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Guide to Sustainable, Zero-Waste, Ethical Weddings

sustainable weddings with two brides

If you need help planning your big day why not check out 77 Diamond’s incredibly comprehensive guide to sustainable, zero waste, ethical weddings.

The Full Guide to Sustainable, Zero-Waste, Ethical Weddings

It offers plenty of valuable information such as:

  • An in-depth look at sustainable and ethical weddings – why they are important and how choosing a green wedding helps reduce the strain on the environment.
  • Eye-opening facts and figures about the carbon footprint and waste generated by weddings and the wedding industry as a whole (did you know that around 4,910 tonnes of unrecyclable plastic is used up by weddings annually?).
  • How to plan a sustainable wedding – including plenty of tips on finding green wedding planners and suppliers, eco-friendly wedding venues, organic and zero-waste food and catering, and other helpful resources.
  • Other useful green wedding resources, organisations, and zero-waste tips and advice to help make weddings more ethically conscious and environmentally friendly
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a sustainable autumn proposal

intimate outdoor proposal

Where could be a more perfect sustainable Autumn proposal venue than a rustic shepherd’s hut? Especially with a suitably earthy, rustic and rich colour scheme. A campfire and an evening under the stars is a memorable way to start your life’s journey together.

sustainable touches

  • A dress and hat from the H&M UK conscious range.
  • A sustainable handmade ring box. 
  • A recycled silver and amber sea glass engagement ring.
  • A hired-in tablescape featuring an organic linen tablecloth, recycled glass, and second-hand pieces.
  • Arrangements of British dried flowers and grasses, which are less damaging to the environment than imported fresh flowers.
  • Fuelling the fire pit with logs that had naturally fallen in the forest surrounding the location.
  • Raising a toast using organic beers and Prosecco.

You can find all the info and links to the team of ethical, sustainable wedding professionals and suppliers who were involved in the shoot at the botom of the page. For now just enjoy scrolling Sarah Hoyle’s gorgeous images.

a sustainable ring box

I was very pleased that love heartwood’s yew ring box was chosen to be featured. Each unique ring box is handmade from locally and sustainably sourced branch wood and the inserts are hand felted from British sheepswool. Each ring box comes with 2 inserts, one single and one double so that it can be used for both the engagement ring and then the wedding rings. Ring boxes are available in a range of native British timbers. You are also welcome to request a specific timber if you wish.

calligraphied proposal letter with sustainable ring in wooden ring box
A calligraphied proposal letter is so romantic.
man proposing to his girlfriend in an eco friendly way

a recycled engagement ring

sustainable engagement ring in a wooden ring box
Salt and Wild’s recycled silver and amber sea glass engagement ring looks stunning in love heartwood’s sustainably sourced wooden ring box.
eco friendly proposal with wooden ring box and ring made ffrom recycled silver
eco friendly couple engagement

toasting the future

campfire engagement proposal
Logs that had naturally fallen in the forest surrounding the location were used for the fire pit.

credits

Location: Kilnhanger Shepherd’s Hut  

Photographer and Concept: Sarah Hoyle Photography  

Stylist: The Luxe Design Company  

MUA: Birute Thomas  

Models: Ali and Dionne 

Ring Designer: Salt & Wild  

Ring Box: Love Heartwood  

Love Letter Calligraphy: Wedding Calligraphy by Rachel 

See the whole gorgeous story unfold on the green union blog

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rustic wedding ring box commission

rustic wedding ring box of rowan wood

In Britain, rowan trees have long been seen as protective spirits. Because of that it’s the perfect wood to craft into a rustic wedding ring box. This ring box was a special commission for a lady who’d seen my boxes in yew and silver birch but wanted hers to be made of rowan wood.

the creation process

Boxes are made from a length of branch wood cut into 2 pieces to form the body and the lid. Next the box and lid are hollowed out on the lathe. After that a small hole’s drilled through both and a wooden hinge bar secured in place. The bar allows the lid to swing open and shut. Lastly, a small copper pin is threaded through the bar to hold it safely in place (see detail photo above).

Inside the box are two felt pads, one in the box and one in the lid. One pad has a space for one ring and the other holds two rings. So the box can be used as both a proposal and wedding ring box.

wood selection

I always use branch wood that’s the right size because I can retain the bark on the outside and reveal the growth rings on the top, bottom and inside. The rowan chosen for this box was a piece of ‘crotch’ wood. Crotch wood is found on a tree where two branches meet. It’s harder to cut as the grain swirls around and runs in different directions, but the resulting swirls remind me of the ripples made by dropping little pebbles into a pond.

There’s many different woods that can be used to make ring boxes. I have pieces of many native trees such as yew, silver birch, scot’s pine, box, apple, ash, rowan and oak available. If you’re not sure which wood will suit you best I’m happy to talk you through their different characters to help you make a choice. If you have a favourite tree I’ll do my best to source it sustainably for you.

custom wedding ring box

So if you’d like a rustic wedding ring box made specially for you or you have any kind of commission in mind please get in touch using liz@loveheartwood or fill in the form below.

commission form

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Rustic Wedding Ideas – Wasing Park Open Day Autumn 2019

I didn’t really know what to expect of my first wedding fair. I never went to any when planning my own wedding. However, I’m happy to say I had a great time. I love hearing about wedding plans and I met some wonderful couples and their families. Many people were using the Open Day as an opportunity for their close family to see the venue and plan the room allocations. So essential for making sure everyone can enjoy the Big Day.

The staff at Wasing Park were absolutely lovely too. As well as making the guests feel welcome and comfortable they made sure all the suppliers were happy and comfortable too. They even brought us lunch!

I became a recommended supplier for Wasing Park earlier on this year and we’ve been working on a project that I can now reveal. If you’re having your wedding at Wasing from April 2020 on, I can make your favours and gifts from wood from the Wasing Park estate! This really does gives them a sense of place and specialness.

The outside of the Castle Barn decorated with upcycled tennis rackets. The Castle Barn’s where the Reception takes place.
The most beautifully romantic floral table centres by Ruby & Grace inside the Castle Barn.
The garden room is just one of the places you can have your ceremony at Wasing. Others include St Nicolas’ Church and the Victorian summer house.

Wooden Wedding Favours

These little wooden name tags proved very popular with everyone. Highly practical and unusual they make a great place name and favour in one.
If you want a fun ice breaker on your table how about personalised spinning tops? Again they do double duty as both place name and favour reducing waste and saving money. They can be coloured to match the wedding colour scheme or all different. it’s your choice.
This little lady makes a cute thank you for a flower girl or ring bearer. Wedding peg dolls can be painted in a matching outfit. Adding a personalised message on the base really makes her an extra special thank you. Page boys also available.

Woodland Inspired Thank You Gifts

Unique bridesmaid gifts are hard to find. By choosing hand made and sustainable you’re showing your love for your besties and the planet. Love HeartWood’s Acorn Jewellery Collection contains earrings, pendants and brooches that provide a little nod to nature if you’re having an Autumn wedding.
It can also be hard to find something meaningful to show your appreciation of your groomsmen and ushers. Love HeartWood’s wooden cuff links come in gold or silver. All wood is from Wasing of course.
Woods shown from left to right are oak, Ash , Silver Birch and Yew.

Suppliers with Something Special

Want something a bit retro and fun? Vintage Camper Booths. Guests can step inside, get dressed up and take a snap or record a video message.
Another sustainable, natural supplier Blossom Blessings. They provide gorgeous petal confetti and soothing herbal favours.

I’m looking forward to developing my relationship with Wasing Park. I’m so pleased to be able to work with wood that comes from their extensive woodland. To be able to create special tokens of thanks and love for such a significant day in people’s lives is a real thrill for me.

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The Story of the Love HeartWood Cotton Bag

ethical cotton bag

As a craftsperson I have total control over how my products are made. I collect most of the wood myself and the rest comes from the trusted Brian. I also spent a lot of time researching the most ethically and sustainably produced finishes to use on them.

However, I can’t make everything myself. I always envisioned my toys being presented in fabric bags because they’re long lasting and practical. A cardboard box is discarded as soon as it’s opened and isn’t really of much further use. Whereas, cotton bags are great for storing and transporting toys and when they get dirty you can just chuck them in the washing machine. Unfortunately, I’m absolutely hopeless with fabric. I needed some help. That was when Jo Salter from Where Does It Come From? came to my rescue.

Watch this video on YouTube.
This is the video Jo made to crowdfund her latest endeavour: ethical tunics produced in Africa.

Jo founded her business in 2013 after becoming concerned that the clothes she was buying for herself and her family were not being created ethically, and that she may indirectly have been helping to sustain cruel labour practices and contributing to the world’s pollution problems.

This motivated her to seek a way of providing an ethical alternative for garments people needed to buy.  Finding like minded people to partner with such as Moral Fibre Fabrics enabled her to produce her first ranges of traceable clothes. 

Through her ethical connections in India, Jo enabled me to have my bags ethically and sustainably made by hand. Even the Love HeartWood logo is screen printed by hand.

Having them made in this way means they’re 300 times more expensive than having them made in China. However, it’s important to me that they’re made in as sustainable way as possible and that the people making them are paid a living wage. For me, and I hope for you, this knowledge is worth the extra monetary cost.

So you can trace Love HeartWood bags right back to the field the cotton grew in. View their life story here and find out who made your bag.

Or you can visit the Where Does It Come From? website and enter Love HeartWood’s unique tracability code CU23MLW.

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The Be The Change Awards Ceremony

Liz Pearson be the change finalist 2019

Those of you that follow this blog will know I wrote about the Be The Change Awards back in March when I found out I’d been selected as a finalist. To go back and read my first post click here.

I decided to enter because competitions and awards are a great way to gain recognition and exposure, especially for a tiny business like mine. To enter there is often an entry fee however not in this case. It was completely free to enter. All I had to do was submit a video explaining my background, what obstacles I’ve faced, what motivates me and what my biggest achievements have been. As well as outlining my goals and bigger mission. Not easy in under 3 minutes!

Love HeartWood’s entry for The Be The Change Awards

The awards ceremony was held at the Museum of Brands on Friday the 26th of April. All 12 category winners were announced by Sian Conway and Jo Salter and there was much drinking and networking in between.

Sian and Jo explained their reasons for founding the awards which, funnily enough, were the exact reasons I entered. To give a platform to independent, ethical & sustainable brands who are working towards Sustainable Development Goals and creating positive impact in inspiring and world-changing ways.  To attract enough sponsorship to allow entries for free was extremely tough but they felt it was important to provide access to all, no mater how small. It’s been hard work so thank you Sian and Jo for your dedication and passion.

I’m not a great networker, especially if I arrive alone and know absolutely no-one in the room. Even the word ‘network’ puts me off, it’s so impersonal, making me think of faceless corporate suits throwing business cards at everyone they meet. However, once I took the plunge and started talking to people I discovered some wonderful stories and inspiring brands.

Love HeartWood and Nurture Collective
Miriam Pierre Founder of Nurture Collective (left) and Liz Pearson, Love HeartWood (right). Both Finalists in the Babies and Children category.

I made a point of trying to meet everyone who was a finalist in the Babies and Children category. I particularly enjoyed talking mentors and marketing with Miriam from Nurture Collective . The winner Happy Pineapple, is an eco friendly publishing company. The dedication and completeness of their approach is inspiring and has given me loads of ideas to make Love HeartWood more sustainable, behind the scenes, as it were.

My Finalist’s certificate alongside some strong tots from Adnams who were one of the event’s very generous sponsors.

I arrived at the event with a slight imposter syndrome and feeling very much a single unit. I left feeling inspired and part of something bigger and bolder than myself.

This year is only the beginning for the Be The Change Awards. Jo and Sian have big dreams. So to find out more about this year’s changemakers and their stories follow the Be The Change Awards Facebook Page over the next few weeks. Then stand by for an exciting announcement about plans for 2020. I can’t wait.

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

– Margaret Mead