Sustainable Bliss

never stop learning!


Try to get items that have been salvaged, reused or via craigslist Focus on recycled content, regional products, rapidly renewable materials, certified wood and ability to be recycled


  • energy efficient
  • LED lighting


  •  insulation - low/no VOC
  • wallboard - low/no VOC
  • paint - low/no VOC
  • wallpaper


  • carpet - low/no VOC
  • stone
  • wood
  • cork
  • bamboo
  • concrete


  • recycled content
  • rapidly renewable materials


  • low/no VOC
  • rapidly renewable materials, certified wood

Bathroom Fixtures

  • water efficient


  •  low/no VOC


  • energy efficient

Hot Water Heater

  • tankless water heater
  • energy efficient



  • native plants and stone
  • xeriscape (low water plants)
  • transplant existing trees and bushes instead of removing and planting new ones
  • use the natural contours of the land
  • minimize impervious surfaces such as concrete and asphalt to control run-off and allow water to reach water table
  • drip or subsurface irrigation instead of sprinklers
  • coniferous trees in the north, deciduous trees in south to maximize cool in summer, heat in winter
  • bushes and berms to dampen noise
  • graywater reclamation system to convert building wastewater into irrigation water


Green up your wedding! It can be affordable. Here is the checklist I used to do my wedding, with some tips and considerations

  • engagement ring
    • make sure your diamond is conflict free
  • save the date cards
    • use a post card for minimal paper use, and it's cheaper to mail!
    • create a business card and put it in your Christmas card
    • Use a green printer  (considerations: recycled content, tree free paper (eg seed paper), minimal packaging and vegetable-based ink):
  • guest lodging
    • pick a green hotel
    • opt for home stays, eg VRBO or HomeAway
  • guest travel
    • consider donating money for carbon offsets
    • carpooling
  • invitations
    • see green printers above
  • reply cards
    • consider using post cards - see green printers above
  • photographer
    • digital prints instead of paper ones
    • online gallery to share with guests
    • print on demand for pictures to frame
    • create your own book via Blurb or Costco instead of getting prints of photos in a book
  • flowers
    • local - I've found it is difficult to get organic flowers locally, and often local trumps organic as the organics would use lots of fossil fuels to get shipped
    • organic
    • VeriFlora
  • caterer
    • organic, local food
    • vegetarian options
  • cake
    • organic and natural ingredients
    • small decorative cake to cut, sheet cake to accommodate the rest
  • rehearsal dinner
  • transportation
    • hybrids
  • ceremony location
  • gift for priest
  • hair
  • makeup
  • wedding outfit
    • inherited dress
    • inherited veil
  • attendant outfit
    • something they would wear again
    • upscale resale shop
  • gift for attendants
  • groom outfit
  • groomsmen outfit
  • gift for groomsmen
  • wedding rings
    • conflict free diamonds
  • musicians
  • readings
  • ceremony program
    • see green printer note above
  • card box
  • guest book
    • recycled paper
    • calendar for people to sign on their birthday/anniversary
  • table assignments
  • favors
    • recycled items
  • centerpieces
    • recycled glass
  • restroom baskets
    • organic, natural items
    • towels vs paper
  • other decorations
  • reception music
    • ipod
  • day-after get together
  • honeymoon
  • thank you's
    • see green printer note above

Daily Life

Look for opportunities to add sustainability tenets in:


  • food
    • local
    • organic
    • try a CSA for fresh produce 
    • go vegetarian!
  • cleaning products - opt for products based on natural ingredients
  • paper products - opt for ones with high recycled content
  • clothing - look at labels for point of origin and materials
  • furniture - if wood, look for the FSC label
  • Habitat for Humanity Restore for home improvement items

Recycling - make sure you give these another life:

  • paper and cardboard
  • aluminum, glass and plastic
  • books to a local library
  • furniture - local shelter, thrift shop, Goodwill, Salvation Army, DAV, etc
  • clothing -  local shelter, thrift shop, Goodwill, Salvation Army, DAV, etc
  • check out Earth911 to find a local recycler for hazardous waste or other items


  • old prescriptions - CVS will take them
  • broken small and medium electronics - Best Buy will take them for free
  • computers - Staples, Best Buy
  • batteries to the local hazardous waste facility (do not put in trash)
  • paint

Other resources

  • Freecycle - to get rid of things that are still useable for free - post your item and someone local may come pick it up!
  • Ebay - sell especially small & light or specialty items
  • Craigslist - sell heavier items (no postage!)


  • choose companies and mutual funds that invest in a socially conscious way


  • use public transportation whenever possible
  • if you are moving, look for a location with services within walking distance
  • preserve and protect open spaces