Sustainable centrepieces – beautiful, simple and inexpensive to DIY

Centrepieces aren’t just expensive, if you’re having a few tables, they can also be bad for the environment. Flowers need to be in season and locally grown (some exotic or out of season flowers are imported from as far away as Africa!) An arrangement of 3 or 5 jars of various sizes together with the same type of flower.

Professional or traditional centrepieces aren’t just expensive, if you’re having a few tables, they can also be bad for the environment. Elaborate may not be the best option if you can’t see people over across the table or they block the view of the dance floor.

To get the best out of your centrepieces, if you’re going to DIY, choose things that reflect your values or things you love as a couple.

Flowers need to be in season and locally grown (some exotic or out of season flowers are imported from as far away as Africa!) An arrangement of 3 or 5 jars of various sizes together with the same type of flower can look very chic.

Collect glass jars from pasta sauces, milk or juice bottles etc. (if you’re game you can take a leaf out of the current Mexican trend and even re-use cans as long as the label looks exotic or foreign. Your friends and family can help add to your collection.

At the end of the night you can recycle the lot!

Then ad this Noritake 4-heart vase to your registry for your anniversary flowers!

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4-hearts rated gorgeous vase from Japan

http://www.greenhearts.com.au/productdetail.aspx?pid=1470#ad-image-0

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Greenhearts live blog: Life Instyle 2013 Part 1

Greenheart girls in the frame at Life instyle 2013

We’ve been going to Melbourne & Sydney’s Life inStyle expos for over 3 years now and it we’re still finding some surprising, beautiful and most importantly ethical & sustainable gifts that we know that smart brides & grooms would love in their homes.

Here’s a selection of some of the great new products we’ll be adding to the Greenhearts gift list over the next few weeks. 

Carrol Boyes has been around for decades but duh us, we just saw her immediately iconic sterling silver pieces at today’s show. They’re practical, beautiful and whimsical! That combo is just timeless and her designs would look great in minimalist and more eclectic homes.

What’s more amazing is Carrol is a warrior for South African women and multiculturalism as well as ethical manufacture.

We’re so excited about offering Carrol Boyes’ gorgeous collection to our brides & grooms!

Staying in South Africa, these frames from Luna Design are made by homeless people in from reclaimed wood. They are truly unique and the muted colours could look great in a beach house or chabby chic interior.

However I love juxtaposing hard edges and lines with this genuinely distressed material so go ahead and put these up in your uber modern homes too. They will catch visitor’s eye and you can tell them the amazing story of these people whose income comes from these beautiful pieces.

Indeed we found these frames at the new L’Atelier Maison stand that had this amazing new cookware – knindustrie.

Truly stove top to table to storage without dropping an ounce of glorious Italian desig. Up close the white pots, matte finish stainless steel and soft silicone lids speaks of quiet elegance. And the removable handles are just so darn clever! Like camping, only in downtown Venice?

The balance of the round pots against the wood grain and the overall finish and design is truly faultless. Can’t wait to get some for myself!

 

Yours truly live blogging from Life instyle today!

 Now Julie Hoddy from magoolie designs is one truly hard working Tassie chic. She not only dreams-up, designs, makes, fires, paints, glazes these lovely ceramic gifts but she also packs, sells and ships them all around Australia. Every week she’s peddling her delicate and complex wares at Salamanca markets but today she had a lovely smile just for us!

There’s more beautiful, ethical & sustainable Australian and overseas designs coming your way in the next few days as we ware out our shoes at life instyle, Reed & GHA shows.

What do you think of these gifts for the eco-minded bride & grooms?

Greenheart wedding tip #1 Make your destination wedding local

by Greener Irena

The Greenhearts Girls have noticed over the last few years that many couples are opting for a ‘destination wedding’. A tropical paradise where only your nearest and dearest (and rich) family and friends can attend your intimate ceremony. Let’s take a quick look at this trend from a sustainability perspective.

Makes perfect sense from your perspective:

  1. You’re going to drop about twenty grand on a big party anyway where dozens of almost-strangers will eat, dance and complain about the seating arrangements. Why not spend it and get a hot honeymoon to boot while partying with only your inner circle.
  2. You’ve lived together for years and this whole ‘princess’ thing is just not you (or him). 
  3. You’ve always wanted to visit Bali/Thailand/Mauritius*/Hawaii etc.
  4. The packages on offer for the whole thing from dress to flowers to photos and dinner at bridal fairs are just so cheap and so much less hassle!

That all sounds lovely but if you want to live your sustainable values does a tropical destination wedding really stack up?

Sure you could go all actuarial (and that’s just not me, I’ve got enough to worry about) and count up the flyer miles, hotel rooms etc. and their emissions versus the car mileage and the (most likely) dozens more guests you’d invite if you had the wedding at home. Do the sums and then decide.

But this your WEDDING – your day of proclaiming love to each other in front of your nearest and dearest (and their current blow-in partners – just kidding). If you’re an accountant then go ahead but for the rest of us I think that counting is the last thing you’d want to do.

A local ‘destination wedding’ is the red-hot green option. Here’s why

  1. Share your love around, avoid paradise envy. A local wedding means more people can come, and if you do it thoughtfully, then you can have as beautiful and intimate an experience and share the love around so everyone has a great time. Include as many people as possible and make them feel welcome – now that’s a beautiful thing and it doesn’t have to cost the earth. 
  2. Know what you’re buying. As you’re in charge of the event, not some company that may not be as generous, you can be sure of the quality and who gets your hard earned cash plus you choose how to spread it around.
  3. Support the local economy. Whether you’re having your wedding in a country town or in the city, local food, local wine and local staff cut the carbon emissions and give everyone a job. Your grand affair is still supporting local suppliers, waiters, hairdressers, florists, cleaners, drivers, wineries etc.
  4. Show people how to be green. There are so many ways you can have a sustainable wedding. Some cost lots of money and some cost none. Either way, a big wedding gives you a chance to share your views and values with people that may never consider it otherwise. Choose an eco-venue, offer sustainably produced food (or go the full vego), drink biodynamic wine or local beers, donate gifts to charity or buy pre-loved wedding clothes, make speeches count and explain your values. What you say and do could change the attitudes of guests who would NEVER consider it otherwise.
  5. Go tropical at home. Either have a tropical theme using found sea shells and tropical flavours and music or  go to FNQ and avoid all the hassles of overseas travel.

Now that’s true love!

Share your wedding tips with me and I’ll post them on the site with a link or acknowledgement. Even a germ of an idea – I will investigate.* Mauritius is the one place I’m dying to visit since my first hairdresser used to cut my 80’s mop and proclaim assuredly “et voila” despite making a mess of it each time. She just charmed me.

Unexpected inspiration with cereal bowls at NGV

 In what’s turning out to be my monthly visit to Melbourne’s fabulous NGV I was struck by the simple beauty of their new work, Cinamen, by Celeste Boursier-Moutenot, in the foyer area.
At first it looks like a pool with lilypads but on moving closer you see 150 white ceramic bowls of various sizes gently, slowly, floating in a clockwise circle.
Get even closer and you hear the lyrical sounds as these bowls gently bump each other creating unexpected and sweet music like a wind chime in a gently breeze.
It’s one to sit and contemplate to. Meditate, read a book and feel the incredible peace and simplicity.
However the work is also incredibly complex in that no bowl is exactly the same size and the bowls are created so as not to tip each other over.
It’s rare to see something so everyday in a brand new way. 

Bring that simple, clean feeling of a white bowl home with any of these beautiful, sustainable Mint white bowls at greenhearts.com.au. They’re hand made in Portugal by families of craftspeople.