When I first decided to blog about our wedding, I titled my blog Eco-Thrifty Bride. Lately I’ve been despairing about why it is so hard to find products, services, and vendors that can accomplish both. Just like “wedding”; “eco”, “organic”, and “green” are words that, once mentioned, throw up a red flag that signals a substantial price increase is impending, whether it is warranted or not. These price increases stem from a classist, elitist sentiment that “eco” products are desired by and produced for the wealthy, an assumption that self-perpetuates when such products are priced at a premium, thus denying a vast segment of the population access to products and services that are healthy for both people and planet.
Well let me tell you a secret, hive. You don’t have to be rich to be green. You just need to be a little creative.
Case in point: lighting for our venue.
What I was after was unique and beautiful lighting option. I found Eco (at a cost of $379 NZD) and Thrifty (made of plastic and shipped many miles).
And then I thought to myself, ‘Veggie. You have a lot of time. You know creative people. Let’s see what you can come up with.’ And I gathered some amigos and got to work.
I looked at a picture of the David Truebridge design I most admired and made a template for one of the pieces. The trickiest part of this was knowing how big to make it. I guessed 16cm, about 6 inches. Why? I don’t know. It just seemed to look pretty good. The next trickiest part was knowing how many to cut. We thought it looked like it was made up of two halves, each comprised of one central flower, surrounded by five other flowers. After careful deliberation we decided on 60—12 flowers of 5 petals each.
Teresa looks happy, but really she is grinning in the sheer agony of the hand cramps that ensue after cutting 30 flower petals out of corrugated cardboard.
It was a lot of tracing and a lot of cutting, which brings me to another point. The Truebridge lamps are made of wood, but not possessing the skills to cut wood, nor an eco-friendly supply, we chose to work with a slightly more available and maleable material, cardboard.
Dang. That was a lot of cutting. I hope 60 was enough.
After we had cut all of our pieces, we assembled them into 12 flowers, and sat and looked at the picture again.
Juan is an engineer. Even he was confused. Mr. Veggie is laughing because we got him to say “cinco”. Don’t know why that’s funny? Ask a friend from Spain to tell you the rhyme they say when someone says “cinco”.
We persisted and eventually the globe started to take shape.
Here we are celebrating the realization that 60 was in fact enough petals, and we don’t have to cut any more. Mr. Veggie is not as excited as we were. He obviously was not involved in the cutting of the petals.
And then we were done.
Hooray! Que Guay!
Here is our final product in action:
From CFL to OMG.
I love how our prototype turned out. There are a few things that I might do differently in the next edition, but overall this project was a win! The total cost was $10 NZD for a package of brads (those gold little attachment thingies) and about 3 hours of our time. Eco thrifty success.