Before you can create Eco Friendly centerpieces, you have to understand the concept of Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. Let's take a look...
- Reduce -- Reduce the consumption of the earth's raw materials thereby reducing the energy used to process those materials into consumer products. This step of processing/manufacturing can also create air and water pollution and add to the greenhouse effect.
- Reuse -- Reuse items to elongate their lifespan reducing waste that ends up in landfills. You can reuse the items for their original, intended use or repurpose them for new uses.
- Recycling -- The concept of returning recyclable goods (paper, glass, metal, aluminum, plastic, electronics, etc...) to be broken down and reused in making those same goods over again.
Making eco-friendly centerpieces contributes to protecting the environment and saves money too. So-called green centerpieces don't use artificial, toxic or imported items, such as nylon ribbon, foam blocks or exotic flowers.
An eco-friendly centerpiece uses natural and/or recycled materials that don't require processing or wasted resources.
These centerpieces often use locally grown items that didn't require shipping from across the globe.
Using Fruit , Vegetable & Glass
Use local produce for an unusual and earth-friendly centerpiece that echoes the cheerful colors of spring. Start with a large, hand-blown, clear glass bowl and add any mix of small local fruits, such as apples and plums or lemons and limes. Add cabbage/kale to wood cut and add a bell jar, I love the white, green and purple varieties they look so funky and fresh.
Sea shells gathered at the beach are free and look particularly attractive and work well for eco-friendly centerpieces. Again combine with drift wood, star fish and glass to create a stunning “no flower” centerpiece.
Take advantage of any evergreen trees or fynbos growing in your area to add charm to an eco-friendly centerpiece.
Wrap a large glass jar from top to bottom with thin evergreen branches to create a delicate and natural-looking vase.
Create a sparkling bouquet of long evergreen branches, sugar-dusted pussy willow branches and sugar-dusted fruit.
Use stems of fynbos or green leaves with glass vases filled with river pebbles
Use succulents in your centerpiece they make excellent take home favours for guests too
Use herbs in clay pots, rusted containers or wooden crates they too make great Centrepieces that depending on the herb used with keep pesky insects away, they will also smell great and make excellent take home gifts.
Use living potted flowers or small trees for your Centrepieces; you can plant them in the garden afterwards
Use candles and wine bottles as your centerpiece
For the artist in all of us. Grab a little inspiration from Andy Warhol and create classic, simple, and fun wheatgrass Campbell’s soup can centerpieces.
By reusing items that have already been produced, you are reducing waste and the pollution that is created by manufacturing new items.
You can reuse the items for their original intended purpose or repurpose them for a new use or simply use them as decor — a reminder of vintage times for instance, scour antique/charity shops and car boots sales for the following:
vintage suitcase, lace, vintage crockery, books, antique candleholders,
Teapots, glass, silverware, old compass, a travel brochure or even vintage postcard reusing them in a purely decorative fashion.
Forget the flowers?
Table Centrepieces for weddings don’t have to be floral.
Be different, be creative and think what else would make a great statement.
Vases of feathers, bowls of decorated Eggs (for an Easter wedding), handcrafted paper windmills or flowers all make great handcrafted ideas for Centrepieces. If you just think outside of the box.
The average cost of floral wedding centerpieces is from R160 with more elaborate florals running R 500+. “Green” centerpieces (eco centerpieces) save you money and are economically responsible at the same time.
If you don’t have the time, brief your floral designer and task her with creating your “green” eco themes wedding.
Lorraine Hirst Lols Flowers www.lolsfunctions.co.za * not all of the photos pictured with this article are my own work, I have used images sourced to illustrate ideas in this article. All credit to the creative genius’s around us who constantly push the envelope