Consider this my Earth Day in September post.
I’ve worked in events for a long time. I actually started as a planner, coordinating events for a non-profit in 2001. Always loving photography, I was thrilled to continue working events, documenting all of the moments that make them special when Dave and I started our business in 2004. Why this focus on events? Whether it be for a wedding celebration to raise awareness for a non-profit or for corporate cameraderie, special events are, well, special. They are occassions when we take some time away from the regularly scheduled program of our lives and honor, rejoice, engage. I love the connections and interactions, the sheer humanity of them.
But one day, I got a bit upset. I realized that these wonderful opportunities for creativity and togetherness have an awful lot of waste attached to them. In particular, I noticed the flowers that got thrown away. And it saddened me. For two reasons, I never like when things end up in landfills. And I LOVE flowers. It just seemed a huge shame to throw away things that are so pretty. I thought, "Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the flowers from an event could be brought to people who could appreciate them a little longer? Not just for this one night." It occurred to me that a hospital would be an ideal place to bring the flowers. To do this, I imagined an army of volunteers who had trucks and could make these deliveries. I was not an army and I did not have a truck. So I let this thought go.
Until tonight. When I mentioned it to one of my peers, Jeri Solomon of Jeri Solomon Floral Design. We shared a mutual distaste for the wastefulness and I explained how I had this idea. Guess what? Someone else also had this idea. And fortunately, they did something about it. They created a business that rescues and repurposes items left over from events. How amazingly perfect is that!? And not just flowers, anything and everything. Flowers, food, candles, extra gifts, cans, bottles, decor items… You name it, they can probably find someone who will appreciate it. From hospitals to hungry families to artists to theater companies. Someone will use what you no longer have a use for- your event leftovers. They will keep it out of the landfills at least a little longer, and perhaps forever. Plus if the items are donated to a non-profit, you will probably be able to get a tax write off. It’s an all-round win-win situation.
So let me reiterate the benefits, in case they weren’t clear:
Less waste in the landfill= good for the environment
Enjoyment by people who need it- perhaps hungry people, perhaps some cheer to someone ill, perhaps an opportunity for creativity
Tax write off- the fee for the rescue may actually cost less than the amount saved by the write off
So I guess the question is why would you not do this? You can find out more on their website. Check out The Special E and fill out their form. Find out if it will work for you. Why not?
Okay, hopping off my Soap Box for now. But coming soon… some tips for Being Green on the Way In, ie- before the event.
Thank you so much for the thoughtful, informative post. Less waste should be everyone’s concern.
Thanks Jo! That’s a great idea. Will pass that on to many people.
Great idea, and how fantastic that another “great mind” had it, too…and was able to turn the idea into reality. 🙂
This is awesome and a really and truly great idea. I’m filling out the form so hopefully we can repurpose all of our wedding leftovers. Thanks so much for sharing
You are amazing!excelent work, Jo!!
Love it! I donated excess fabric from my wedding to a local re-purposing non profit…and most of the decor at my wedding was dist. amongst guests.We de-prioritized gifts, which amazed most people. But it was a moment of clarity for us.
We simply didn’t need “stuff”.
We did ask for re-purposed gifts- no joke- we got some pretty amazing stuff, and what we didn’t want went to Community Thrift.
being eco-friendly is the way to go! there is alot of waste with wedding planning but so many ways to incorporate eco-friendliness at the wedding and reception.