Friday, June 26, 2009

Wedding Dress Rentals on the Rise

Where’d She Get That Wedding Dress?

Wedding Dress Rentals Grow 7.5 Percent This Year According To IBISWorld Research

LOS ANGELES – Jun. 22, 2009 – Something old, new, borrowed and blue – that is the wedding tradition - but this wedding season getting something new may be a struggle. According to industry research firm IBISWorld, spending on rented bridal gowns is expected to grow 7.5 percent to $43 million - up from $40 million in 2008.

With brides renting dresses, sales of new wedding gowns are expected to decrease 2.8 percent this year, reaching just $973 million. While the decline is not as steep as the 4.2 percent drop experienced in 2008, the industry has seen declines since 2001. Brides who do purchase a dress will more likely buy their garments in high-end department stores, formal clothing stores, or online – like – opposed to a bridal store.

The one thing couples will not be renting this year is wedding planners. Compared to 2008, the amount spent on wedding planners is expected to drop 4.2 percent to $785 million. In fact, the average cost of a wedding is expected to drop eight percent in 2009 to just $20,000 – in 2007 the average was $30,000.

“The recession is expected to exacerbate the already declining marriage rate, as couples put off the ‘big day’ until the time is right financially,” explained Toon van Beeck, senior analyst with IBISWorld. “Spending will undoubtedly be impacted by such postponements, and these cost cutting measures will start from the purchase of an engagement ring, all the way to the end of the honeymoon.”

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Tips for an Eco-Fab Fathers' Day from the Authors of Celebrate Green

Three Secrets to Having an Eco-Fun Father's Day

Let's face it, as much as we love dad, he can be a tad difficult to shop for. It's not so much that he's picky. It's more that his needs and even wants, tend to be simple. He's happy with less which of course, makes him a perfect candidate for green giving.

So this year, why not come up with great gifts that honor dad and the Earth and that cost little in terms of money or the planet, And whether we're talking about your dad (if you're reading this), or your kids' father or grandad, be sure to look for ways to put more meaning in the greening.

Start by focusing on doing instead of buying. What if your dad were king for a day? What would would his perfect day look like? Would he sleep late? Enjoy breakfast in bed, or brunch served outside? Would he like to work in the garden kids by his side, fly a kite or go for a hike? Would he love to see his bike sparkling clean or that light that's been broken for years, fixed? Whatever his wishes might be, consider how you can make them come true by planning the perfect day.

And before each activity, you can loudly proclaim, "By order of King ____, we, your loyal subjects are thrilled and delighted to accompany you as you ________." (And don't forget to make a crown and award it in a ceremony for which you--and/or your kids, write a heartfelt script.)

Make or embellish a gift. According to, more than 50% of those polled said they are never fond of their Father's Day gifts. So one more tie or pair of socks doesn't cut it. Again, look to your dad's likes for ideas. If he's into reading, make him a clock from a book on a subject to which he's addicted, or choose a favorite old CD and do the same. (You can purchase clock works for under $10 from a crafts store, or if you have an old clock and are handy enough to take it apart and recycle the works, all the better!)

Most dads can never have too many t-shirts. Purchase organic cotton ones, then have kids personalize them using fabric crayons. When a friend and and her brothers were small, her mom gathered all the children together for this project. Years later, when their dad had worn out the three tees, mom turned them into pillows.

Or why not repurpose a beloved, out-of-style shirt, into a pillow--no sewing required. If dad used to dig cowboy apparal and has a favorite fancy shirt stowed in the back of the closet, wrap it around a pillow and set on dad's favorite chair. Keep the memory, lose the embarrassment of him, heaven forbid, wearing the oldie out in public!

Think gifts from the heart. Whether you're six or sixty, you have personal gifs to offer dad. To make your offer even more meaningful, let him know you'll do something special for him once a month for a full year. You could make him a calendar with your monthly contribution written on each date or secretly add them to his PDA, phone or digital calendar.

Below are some ideas to use as a jumping off point. When you think about your relationship with your dad and your own talents, you'll come up with 12 perfectly tailored gifts.

* Send him notes in his lunch.
* Make him brownies or his favorite treat.
* Go for a walk together.
* Take a lesson from him in anything he likes to do (fishing? woodwork? cards?)
* Shine his shoes.
* Accompany him to an activity he enjoys.
* Teach him something you know how to do.
* Make a video about dad.
* Wash his car.
* Write poems or stories with dad as the hero.
* Go camping if he enjoys this, even if it's at home or in your yard
* Plant a tree, bush or flowers accompanied by a handmade wooden plaque with dad's name and date.

Eco-tips for Father's Day

Don't assume you know what dad wants, ask him! You may be surprised.

A meaningful and eco-friendly gift is a donation to a charity dad supports.

If dad loves to barbecue, set him on the road to sustainability by gifting him with natural lump hardwood charcoal.

Eco-picks for Father's Day- If you're going to buy, aim for earth-friendly

* Bicycle chain frame with a great photo of dad and kids together, (recycled parts)

* For the guy who's not afraid to let everyone know he's a treehugger, t-shirt proclaiming the same from (organic cotton shirt)

* For the hip and truly green, a recycled, fair trade wallet from Global Exchange

~Lynn Colwell and Corey Colwell-Lipson are mother and daughter and co-authors of Celebrate Green! Creating Eco-Savvy Holidays, Celebrations and Traditions for the Whole Family, available at

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

My Eco-Summer Bag

As I putting together my bag of stuff to take to the park while hubby goes fishing I realized I have a bag full of eco-stuff. Even the bag is green.

Here's my summer eco-bag:

Bring It In a Bag -Jute Tote

Bug Bam wrist bands to keep the bugs away

ecoSMART bug spray

Brittanie's Thyme bug bite relief in case we get bit

Psi Bands because my daughter's been feeling a little nauseous and under the weather the past few days

Jamar Labs wipes, these handy little things are made from 100% cotton and are biodegradable and contain no parabens or other gunk. They make for easy cleaning for the kids after playing in the park and grabbing onto icky fish from the lake

Vive Sana Sunscreen Solar to Polar Baby- this is what goes on the little guy and me, we are both very fair

KINeSYS Girls spray sunscreen goes on my 10 year old, she loves the scent

20 Easy Ways to Help Save the Earth is a great kids book by Michigan author Coach Pedro and his wife Susan Adam Rita. The book is bilingual and is a great way to further the kids knowledge of spanish and learning more about saving the earth. Currently the 10 year old is reading it to the 3 year old and they are having a lot of fun trying to figure out the Spanish words.

I am reading The Lazy Environmentalist on a Budget. As everyone knows I am green, but being green on a budget is even better. This is Josh Dorfman's follow up book to The Lazy Environmentalist and is basically a shopping guide to help you find the best green products and the best green deals. Fab book. This one is going to take up residence right next to my computer as a go to guide when I am looking for the best green stuff.

So that's my green bag of summer eco-stuff for today's trip to the park.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

My New Articles And Book Mentions my yogurt cup creations were mentioned here on Blogher The Everything Green Wedding Book mentioned on PlanetGreen

And last but not least I have an article in the July/August issue of Writers' Journal. Check out page 19 for an eco writing article by yours truly, Wenona Napolitano.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Terra Wellington's Tips on Reducing Toxic Chemicals in Your Everyday Life

“Toxics are currently found in nearly all consumer products – from food, electronics, household cleaners, clothes, water supplies, to personal care products,” says Terra Wellington( ), frequent television contributor on healthy living issues and the author of The Mom’s Guide to Growing Your Family Green: Saving the Earth Begins at Home.

"These toxics affect your health – both short and long term."

Here are Wellington’s tips on how to reduce toxic chemicals in your everyday life.

* No chlorine: Read labels of household products and cleaners, and stay away from chlorine because any product with chlorine harms your water supply and pollutes your air. Simple choices include chlorine-free paper, toilet paper, and cleansers.* No ammonia: This is a lung and eye irritant and can be an additional health risk if you have asthma or other respiratory issues.

* No VOCs: This is the short way of saying Volatile Organic Compounds, which are toxic gases that pollute your air. The most common VOC offenders are carpets, flooring, paints, some plastics, and household cleaners. Look specifically for the product to be labeled with zero or low VOCs – of course, zero is best.

* Reduce fragrances: Many household and personal products have fragrances. But oftentimes the more fragrant a product is the more chance it has stronger chemicals and/or VOC’s because the fragrance can contain VOC’s or mask the smell of other toxic chemicals. So look for “fragrance free” whenever possible..

* No PVCs. Plastic labeled #3 is made from polyvinyl chloride, also called PVC. PVC releases harmful chemicals during its lifetime that can affect your health. Look for zero-PVC labeled products, including shower curtains, children’s toys, plastic food containers, electronics, and artificial plants.

* No BPA. Currently a hot-button issue, Bisphenol A (BPA) is a toxic chemical that is used to make plastic #7, lines the cans of many of our canned foods, and is found in a multitude of other consumer products including electronics. It is best to not buy any plastics for food or beverage that are made from plastic #7.

* No mercury. Only eat safe and sustainable seafood on a limited basis to protect yourself against mercury poisoning. Additionally, take extra care with storage and disposal of compact fluorescent light bulbs.

* No toxic fertilizers. Many home-landscape, artificial fertilizers have been found to contain heavy metals, which are toxic to people and soils. These fertilizers also contain high amounts of other chemicals that are not only toxic but also run off into our waterways and kill marine life. Look, instead, for organic fertilizer options.

* No toxic herbicides or pesticides. Most herbicides and pesticides are toxic to humans, pets, and to wildlife, including necessary pollinators. And our food supply depends on healthy pollinators. Instead, practice preventive and organic gardening, as well as integrated pest management.

* No PFCs. These are perfluorinated compounds. Any product that is grease resistant probably has a coating of this compound, including stick-resistant cookware, microwave popcorn bags, dental floss, and carpets. Look for PFC-free products.

For more about Terra Wellington and her eco-tips visit: