Yesterday, Nettleton Hollow and Lauren Dolinsky of LD Design were featured on Portovert, a great site that provides information and resources for planning a greener wedding. They listed a few of our greener selections - Grapewood, Date Palm Branches, and Banana Stems.
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
We are frequently asked how green our products are, and whether they are sustainable. Everything certainly is sustainable, but different products have different levels of impact. Here's a rough breakdown of our products across the "greenness" continuum, from quite green, to not as green.
#1. Recycled By-Products and/or most Fruits and Pods: Quite a few of our items are simply the leftovers from some other activity. Grapewood, Date Palm Branches, Banana Stems, Split Oranges and Dried Artichokes are all by-products of the produce industry that would otherwise be discarded. Grapewood - by far our favorite - are simply the old vines from table-grape vineyards that would otherwise go to waste. The Date Palm Branches are what's left after the drupes have been stripped of their fruit, akin to what's left over after you're done eating bunch of grapes (but much more attractive and useful!). The Split Oranges and Dried Artichokes are two small to be sold fresh. We used to be able to get small Dried Pomegranates, but we can't get them anymore due to the exploding popularity of pomegranate juice - what once had no other use suddenly is a hot commodity. Mitsumata is a by-product of the paper industry in China (the bark is stripped from the branches and used for paper), but because it is bleached, we're putting it at the bottom of our list. As for most of the remaining Fruits and Pods, they are produced by the plants or trees annually.
#2. Wild-harvested items. A few of our most popular items are harvested from the wild, including Birch Branches and Manzanita (although our Himalayan Birch was nursery grown). These items grow without any fertilizer, pesticides or other inputs and aren't tended to with fossil-fuel burning machines. Manzanita is harvested under government permits from the southern California chaparral, a habitat whose defining characteristic is wild-fire. Birch is a very prolific and fast-growing tree that is usually one of the first species to take hold in the progression from field to forest. Once one is harvested, there are plenty of saplings eager to take its place.
#3. Cultivated items. A lot of our items are cultivated specifically for decorative use. These include the willows, Dogwood, Oats, Rice, Wheat, most of the flowers, etc. Cultivation necessarily requires inputs that will have an impact, whether it is fertilizers, pesticides, or diesel fuel to run the tractors.
#4. Bleached, Painted or otherwise processed items. This additional level of processing adds another level of impact, so these are at the bottom of our list in terms of greenness.