range includes a bias cut camisole and nightie, ruffle shorts, soft bra and matching garter.
Holiday discounts from Bario-Neal
Happy Holidays from Bario-Neal!
For the month of December, in the holiday spirit, Bario-Neal are offering all customers a 35% discount on any jewellery from the Alluvial & Camac Collections. You can visit their website at www.bario-neal.com & use the discount code BN35OFF when checking out.
Also tomorrow 11 December they will be at Arcadia Boutique in Philadelphia for a holiday trunk show from 6-9 pm. They are also part of a holiday sale at Secret Project Robot from 11am - 7pm in Brooklyn on Saturday the 13th.
Bario-Neal jewellery is handcrafted in Philadelphia with reclaimed precious metals; ethically-sourced stones; and low-impact, environmentally conscious practices. 1% of all Bario-Neal profits is donated to the Association for Responsible Mining.
East London Design Show
The East London Design Show is not to be missed as a shopping stop in your December calendar. Lets face it why bother with stressful Oxford Street when you can get cleaver/handmade/interesting gifts right from the makers...
5th December from 12noon till 8pm
National Tree Week - Trees Offer
Celebrate your wedding and Tree2mydoor's 5th Birthday, save money and give native trees to your wedding guests with this excellent HALF PRICE TREES OFFER!
During National Tree Week the online tree gifts company is offering customers a massive 50% discount for all native tree gift orders placed on Wednesday the 26th of November through to Sunday the 30th of November. Saving you over £12 per native tree!
Tree2mydoor's native tree gifts include one native tree with tree care guide and one greetings card that you can personalise at time of order. The trees are individually boxed in unique packaging and can be mailed to your chosen recipient so they make perfect wedding gifts, or order enough for wedding favours and send your guests home with a little green gift of their own.
This generous offer is only valid for 5 days during National Tree Week 2008 so visit www.tree2mydoor.com/national-tree-week.asp to claim your tree now!
To claim the discount, simply use the following promotion code when placing an order online: 5thgift
Don't get me started! Christmas time is a fabulous season to get wed - candles, firelight, cinnamon, cloves, mulled wine, warm cosy spaces and the smell of christmas trees... Here's a perfectly gorgeous idea for your Christmas wedding table settings...
Established by Rowan Clark, a forest ranger who saw the benefit of offering a green gift idea for parties and celebrations. She loves to think that every little green tree she nurtures will make a difference and, as well as being a beautiful gift, could become the family Christmas tree in years to come. The company prides itself in being as environmentally friendly as they can with products being almost enitrely 100% recyclable.
Rowan's Little Green Wedding Favours are little Christmas tree saplings rustically wrapped in individual hessian sacks tied up with a tag which can be personalised. They will do a great job of doubling up as place settings for each guest too and come in clusters of 10. A gift idea that won't break the bank and will give everyone something to celebrate!
Red, red rose
Snapdragon is selling this beautiful red rose corsage in aid of Cancer Research for the rest of October.
The flower is made from vintage blankets which have been felted and dyed and each corsage is made by hand which means that they will all be slightly different. The stylish embroidered corsage will liven up a coat, cardigan or hat and keep you in good cheer for the winter to come, knowing that every single penny, that's 100% (not just the profit) of the sale price will be donated to Cancer Research!
Snapdragon is run by Jane Lindsay who grows and sells cut flowers, during the spring and summer months, from her cutting garden in Scotland. She also makes and sells one off, or small runs of, unique gifts, homewares and accessories from vintage and recycled fabrics.
Posted in Green Wedding Gifts & Favours
Scrumptious berries win award!
Claire Rennie, founder and director of Berry Scrumptious told us: “We are delighted with this award. Winning a Great Taste Award recognizes the craft and dedication that goes into making superb food and drink. All our products are hand made and take a great deal of time and skill to prepare but the resulting taste and WOW factor our berries create makes that all worthwhile.”
Berry Scrumptious is a small, innovative company based on husband Ross’s family farm in Aberdeenshire. As well as running the soft fruit enterprise on the farm, Ross grows premium quality strawberries especially for Berry Scrumptious. Claire is the creative side of the partnership and together they provide the highest quality of product and service possible.
They say they are very lucky to live and work in a beautiful part of the British Isles. Their commute to work is all of two minutes and the view from the farm office window is of trees and fields – quite different from their earlier careers where Claire worked in marketing and Ross was a Chartered Accountant!
They're both passionate about growing fresh, natural produce and taking that from field to fork in as few steps as possible. That’s why they always prefer to use their own strawberries, where they can. As all their berries are picked and dipped to order, you can be sure they're freshest chocolate dipped strawberries, prepared especially for you.
Go on be a devil - try some!!
From little acorns...
The debate continues. How beneficial is carbon offsetting? We're still a teeny bit cynical about the process and are always looking for alternative ways to personalise the activity of carbon offsetting, especially when there's a green wedding involved.
We definitely believe that planting trees is a truly legitimate way of putting something back into our environment since there are more benefits in the life of a tree than just capturing carbon. During its long life a tree will nurture hundreds of living creatures within its own micro habitat. An Oak, for instance, will support the insect life that feeds on its leaves. Butterfly and moth caterpillars, beetles, bugs and green fly and they, in turn, provide food for predatory beasts including birds like chifchafs, long tailed tits and tree creepers and these little birds (sadly) will be food for predatory birds like sparrowhawks. Apart from the obvious, there are numerous gall that grow on the leaves and in the acorns, which are caused by different types of wasps laying their eggs there. There's also fungi that grows on the tree or amongst its roots and the bark hosts numerous epiphytes (plants that live on the outside of another plant like lichens and mosses, liverworts and algae).
tree2mydoor.com, an award winning sustainable gift company offers UK grown tree and wild flower gifts, all beautifully packaged in hessian bags and recycled boxes make perfect eco friendly wedding gifts and favours. The range of trees include rowan, hazel, hawthorn, holly and crab apple - they even offer a whole grove of oak trees with truffles included. Give your guests each a Love in a Bag and sow the seeds of love with red Field Poppies and Corn Cockle.
tree2mydoor.com also offers a unique gift service, Dedicate a Tree, that has been set up to directly support conservation projects in the UK and around the world with 10% of profits going directly towards chosen projects. So you can also choose to support conservation with your purchase as well and reduce your carbon footprint.
Seven green ways to personalise your wedding day - Day 6
The possibilities are endless so let your creative juices flow and produce a really personal and eco friendly thank you gift for all your wedding guests to take away. If you don't feel quite so creative you can find some charming ethical wedding gifts and favours here.
Enter our prize draw to win Organic Places to Stay...
Sign up for our newsletter today and we will enter you into a prize draw to win one of these five Organic Places to Stay books which we have to give away.
Organic Places to Stay, by Linda Moss, lists hundreds of wonderful places which have their own restaurants or offer delicious home cooked meals to guests. A few are certified organic, and others may have a certified organic kitchen garden, orchard or vineyard. Quite a few of them grow their own produce, some use wild or natural foods, and most will aim to use fresh local produce rather than imported food. At these places you'll find information about the availability of organic food - for example whether you can buy the farm's own organic produce, have an organic vegetable box delivered, or find organic produce in the local area. Fresh produce, local specialities, slow food, home baking, homemade products such as jam, juice, ice cream, yogurt, cheese, pasta, pasta sauce, olive oil, wine - you'll find all these and more ......
The book is a 'must have' bible for anyone planning a green wedding and looking for places to stay in the UK on their eco friendly honeymoon.
Our newsletter - GreenUnion Gossip, is packed, every month, full of news and ideas for great green weddings, so don't delay sign up to our e-newsletter now!
Offer ends 30 April 2008. We will notify the lucky winner after this date.
What were you doing when you were fifteen?
Can you remember what you were doing when you were 15? Testing the latest makeup, learning how to smoke, enjoying the odd binge drinking session, setting up a business...
It seems entrepreneurs get younger and younger with Charlie Artingsoll, self styled "green wedding connoisseur and plant label dynamo". He's churning out the most eco friendly labels for place names by collecting wood offcuts from local joineries and turning them into TimberTags. At only fifteen, Charlie started to make these green wedding labels when the gardening season was over and he had to think about turning his plant label business into an all season enterprise.
Having already won a Kent environmental business award for the 'most inspirational business', Charlie plans to donate a percentage of his profits to the Kent Wildlife Trust.
Charlie suggests that you commission him to create some custom tags for your wedding which will double up as a great little keepsake of your eco chic wedding day. Give him a call and find out what he can do for you. Name tags, napkin rings, flower labels, thank you tags, wedding favours, coasters, the choice is endless...
Posted in Green Wedding Gifts & Favours
Love is like a red red rose
One of our favourite partners Lottie Girling has come up with this gorgeous valentine rose corsage. Made from leather or suede (a by product of the leather industry), these blooms are not only charming and chic, but will still be bloomin' lovely long after those supermarket stems have withered away. She's offering them in an assortment of colours including this delicious red, of course, but if you want something extra special then there's still time to have one made to order. Leave it on the desktop and make sure you get one this Valentine's Day!
Eco friendly gift wrap inspiration
I pulled out my box of vintage silk scarves this weekend to see if I could find a new use for them and an inspirational idea came to me with Christmas and gifts in mind. Why not use them as gift wrap - it worked a treat. So give it a go, rid yourself of the guilt of gift wrapping excess, throw-away all packaging and wrap your gifts in gorgeous vintage silk squares as a stylish alternative to paper wrapping.
Scour charity shops and market stalls for luxurious silk head scarves and apply the ancient and time-honored art of furoshiki wrapping to this year's gifts. The time and thought you've put into your gift won't go unnoticed and they'll be the most luxurious and eco chic gifts under the replantable tree!
Did you know?
Image Posch Biota Collection.
Posted in Green Wedding Gifts & Favours
Christmas craft bazaars
Well I've just got home from visiting our local Holiday craft bazaar and produce market held in conjunction an annual open evening for our little market town in North Devon. This is the night that kicks off Christmas and Holiday for us here with its celebration of community and good will. It puts me in mind of the hundreds of craft and makers' sales going on worldwide at this time of the year.
It's a great way to find gifts for all of those people in our lives who are tough to buy for, and can even give us ideas for those elusive eco friendly gifts to show wedding attendants, friends and loved ones how much you appreciate their help and support at a future green wedding.
I do know that over in the US there are plenty on this Saturday, including the BUST Holiday Craftacular. I’ve never attended but I'm told its well worth a visit. Next Sunday, there's a sale at Divine Studio in NYC, so if you're a resident or visiting go ahead and download the invite by clicking here.
There's no easy way to find out where the sales are being held so the best thing is to Google your area and something will pop up, but check back next week and I'll try and find more for you.
Posted in Green Wedding Gifts & Favours
I promised three highly creative and talented furniture makers for National Tree Week and last, but not least, is Greig Fensome who produces perfectly formed furniture under the name hiddenink. Working with woods from sustainable sources, Greig designs and handmakes every piece to order. The finished product is a naturally organic work of art and worthy of gracing your home for a lifetime and more. Greig produces these gorgeous boxes, which although are not cheap, would make a perfect Christmas gift for someone with special memories or precious pieces to store.
I know I keep harping on about it, but it's worth considering making your ethical wedding memories more meaningful by asking your guests to contribute to one wonderful, handmade, bespoke, individually designed item of furniture made specially for you, than lots of incidental items which will be forgotten in the passage of time. Commissioning a piece of furniture to mark your ever so eco friendly wedding can be a joyful journey of creative discovery.
Give it a go!
Eco Design Christmas Fair
In London this weekend, wondering what to do and haven't started on your Christmas shopping yet? Here's a chance to browse a whole fair dedicated to ethically produced, green gifts. Don't just think hemp trousers and joss sticks. Admittedly there is a predictable selection of the usual fair trade tea, coffee and chocolate, but there will also be a huge selection of handmade goods which will make fabulous, individual, guilt-free gifts. Organic, recycled, non-toxic, fair trade, handmade, carbon-neutral, low-energy, food, fashion, accessories and lots, lots more.
Featuring our second furniture maker for National Tree Week is a real pleasure. Tjeerd Hendel-Blackford works, like David Ames, in Devon, England producing the finest furniture and gifts from sustainable hardwoods. His pieces, although not stocking fillers, will delight the recipient of one of his gorgeous boxes or picture frames. The frames in particular are unique to Tjeerd where he's developed a little swirl that means the frame will cling onto the edge of a mantelpiece or shelf with the greatest of ease.
Contact Tjeerd to see if he has some gift items in stock or he may still be able to get something specially made for Christmas if you hurry. He designs and makes one off pieces of furniture to commission, so plan ahead if you fancy a chair or desk for a unique wedding gift from your guests.
Brighton Craft Fair
The Brighton Craft Fair is back for the second year. The doors open to the public on Friday 23rd November at 10.00am. Once again they have selected one hundred of the best designer-makers in the UK, across all disciplines. These designer-makers are breathing new life into craft and design, taking both traditional and contemporary skills and processes, and letting their imaginations take the work far, far away from the usual.
What you will find at The Brighton Craft Fair is well made, well designed, contemporary work, sometimes with a sense of fun but always with originality. You will be buying hand-made and original work direct from the maker.
Go along to find unique Christmas gifts, but savvy couples will also be scouting for designer makers from whom to commission a beautiful one off piece of work to mark their wedding celebration and become a family heirloom of the future.
Wood glorious wood
National Tree Week continues and recognising that we're on the run up to Christmas we're featuring our favorite furniture makers each day for the rest of the week. Getting a gorgeous gift made by a designer maker is a great experience. Some have small pieces in stock for you to choose from, others will make a gift to order. But whatever the piece, you'll be sure to get a unique one off which has been hand made from sustainable timber.
First up is David Ames who has a selection of affordable small gifts like candle holders, vases and cheese boards made from oak, elm, applewood and ash. Talk to David and he will craft you a wizard piece totally unique to you. I particularly like these cute slab bud vases which make the most of just a few blooms and looks gorgeous too.
Ever thought of commissioning a piece of furniture specially for you? A wooden bed crafted from sustainable local timber, that all your guests can contribute to, would be such a memorable and special wedding gift - it will outlast your children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.
To Carbon Offset or not?
Over the last few months there's been a lot of debate about carbon offsetting. How beneficial is it? How legitimate are many of the companies offering carbon offset schemes? The growth of green wash and the ability of not so environmentally conscious organsations to 'wash' their way onto the green bandwagon by buying into the carbon offset environment has made us just a teeny bit cynical of the whole process.
The jury's out, but we do still believe that planting trees is a truly legitimate way of putting something back. There are more benefits in the life of a tree than just capturing carbon, and Alan at Wedding Tree Favours has the perfect solution.
After his own daughter asked him to provide her with his tree saplings for her wedding favours, the seed of a new business began to grow. Now he collects and plants thousands of indigenous tree seeds every year and lovingly nurtures them to sapling stage, when he sends them out to eco savvy couples to use as favours and gifts for weddings.
Posted in Green Wedding Gifts & Favours
Thoughts of weddings, even eco friendly ones, are being put on the back burner to make room for the festive season and, as we gear up for Christmas, don't get sucked into that mad shopping frenzy. Make your Christmas more meaningful by only giving handmade gifts - make your own, buy Fairtrade or seek out your local makers' studios who will all be throwing their doors open for Christmas shopping over the next six weeks. And pledge to buy Handmade now!
Posted in Green Wedding Gifts & Favours
Stumped for ideas for wedding favours or what to gift your special helpers to say thank you for their love and support on your wedding day? Then why not adopt an African tree? Tree-Nation, a dynamic Barcelona-based website committed to planting eight million trees in sub-Saharan Niger, the world's poorest nation, are inviting people to sponsor their tree planting programme.
Their fabulous website encourages social networking for its tree 'parents' and, once you've made your donation, you can track and map its growth via GPS and Google Maps. Working alongside ecologists in Niger and supported by the United Nations Environment Programme, Tree-Nation is already nourishing the sprouts of the mighty baobabs, shade giving acacias and other indigenous species in a special nursery before transplanting them in their heart shaped park where 5,000 trees have been planted so far. Although desertification threatens most of the land in Niger, the trees grow in places that receive enough rainfall to support them. Their roots should eventually reach into underground water stores, bringing otherwise untapped water to the surface and improving the soil.
A baobab can survive for up to 2000 years - what better way to leave a lasting legacy of your love...
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.
Stuck for an eco chic wedding gift idea?
Well here are some brilliant ones from Oxfam Unwrapped. What better gift for an eco chic couple than a living, breathing garden, bringing life and prosperity to both the environment and people with a greater need than our own around the world. Oxfam Unwrapped's gift-giving program makes the most of your donations, providing financial assistance to Oxfam’s many programs, while giving a gift that supports those who benefit most. Give just £16 and plant 50 trees, while £200 will buy a plot of land for families to plant crops which they can sell in local markets and earn their own living. We're all for the ethical and ecological focus of these gifts which stress the sometimes overlooked connection between humanitarian efforts, environmental commitments, and issues of local food and agriculture.
|GreenUnion - a searchable database of green wedding services, products, tips and advice|