5 Gifts That Give Back: Love Others This Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s is upon us, friends. In honor of this day of Love, we decided to do something a little different and highlight a few select gifts that give back, as well as charity opportunities, to honor your loved ones in this time of great global need.

 

1. One Hope Wine Gift Crate, $79:

Glitter, bubbles, candle and chocolate – need we say more? Oh yes, they also donate half their profits to WhyHunger – feeding children. Sip for fun, Cheers to charity. Shop the event exclusives for the crate.

16386862_1574895229191915_7617625494053732116_n

2. Trades of Hope, Rosalie Necklace, $38:

These Blush colored beauties are empowering women and families in India to be the heroes of their owe stories. 💕
16427771_10101270712159960_6990082596535006227_n

3. Heartful.ly’s Valentines Giving Campaign.:

Honor those you love with the most thoughtful gift available. Provide comfort and support to a Syrian Refugee family with a donation in their honor, via Heartful.ly’s Valentines Giving Campaign.

Donation levels:

$10: basic hygiene and baby kits for Syrian refugee family, for a week.

$15: clean drinking water for Syrian refugee family, for a month

$20: basic mattress for Syrian refugee family

$30: Comfort-for-Kids workbooks for a class of 12 Syrian children

$40: basic hygiene and baby kits for Syrian refugee family, for a month.

$50: three blankets to say safe from the cold for Syrian refugee family

$75: kit of warm clothing for one Syrian refugee, including a coat, sweater, hat, poncho and rubber boots.

$100: Art supplies for 100 Syrian children, that will assist them in healing from their trauma.

$250: supplies and warm winter clothing for a Syrian family of five.

16406600_776672302479810_356973417718450828_n

4. We Belong to Each Other T-Shirt, $25

Every shirt you buy helps fund Preemptive Love’s peacemaking work on the front lines of conflict—in Syria, Iraq, and in your community.

Catalog-Product-photos-shirt-We_belong_to_each_other_e0e4a2b2-2a61-4e35-b6ee-0e8a9e581d2c_large-2

 

5. Lifesaving Heart Surgery for Children in Conflict Zones, $1000 *GROUP GIFT IDEA*

For nearly a decade, Preemptive Love Coalition has provided urgent medical care, including nearly 2,000 heart surgeries for children in war-torn Iraq, Libya, and beyond. Your gift brings lifesaving care to families disrupted by war—equipping medical clinics, rushing emergency aid to the front lines, and providing heart surgeries for kids who have no other way of getting the care they need.

Catalog-Product-photos-medical-2_large Catalog-Product-photos-medical-3_large-2

We wish you all a special Valentine’s Day and hope that you use your love to uplift and impact those around you.

Lab-Grown Love: An Eco-Friendly Guide to Valentine’s Day

**Editor Note: Thank you MiaDonna & Co. for your ongoing support of our BSB Mission, as a National BSB Partner! **

Lab-Grown Love: An Eco-Friendly Guide to Valentine’s Day

Give and go green this Valentine’s day with MiaDonna & Co.’s ethical, beautiful and affordable conflict-free jewelry.

 

Get this! Their diamonds are made in a LABORATORY and are optically, chemically and physically identical to earth-mined diamonds! This lab-grown process guarantees that no product purchased from MiaDonna will support the conflict-diamond industry. In fact, for each product they sell, 5% of the proceeds are invested back into diamond mining communities where locals are taught to farm rather than mine for diamonds.

 

As if that’s not enough, these stunning lab-grown diamonds can cost up to 40% less than traditional earth-mined diamonds, making them the more affordable diamond option! Learn more about these man-made diamonds here.

MiaDonna-Halo-Earrings

Diamond Halo Earrings, 14K White Gold

MiaDonna-Wedding-Bands

 Hope Wedding Band, Willow Wedding Band, Drew Wedding Band, all in 14K White Gold (top to bottom)

MiaDonna-Amore-Text-Necklace

Amore Text Necklace, 14K Rose Gold

MiaDonna-Eternity-Bands

Diamond Hybrid® Eternity Bands, 14K White and Yellow Gold *Contact MiaDonna if interested*

MiaDonna-Antique-Halo-Pendant

Antique Halo Pendant, 14K White Gold

MiaDonna-Basket-Earrings

Basket Earrings set with Lab-Grown Diamonds, Platinum

 

Check out some more of their most popular ringspendants and earrings during the season of love.

10 Ways to Waste Less on Your Wedding Day!

According to Green Bride Guide the average wedding produces roughly 400-600 lbs of waste, per event. Between left over food, flowers, decor, etc there is a lot of waste that comes along with that Pinterest Perfect Wedding Board most couples desire!

Screen Shot 2016-04-19 at 2.44.02 PM

 

So let’s talk about 10 ways your Big Day can WASTE LESS !

 

1. Food :

One of the biggest wastes that can be avoided on a wedding day is FOOD! Buffets, cake, prime rib, untouched cocktail hour veggie platters, the possibilities are endless and sadly I have seen it all land in the trash! With hunger at an all time high, it seems so silly to take perfectly good food and throw it away, when there are organizations everywhere across the world taking waste food.

Blog 1200px-0083

Photo by Gray Kammera Photography

When I was in LA, last year, I had the opportunity to tour the L.A. Kitchen and learn how they are using unwanted waste food to make amazing dishes for assisted living communities and also employing aged-out foster kids and the previously incarcerated members of society to learn a trade in culinary arts! These places exist all around the country, find a food bank in your area via Feeding America or a food rescue center via The Food Rescue Database.

Screen Shot 2016-04-19 at 2.19.45 PM

Image via Feeding America

Disclaimer: It is common for caterers or food service providers to push back because of the substantial liability for such food donations. Thankfully any good-faith food donations are free from such liability due to the latest federal government law 42 U.S.C. 12672, the Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act.

 

2. Flowers:

Imagine the scene… The Bride and Groom are on their way off to their honeymoon and the clean up team is hard at work. As they put away the chairs and dishes they notice one thing they are unsure of what to do with…. Thousands of dollars worth of left over flowers! ‘What should we do with them, we can’ t take them back on the plane’ and the perplexed helper regretfully places piles of fresh roses and hydrangeas in the trash bin!

Blog 1200px-0035

Photo by Gray Kammera Photography

PLEASE FRIENDS! There are so many organizations out there ready to take your leftover flowers and uplift and inspire those in hospitals, nursing homes, or rehabilitation centers. Do the research, call ahead and let them know you want to donate these blooms to their cause. They will even give you a tax-write off for your love offering!

Random Acts of Flowers, Petals with Purpose, Floranthrophy, Repeat Roses are just to name a few of the organizations ready to take your blooms.

Video via Random Acts of Flowers

 

3. Gift Registries: 

Back in the day, couples would leave their parents homes and have to make a home from nothing and hence the wedding guests would bring them all the welcome home goodies their newlywed hearts would need. Nowadays the statistics show that couples are getting married later and later in life. They want to have their careers in place and independence aligned before nuptials are even thought of so most of those engaged love birds already have a lot of crap! So let us do our wedding guests a favor and skip the gifts! OR consider a gift registry that doesn’t involve wrapping paper and plastic wrap.

Here are a few charitable/sustainable wedding registries that can help your wedding impact others:

Heartful.ly– A gift registry that empowers couples to fund life changing projects around the world.

So Kind Registry – A registry and wishlist service that encourages the giving of homemade gifts, charitable donations, secondhand
goods, experiences, time, day-of-event help, and more

-OR-

If you do still need goodies consider a few fair-trade online options:

Bambeco– Recyclable, sustainable home goods that give back.

West Elm– Support fair trade and often local artisans in each store, West Elm is the perfect one stop shop for any soon-to-be newlywed’s love nest needs!

ZOLA – You can combine all of the things/brands you might need for your new home under one roof and then ship all the goods at once and reduce your waste/carbon footprint. You can also fund a honeymoon, portion of the wedding costs, or donate to charity as well.

 

4. Transportation:

Carpool, Uber, Bicycle, Smart Car, Moped, or charter a boat taxi to take your bridal party to the reception! The eco-friendly options are endless!

 

5. Favors:

Having been to my fair share of weddings I’ve seen a variety of cheaply made wedding favors that no one will ever use again and it breaks my heart. Try sponsoring a child, or redirecting your favor budget toward the charity you plan to support, such as these sweet doggie cookies that support a local dog shelter.

1175_061213

Photo By Alissa Dineen

 

6. Paper Goods/Invites: 

Paper goods can be one of the most obvious waste makers, but it is equally one of of the easiest parts of the wedding that can lead to positive change. There are so many options like:

Recyclable/Sustainable Paper Types, design shown below by Citrus Press Co. / Photo by Regina As The Photographer

Wedding-World-Changing-Day-Promo-14

Or if you are a bit more new school, try an e-vite, or video wedding invite, etc and save some trees and postage along the way!

 

7. Function vs. Fancy

Fancy is fun, we get it! There is a certain level of exclusivity and experience that comes along with black tie affairs, however they aren’t always the most functions and sometime the more wasteful events can be those that are the highest end people with the abilities and budgets to make more sustainable choices. This is where functionality comes into play… The best things in life are simple, functional and intentional… Here are a few examples:

Glass Jars to take home vs. Champaigne Flutes

ALP_7608

Photo by Image Clairity

Decomposable Bamboo Utensils vs. Polished Silver

© EVERPHOTO www.everphoto.net www.facebook.com/everphoto

Photo by Emily Dykema

Ceremony Programs that double as Pop Corn Bag Holders (or any other reception treat you might choose)

© EVERPHOTO www.everphoto.net www.facebook.com/everphoto

Photo by Emily Dykema

8. RENT AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE

Renting is far more waste-preventing, and minimally impactful to the environment than flat out buying things you’ll never use or wear again. Literally there are rental options for practically every aspect of your wedding day process,  your dress, your tuxes, the bridesmaid’s dresses, your decorations, you name it and it can most likely be rented!

Here are few rental companies to consider:

Menguin – Tuxedos

Borrowing Magnolia– Wedding Dresses

Rent the Run Way– Elopement, wedding attire, rehearsal dinner garb.

Happily Ever Borrowed– Rentable Bridal Accessories, Veils, jewelry, etc.

BLACKSHEEPBRIDE (6 of 61)

The biggest misconception about DIY Weddings is they will be better on the pocketbook, but after the time is spent buying the materials and flea market finds to put the projects together, you are in better use of your time, dollars and energy to rent the things you are trying to faux-antique and you will save yourself space after you’re married.

Not only will it save you money, it will be reused multiple times by others and treated just like new!

9. Reuse/ Reduce/Recycle

This is obvious friends. If you have reusable goods, save them aside, donate them to your local non-profits, half way houses, etc. Reduce and Recycle what you can! Set out separate bins for recyclable trash vs. regular trash vs. compost… When given the opportunity people will make the right choices.

 

10. Composting is your friend! 

At the end of the day, if you aren’t able to find a non-profit locally that will take your flowers, or food…. COMPOST your biodegradable waste, so the earth can benefit from your waste in a productive and positive manner, like using it in a co-op garden vs. ‘wasting’ good soil nutrients in a land fill. COMPOST NOW has pick up services across the nation ready to grab your garbage and turn into garden goodness!

225903_446643672053078_1378420870_n

 

Now Happy Waste Less Wedding Planning to You and Have an Intention and Impactful Earth Day! Let us make every day about helping making the world a better place!

Happy Birthday Heartful.ly

On November 29, our friends at Heartful.ly celebrated their first birthday in the most stylish way they know, by giving back. Over 125 D.C. influencers and friends of Heartful.ly joined together at The Loft at 600 F for an evening of fun festivities and well beyond the legal limit of junk food. Their objective: Serve the DC homeless community and raise funds for Martha’s Table and their glasses to a year of exciting milestones! Heartful.ly has an amazing platform devoted to connecting our life’s milestones (such as weddings, birthdays, etc) with charity project and giving back! Their birthday celebration was able to provide over 700 hot meals to Martha’s Table, devoted to serving DC’s growing homeless population.

unspecified-30

unspecified-28 unspecified-29  unspecified-31 unspecified-32 unspecified-33 unspecified-34 unspecified-35 unspecified-36 unspecified-37 unspecified-38 unspecified-39 unspecified-40 unspecified-41

 

Visit Heartful.ly today and start your own registry for your upcoming wedding or birthday today!

 

Event Sponsors: The Loft at 600 FIda Rose EventsGSP ConsultantsMission Man MediaJason Martin GroupTD Bank&pizzaAmavi Sweets, and Tickled Photo Booth and flowers by Stem and Thistle.

2016 Gifts that Give Series: Oliberté

Editor Note: Black Sheep Bride is excited to continue our 2016 Holiday – Gifts That Give Series devoted to sustainable, charitable, eco friendly and/or artisan made products to gift your friends and family this holiday season! This December we will be sharing various product sponsored features devoted to products that value supporting others and/or the environment. (BONUS: COUPON CODE AT THE BOTTOM)

15250938_10154781449523624_3900835526941139554_o

Oliberté is a sustainable brand supporting workers’ rights in sub-Saharan Africa. They believe in empowerment, transparency, and doing right by all. This means making premium quality products with a lifetime warranty, and it means treating every employee, everywhere in the world, with respect. In 2009, Oliberté started off as a small footwear company partnering with factories and suppliers in Africa. Since then, they gained enough momentum to launch their very own factory in 2012. They make every single pair of Oliberté shoes at this factory in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. In September 2013, they also became the world’s first Fair Trade Certified™ footwear manufacturing factory.

14068409_10154448411308624_9039591462161685559_o14054486_10154448411208624_4558287845382966483_o

In 2016, Oliberté embarked on a project to combat the debilitating disease Podoconiosis, a condition that causes swelling and extreme discomfort to the lower extremities due to constant exposure to irritating dirt. This condition is very widespread in areas with volcanic soil such as Northern Ethiopia. Treatment is as simple as covering your feet to limit exposure to these soils, so they took their successful factory model to a small town 300 km north of Addis Ababa in the hopes of strengthening a local economy, and providing a steady supply of reliable shoes to limit the spread of this terrible condition. Oliberté is still very early in this project, but they are proud to say this project currently employs 10 workers from the area and creates 900 shoes a month for local distribution.

image5-768x461

14231407_10154520746253624_1433096101994466272_o 14976439_10154692411858624_6977605003684223720_o

And they don’t just offer gnarly leather shoes, they also make leather bags, purses and wallets for everyone in your inner circle! 15369204_10154791639898624_8667466310308272519_o

They even have your baby covered with a selection of colorful moccasins and artisan made toys too.

523_2304_medium

Go grab some sustainable kicks today and make sure to use the code: ‘holiday15′ to save 15% off your order! VISIT THEIR SHOP and you will be blown away with all of the amazing options to choose from! They would be even be the perfect addition to your engagement photo outfits or wedding day style planning!