Just like the idea that a butterfly could flap its wings and change the course of a tornado, you, too can create ripples in the eco-system by taking steps to help global environmental causes. This is the butterfly effect at work. What you do in your business today to intentionally create a positive change has significant value. No matter how small change in even the simplest daily practices, each one can have tremendous impact on our environment. Our planet and its often jaw-dropping beauty is the backdrop to many of our events, so how can we be intentional and give back? Let’s get inspired then, and plant our beliefs, grow together, and admire the bloom of our work for Earth Day 2019!
The first step to becoming your best eco-friendly business self starts with identifying your own beliefs. Every change is born from personal value. What causes do you stand by? Entrepreneurs often think they need to separate their personal beliefs from their business. Let's face it: we're communal beings. We all have a need to foster personal connections with others and we're in the business of delivering highly personal experiences. That means you are your business! Even if you're not the owner, founder or any of its executives, you can use your business as a platform for change. The idea of shifting to a more environmentally friendly business model can seem overwhelming. The truth of the matter is, however, you don’t need to make sweeping changes all at once. Zero in on one or two core beliefs. Do you want to focus on energy and water efficiency? Recycled products? Charity?
Once you identify what you and your business "believe in", start branding your values. Then, use your website and social media platforms to show your audience the eco-conscious efforts you incorporate into your services. Transparency is one of the most important expectations in today's weddings and special events market. Clients will respond well to a genuine expression of your values and efforts to incorporate them into your business.
The Power of Intentions
Once your core beliefs and values are identified, you can begin to set your intentions. Not to be confused with goals, intentions are about aspirational living and what you want to contribute to make the world a better place. Intentions direct your thoughts and keep you accountable to yourself, your family, your team, your colleagues and your clients in fulfilling what you want to accomplish. Global issues can feel overwhelming so it can be easy to feel like there's nothing we can do to help. With clear intentions though, we can empower ourselves to make those small changes that lead to big impacts. Be intentional in expanding your world view. Do your research and plan ahead.
Likewise, being clear and intentional in communicating your brand's beliefs and values can inspire your clients to activate theirs, too. With their own unique value sets, they may have a specific organization or movement they want to support through their event. Find vendors, caterers, and organizations who can help turn those interests into meaningful efforts, bringing their own global intentions to fruition. Once you build partnerships with like minded businesses and organizations, it will set the precedent for even more opportunities with similar inspiration and objectives.
Through partnerships and education, you can show your couples that your services can help them reduce the carbon-foot print of their special day, making it all that more special. Here are 5 quick recommendations any pro can make to encourage their clients to live Earth Day everyday, and consider the planet in planning for their big day:
- Rings or dress not purchased yet? Encourage your clients to consider reusing or recycling a family heirloom. Timeless and classic, antique styles are always "du jour" and they're a great way to pass on a family tradition.
- Paper is one of the easiest yet most impactful opportunities to go eco. Help your clients choose earth-friendly invitations like those from Paper Source who use 100% recyclable paper. Bonus: they plant a tree for every order made!
- Location, location, location. Find venues that align with your beliefs and partner with them to create green options that emphasize recycling, repurposing and/or energy efficiency. Outdoor venues are a great, eco-friendly option, too. Check out these outdoor wedding venues for inspiration!
- Educate couples about organic and sustainably grown flowers that are not farmed with harmful chemicals. Likewise, research local wedding flower "recycling" opportunities where you can donate the flowers. Random Acts of Flowers is a great example. Your clients' donations of wedding and event florals are collected and delivered to individuals in health care and hospice facilities.
- We can’t forget about the food! Find catering companies that source in-season, locally grown, organic products and ingredients. The result? Fresher, better tasting food, less transportation fuel, and a happier planet. What to do with the leftover food? Donate it! Learn more about the process of donating food and finding vendors and organizations to partner with to help feed those who are in need.