Tuesday, March 15, 2011


As mad as the March Hare! Summer is upon you, lush greens and vibrant colours are all around from different shrubbery and plants.

Guests make their way through a grand stone trellis entrance. This leads them to the Wonderland party theme. You are in the queens well groomed garden so watch what you say and do, else you may lose your head! You are surrounded by potted trees with twinkle lights and statues beautifully lit from below.

The queens white picket fence which keeps intruders out stands proud cordoning off access to her prize green grass.

Things suddenly seem a lot bigger and you appear to have shrunk as a giant Jenga, and connect 4 are sitting waiting to be played. A ‘wonderland’ style game of croquet is also available to amuse passers by and a giant piece of cake lies waiting to be eaten.

Intelligent lighting with heart gobos sweep around the room wowing guests as they sit down to eat dinner.

This really is a curious place!





March Party Theme: Alice in Wonderland

As mad as the March Hare! Summer is upon you, lush greens and vibrant colours are all around from different shrubbery and plants. Guests m...

Monday, March 14, 2011


Yes, it's true! Macaroons are here to take over cute cupcakes as the latest gifting trend and dessert centrepiece, and about time too! I had my first bite of macaroons when my ex-boss brought some back from Laduree, Paris. I personally prefer less sweet desserts but the colours were just so attractive!

What is this "Macaroon" you say? Well, according to Wikipedia, it's a type of light, baked confection, described as either small cakes or meringue-like cookies depending on their consistency. The original macaroon was a "small sweet cake consisting largely of ground almonds" similar to Italian or Moroccan amaretti.

The English word macaroon and French macaron come from the Italian maccarone or maccherone. This word is itself derived from ammaccare, meaning crush or beat used here in reference to the almond paste which is the principal ingredient.

Most recipes call for egg whites (usually whipped to stiff peaks), with ground or powdered nuts, generally almonds. Alternatively, coconuts can be used. Almost all call for sugar. Macaroons are commonly baked on edible rice paper placed on a baking tray.

Where can you have a taste of macaroons in Malaysia? Here are some places or bakers you can try:



Bite Me!

Babycakes Sweet Shoppe, G City Club Hotel

Cafe Cinno

Levain

Nathalies Gourmet Studio, Plaza Dutamas

Strudels

Going over the Moon with Macaroons

Yes, it's true! Macaroons are here to take over cute cupcakes as the latest gifting trend and dessert centrepiece, and about time too! ...


Ahh..you scoff at the idea of saving energy for one miserable hour. What can one hour do to save the earth? Well, it's really not about saving as much energy for that one hour but really, it's a reminder that we all can do better at saving our own planet because there's no one else responsible for it but us...

So if you'd like to be a volunteer for one day, and try to make a difference in any small way that you can, here's how:

Earth Hour 2010 was the largest voluntary action for the environment in history with lights going out across 128 countries and over 4,500 cities worldwide. This year, WWF-Malaysia is inviting volunteers* to stand together with the world in a global celebration of the one thing that unites us all – the planet.

Date: 26th March 2011 (Saturday)
Time: 10.00am- 10.00pm (Earth Hour takes place from 8.30pm-9.30pm)
Venue: Sunway Pyramid

Session A: 10.00am -12.30noon
Session B: 12.00noon- 2.30pm
Session C: 2.00pm-4.30pm
Session D: 4.00pm- 6.30pm
Session E: 6.00pm-8.30pm

Notes:

*Volunteers aged 18 and above only
You are welcome to join both the volunteer session & Dancing in the Dark
A short and simple briefing will be given upon registration at the gathering point at the WWF-Malaysia booth located in Oasis Boulevard (outdoors next to T.G.I Friday, Italiannies and Republic), Ground Floor before each session

Objectives:
To get the public excited to support nature conservation
To generate “Live Green” pledges towards more sustainable lifestyles (please see livegreen.wwf.org.my)
To bring together nature lovers to celebrate our living planet

What do I do as an outreach volunteer?
You will be chatting with people to get them excited about supporting Earth Hour and pledging to “Live Green”. A briefing and outreach materials will be provided; but in the mean time, please check out the FAQ on livegreen.wwf.org.my.

Note: Volunteers will be given an Earth Hour button badge and glow-in-the-dark arm bands on the day.

Further FAQ for Volunteers

Can I choose a session that I am comfortable with?
You are free to choose which session to be on duty, but there is a cap of 40 pax per session on a first come first served basis.

Will I be alone if my buddies can’t join me?
Don’t worry, volunteers will be divided into groups of three to five people.

I am from a club/organisation, can I mobilise my members?
Yes, please, the more the merrier. In your registration e-mail, let us know the name of your club/organisation and the number of members who would like to volunteer and their preferred sessions.

What is the dress code?
• Casual, with sleeved tops and shorts/skirts/dresses/jeans that are at least knee length
• Earth Hour T-shirts are available for sale from WWF-Malaysia
• If you’d like to participate in the “Dance in the Dark”, please wear white clothes (watch www.facebook.com/wwfmy for updates on this exciting dance!)

WWF Malaysia- Earth Hour 2011

Ahh..you scoff at the idea of saving energy for one miserable hour. What can one hour do to save the earth? Well, it's really not abou...


What is a "green" wedding? Well, some take the word "Green" literally and have their decorators use as many green elements as possible. But for the environmentalists, it's about saving as much energy and resources as possible.

How do you this?

■Minimize the amount of driving your guests will need to do.
Cpt for a venue which has access to public transport if need be or at least central enough for them to drive to.

It would be wise to consider these factors below, which are not only green choices, but economical and logical choices too!

•Could you have your special event at a place that would minimise travel impacts, and one that would keep the ceremony and reception close to each other?
•What about providing eco-friendly transportation between them? Or encouraging your guests to carpool, which would send a message as well as allow them to mingle with each other in fun fashion!
•Or you could pick a unique or local spot that you support or is special to you? That way this could also benefit your community or favourite places.


■Donate leftover food rather than throwing it out.
Some hotels have a regulation about not permitting leftovers to be consumed but you can request for a form to free them from any consequences eg side effects

■Don't register for things you don't need: give your guests the option of giving donations in your name instead.

INVITATION CARDS
Your wedding announcement or invitation can set the tone for your environmentally friendly wedding. There are many options today for 100% recycled, partially recycled or completely tree free papers from wedding invitation suppliers. If you are interested in making your own invitations, the choices are unlimitied. Consider all these places for paper on your wedding day:

•engagement announcements
•save the date cards
•shower invitations
•shower thank you notes
•wedding invitaitons
•ceremony programs
•place cards
•menu cards
•wedding announcements
•thank you notes

Many brides today are communicating electronically to cut down on paper and waste. You may be interested in creating your own unique personal wedding website at Wedding Window. No need to know HTML!! There are lots of styles to choose from and it is fully cusomizable and reasonably priced. There is a seven day trial, so you can check it out and see if it if for you. It is a great idea to have one place to put all your information. And at the end of your wedding, they have an option to get an archived copy of the site on CD.

Things to be considered would be:

•Recycled, handmade, or plantable papers processed chlorine-free and printed with vegetable- or soy-based inks tree-free paper made out of hemp, banana stalks, bamboo, kenaf, or organic cotton.

•What about postcards, which would take away the need for envelopes? Online invitations or blogs are also popular, and minimise the trouble of sending all those cards out! (We know some invitations don’t reach the intended guests these days anyway, with the days of e-mail and SMS!)

•But however you choose to do your invitation, the important thing is to communicate your green intentions to your guests. This does not have to big, preachy & showy message, of course, little friendly & subtle notes here & there that are not too intrusive would be perfect to spread a little green education!

•But before you do all that, remember to watch the numbers for your wedding! The single biggest factor in the environmental impact of your wedding will be its size, so have the strength to draw the line at the guest list you’ll have to agonise over!


FLOWERS
Your wedding flowers can be a place where you can make conscientious decisions which can have big eco consequences. Many flowers sold are imported from developing countries where pesticide use is very high and labor conditions and wages are low.

Choosing a florist where organically grown, in-season, local flowers are used can be a much better earth friendly choice. This will remove the need for long-distance transportation.

Other options:

Buy fresh at your local farmer's market.

Grow your own or force bulbs.

Use dried or silk flowers as an eco friendly alternative.

Reuse your flowers that day by transforming ceremony flowers into table decorations at the reception-similarly, ceremony decorations can be used to dress up the dance floor. After the party, donate them to a local hospital or senior citizen center or send them home with your guests.

TABLE CENTREPIECES
A great addition to the eco-friendly favors on the tables is to pull the "green" theme into your centerpieces. Table decor can take the form of pots of plants that can be later planted by your guests. If you are looking for a vessel for the center of your table to hold sea shells or colorful rocks, consider vases made from recycled glass or a bamboo bowl, due to renewable tendencies.

WEDDING FAVORS
Creating a wedding that isn't wasteful or polluting is appealing to more couples nowadays. A number of earth-friendly products and services is growing, giving the bride and groom a range of options. It is often as simple as buying local. For instance, supporting a local artisan is much more earth friendly than having cheap trinkets shipped half way around the world.

One of the more obvious eco-friendly wedding favor ideas for couples is to give something organic. There are many options if you want to give small trees, seeds, bulbs or plants.

Some local Malaysian companies offer milk and dark chocolate bars which make an elegant earth friendly wedding favor. Each bar wrapping can be customized.

The symbolism and beauty of gifting a tree is certain to thrill your guests. The KL Convention Centre has a programme that makes it easy for eco-friendly brides (or corporate clients even) to plant trees in their name.

Some local companies offer trees that can be delivered in an easy recyclable plastic tube with your choice of customized label. Your recipients can plant their trees right away, store them in a refrigerator, or grow them indoors for months.

The Green World Project provides live evergreen tree seedling favors. Their motto: By giving trees or seeds to your guests, everlasting memories will take root and grow along with your marriage. The tree can be presented in a stylish tube with directions on how to reuse the tube as a birdfeeder. Very clever!

There are also programmes that allow you to make donations to your favorite charity in honor of your guests.

When thinking of wedding favors, try to think like a guest. Would you want to receive this gift? Can I use it again and again or will it remain in the cupboard with all my other wedding favors?

For my own wedding, our favors were customized chocolates with a "Love is..." comic print on it .
MOST OF ALL

•Have fun planning your gorgeous green wedding
•Remember, little quaint messages of eco awareness can work wonders – you don’t have to nag and turn off your guests.
•You don’t have to green everything, do what you can and take heart that all little things do end up making a difference.
•Enjoy and savour your day. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime event that will be extra special for the efforts that you have made!


Other resources which could be helpful :

Portovert magazine – an online resource dedicated to green weddings.

Ethical Weddings – a one-stop searchable database of all things local, fair-trade, organic, recycled, and wedding related.

Great Green Weddings – offering helpful advice for the eco-couple, including a couple of books on the subject.

HowStuffWorks has a bevy of helpful tips, including how to plan a wedding and making Wedding Bells

And if you’re looking for books on green weddings, there are Eco-Chic Weddings by Emily Elizabeth Anderson, Green Weddings by Carol Reed-Jones, and Organic Weddings, by Michelle Kozin

Planning a Green Wedding

What is a "green" wedding? Well, some take the word "Green" literally and have their decorators use as many green ele...


There are many misconceptions when it comes to trying to make an event as green as possible. Some clients insist they want a green event but also insist on using fancy invitation cards and not just once! They have the "Save the Date" card, the actual invite and the Thank You card.
We have nothing against card printing but why not cut down and just print one card and have the rest in soft copy?

For us party planners, we can't resist using fresh flowers whenever possible as it changes the whole ambience of the party but other than refraining from using fresh flowers or at least opting for locally grown flowers rather than imported ones, what can we do?


ACCOMMODATION
When practical, use small hotels and local clubs. If the facility has environmental conservation programs, point out the details to guests.

REGISTRATION
Use less paper and offer online registration.

ENERGY
Lighting and energy efficient measures should be incorporated wherever feasible. Conference centers that maximize energy efficiency should communicate the details to their guests.

CULTURE
Feature local culture and entertainment.

FOOD
Serve locally grown products and organic food when possible. Point out such items on a menu. Food can be served in a buffet style in which participants can choose what they do and do not wish to eat. Additionally, many conference centers and restaurants support community food drives. Eco kitchens also find ways to compost.

PAPER
Far too much paper is wasted at events. There are so many leaflets that people just take and throw in the nearest bin. Why not save your info on a CD instead? Also these can be distributed to people who are genuinely interested only.


RECYCLING
Recycle and explain the process to conference participants.

INFORMATION
Like food, information is best served self-service. Otherwise, brochures end up in the garbage. If you have to distribute brochures or leaflets, print them on recycled paper.


TOURS
Schedule heritage walks direct from the conference venue. Local tours promote where the conference takes place and gives visitors a feeling for the neighborhood and a locals a chance to interact with conference participants.

WATER
Serve water from pitchers. If using plastic, make sure there is a collection point for recycling and a means to refill the bottles.


GIFTS

Besides the eco-pens, pencils, notebooks, bags and files, you can also gift Desktop accessories, eco electronics and gadgets, sweets, energy bars, clothing, water bottles and food containers, skipping ropes, luggage tags and among other useful gadgets.


RED FLAGS
What are the red flags of an eco- or people-unfriendly event?

Water is served in individual plastic bottles.

Recycling is not evident. Paper is just thrown into rubbish bins with other items like food and plastic. Try to have the three Recycling points for Glass, Plastic and Paper.

Locals are treated poorly or even excluded from the meetings.

The event is announced online, but there is no follow-up. Presentations, videos and summaries are not shared.

Name badge holders are not reused.

Meals are served via paper or plastic disposable containers.

Sadly, such events are common but start taking a small step now and you will make a difference.

More resources:



http://www.greeneventsource.com/productshowcase.php

Learn more on green businesses:

http://greenmanplanet.blogspot.com/2008/09/who-is-matthias-gelber.html



A personal friend of ours, Mr Gelber's passion for green is so contageous that we can't resist mentioning his work here.

How Green is your Event?

There are many misconceptions when it comes to trying to make an event as green as possible. Some clients insist they want a green event b...

 

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