Welcome to Enkyenky, our fifth Northwest territory reader submission to our Green @ Home giveaway, and our first from the East Bay. Jump below for pics and details.
What I wanted to talk about for this month is the bridal shower my sister put together last weekend. It was green in many ways, including that I requested that if guests were to bring me gifts, they only bring me (native and/or edible/medicinal and/or drought-resistant) plants, or garden-related gifts. This not only cut down on consumerism, it also cut down on packaging, since no one had to wrap anything! My sister put together an amazing homemade spread, with veggie skewers, fruit skewers, home baked scones, cucumber sandwiches, iced tea, and a beautiful cake from our favorite local bakery, Sweet Adeline. We also used all reusable cups, cloth napkins, cloth tablecloths, etc. We repurposed the clothesline to hang guests' crayoned portraits, and played bocce. We composted the paper plates we did use for the cake, though Elly, my sis, went out of her way to only provide food that could be picked up with your hands, eliminating the need for more tableware. It was a great way to throw a low-impact high-fun bridal shower. (Um, none of these pics is of me.)
Explain your challenge and or frustration!: Our next big challenge is next month, when we get married on my family's land in Wisconsin. My challenge is to get 120 people on and off this piece of land without impacting it negatively! We have many strategies to do this, and it is of great importance to us to tread lightly, especially because Eastern Meadowlarks are nesting ON our site (the chicks will have flown the nest by then), and this is the first time my dad has seen them on our land in 44 years.
Explain your inspiration!: My brother and sister-in-law bought the family farm from my grandmother last year, replanted the corn fields (that had been rented to a neighbor) with organic red clover, and are slowly moving the farm back towards sustainability. Currently there's a huge veggie patch, honeybees, and the field has already been baled. They also just rock, and last year threw a green wedding on the farm, which was partially the inspiration for our green wedding theme!
Extra Green Move: We registered almost exclusively for handmade gifts and/or green gifts, such as solar chargers, rain barrels, handmade furniture, etc., and encouraged our guests to make gifts and/or donate to a charity of our choice (PAWS animal shelter or the Sierra Club). Our menu is organic/local for the wedding, our flowers are being grown by my grandmother's friend a mile from the site, we are donating to environmental charities in lieu of wedding favors. . . . . basically we're trying to make our nuptials reflect our everyday philosophy. We got engaged in one of the most pristine parts of Northern California, in the Redwoods at an environmental campsite (see pic below), so we're trying to model our commitment to each other, on one weekend of August, and forever after, equally as reflective of the beautiful spot where we committed to share our lives together. Not to get too hokey.
Please send us photos and info on how you live green@home. This is not a contest, just a way to build up an AT inspirational database of sorts on how real folks are living greener at home.
Simple, straightforward ideas are welcome, like how you deal with your recycling bin in a small kitchen, and so are ambitious projects - like your amazing green roof. We hope to have a big archive of ideas to inspire us all by the end of the month.
In exchange for sharing your green@home ideas, Ecover will reward the first 100 ApartmentTherapy readers, who submit photo/essays demonstrating ways in which their lives are green, with their choice of Ecover Liquid Laundry detergent, Ecover Dishwashing Liquid, or Ecover Glass & Surface spray cleaner. Each of the first 100 will also receive Ecover Heavy Duty hand cleanser.