Friday, November 19, 2010

Green Fern Events Helps to "GREEN" Bazaarvoice's Holiday Party

Green Fern Events was contracted to provide recycling and composting services for Bazaarvoice's holiday event, held November 5, 2010 at the Austin Music Hall. With over 700 guests in attendance, theme for the evening was "Roaring 20's". In addition to the theme décor and decorations, the company wanted to do what they could to help minimize the environmental impact for their event. They brought in the "experts" and Green Fern Events (along with Wandering River Recycling) successfully diverted three quarters or 74% of all the waste from a landfill!

Throughout the evening, the casino tables were packed, drinks were going down smoothly alongside hand-rolled cigars, and the DJ downstairs and jazz duet on the patio kept everyone on their toes! With all of this going on, I observed many of the guests paying attention to the RECYCLE and COMPOST signs and disposing of their beer cans and compostable plates properly. It was a fantastic sight to see.

Not only is Bazaarvoice a global leader in social commerce technology and solutions, THEY as business and individuals are setting a powerful example of environmental leadership and corporate social responsibility. With special help from the G.I. Joes (a.k.a. the green team) Bazaarvoice employees implement many green strategies into their business culture, community, as well as for the events they produce. Voted #1 place to work in Austin, Bazaarvoice is leading the way in all that they do.

It was exciting to see how hard everyone partied and then how much waste we were able to divert from a landfill as a result of our recycling and food composting initiatives. It was great fun and we hope this is the start of a trend for many companies to follow in Bazaarvoice's footsteps.

Monday, September 27, 2010

ISES Austin September 2010 Green Event

Photos by La Dolce Vita Photography. Thanks to all who joined us for the ISES Austin September event to discuss best green strategies to implement today. I was honored to be invited to speak and to put together the program content. With input from a panel of experts (Marla Camp of Edible Austin, Brandi C. Burton of Austin EcoNetwork, and Gerry Acuna of Tri-Recycling), the room was buzzing with questions, comments and concerns regarding environmental issues surrounding the events and catering industry. Thanks to all the wonderful vendors who contributed to the production of the event and to the event professionals who participated in the discussion.

Green Fern Events provided the composting and recycling services for the event helping to keep the event true to its name! As a result of our recycling/food compost efforts as well as implementing many green strategies to the event planning process for the September meeting, we only had 2 bags of refuse post-event. Everything else was either recycled or composted.

Official Post-Event Eco-Analysis
LANDFILL WASTE: .3 Cubic Yards
RESULT: 80% of our waste from the September meeting was diverted from a landfill!

Monday, September 20, 2010

ISES AUSTIN: September "Green Theme" Meeting

Hello Friends! It is a privilege and an honor to be speaking tomorrow evening on behalf of the "greening" of the meeting and events industry for ISES Austin Chapter (International Society of Event Specialists). This is going to be a fantastic event at a beautiful new wedding and special events venue in central Austin. Green Fern Events is sponsoring the recycling and food compost for this event and will be leading the panel discussion of key environmental leaders in the Austin Community. Join us tomorrow 9/21 from 6-9pm to learn "Best Practices for Going Green Today!". More information can be found on ISES Austin's WEBSITE and BLOG.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

10 Tips for Staying Cool (and Green!) This Summer:

It is no big surprise that our energy bills increase during the summer months. Looking for a way to reduce your energy costs while saving money? Turn to these helpful tips to stay cool this summer.

1. Program your thermostat to work around your family’s summer schedule. Be sure to set it a few degrees higher (such as 78 degrees) when no one is home, so your cooling system isn’t cooling an empty house. With proper use, you can save almost $180 a year in energy costs by simply programming your thermostat!

2. Remember to run your ceiling fan to create a cool breeze. If you raise your thermostat by only two degrees and use your ceiling fan, you can lower cooling costs by up to 14 percent. But also make sure to remember to turn your ceiling fans off when not in use.

3. Pull the curtains and shades closed before you leave your home to keep the sun’s rays from overheating the interior of your home. Try moving container trees and plants in front of sun-exposed windows to serve as shade.

4. Start using more energy-efficient lighting choices. Swapping you’re your old incandescent bulbs with more energy-efficient lighting not only uses less energy, but it also produces about 75 percent less heat. This can reduce your cooling bills as well.

5. Add insulation to your attic to keep cool air in. If every American household did so, Americans would collectively save more than $1.8 billion in yearly energy costs… so start insulating those attics!

6. If your central air conditioning unit is more than 12 years old, replacing it with a model that has earned EPA’s Energy Star could cut your cooling costs by 30 percent.

7. Start showering with cold water. During the summer, our body temperatures are much more hotter than usual. Therefore, enjoying a nice cold refreshing shower will help you stay cool, while also saving money and energy.

8. Smear on some aloe vera after your shower and get ready for a nice skin-tingling experience. Aloe vera has a cooling effect once it is spread on, so it can definitely help you cool down. For an even chillier experience, store your aloe gel or juice in the fridge before application.

9. Be sure to dress in clothes that are made with breezy organic cotton. It will help your body stay cool and comfortable during the heat. Breathable organic cotton fabric is the absolute key to warm-weather comfort while also staying green!

10. Eat more juicy fruits! The reason fruit becomes so tantalizing to us during those hot summer days is because our body screams for high moisture content foods. So start snacking on some grapes, berries, oranges, and watermelon… but try to keep your fruit selection local in order to reduce your carbon footprint!

For more helpful hints and tips, check out these two websites:

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

New Dinnerware that is Perfect for the Summer!

Summer is here, which means it is almost time for barbecues and backyard parties. What better way to celebrate sustainably than with Leafware dinnerware!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Green Fern Events- "Helping SXSW 2010 Interactive Reduce Environmental Impact"

Plutopia 2010 "The Science of Music" was held March 15, 2010 at the Mexican American Cultural Center. This year's theme "explored the role of technology, sound and digital media in changing the landscape and narrative of music in the information age". Approximately 1000 people throughout the evening enjoyed a variety of music, art, and interactive technology, with featured performances by DJ Spooky, Bruce Sterling, Xiao He, Black Pick Liberation, Front White, & Dr. Stragevibe.

While there were many GLOBAL performances at this event, the food and beverages served were all LOCAL! "Unique to this and only this event, Edible Austin magazine and Tipsy Texan brought together the heart and soul of Austin’s local foodie scene and cutting edge mixology. Guests enjoyed artisanal cocktails and food and drink samples from handcrafters such as Tito’s and Dripping Springs Vodka, Treaty Oaks Rum, Pepe’s Z and Republic Tequila, Independence and St. Arnold Breweries, Zhi Tea, Rio’s Brazilian, Sugar Mama’s Bakeshop, Aurelia’s Chorizo, Buddha’s Brew Kombucha and more! Also on hand were food carts from addictive local eateries Dai Due, Eastside Pies, Kerbey Lane Café, Thai Fresh, and Torchy’s Tacos."

Green Fern Events sponsored the recycling for this event and hired local company, Wandering River Recycling to manage this large task. Below are the results.

Drum roll please..........

-Total of 400 lbs of waste
-200 lbs of recycling
-80 pounds of food waste to local composting facility =

70% diversion rate from landfill.

That's pretty excellent. This means well over HALF of all the waste for Plutopia was either recycled or composted.

When planning your events for 2010 and beyond, please keep Green Fern Events in mind. We can work with any budget to help reduce costs and the environmental impact for your event. Furthermore, Green Fern Events can connect you with the best eco-vendors and venues in Central Texas that practice sustainability.

Emily Kahn is Founder of Green Fern Events - Austin's Premier Eco-Event Planning & Consulting Firm.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Taking a Walk Down One Green Street

The next time you are in Houston, TX, make sure to add one more place to your must see/visit list: One Green Street. As one of the first of its kind, this store is truly a one stop shop for everything that is eco-chic. Sherry Eichberger founded the boutique with the goal of educating the general public about living a natural, healthy, eco-friendly lifestyle without all the toxins and chemicals found in our everyday lives. The store carries a wide variety of products ranging from environmentally friendly and toxin free furniture to make-up to clothing to everyday household items. Even the building itself is environmentally conscious. It is LEED certified, has energy efficient lighting, takes advantage of the natural sunlight, and was remodeled with the use of recycled materials. The builders even took the materials from the remodeling to reuse on their next project. This boutique is definitely a great place for those looking to live a healthy and organic lifestyle. Make sure to visit One Green Street and bring along your reusable shopping bag! To find out more information about the boutique, please visit .

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

UT Sustainable Business Summit

Last Friday, February 5, 2010 Emily Kahn, Founder of Green Fern Events had the honor of participating as a panelist for the UT Sustainable Business Summit. The panel session was entitled "Global Recession and its Impact on Sustainability". Other panelists included Amy Page, Chief Ozone Officer, Blue Avacado, Adam Morehead, Principal, Texas Business Group, Kasia Wood, Sales Manager, Handemade Expressions, and Niyanta Spelman, Executive Director, Rainforest Partnerships.
"Not only was it interesting to have interactive discussions with the audience, Kahn said, "it was also great to hear from fellow panelists regarding their perspective".

While the overall events and tourism industry has definitely suffered a few blows, efforts to produce sustainable meetings and events is still on the rise. "It's becoming standard practice for any smart business," Kahn said. "Not only to make your business more sustainable but to apply best green practices and values (efficiency, reducing waste, recycling, managing carbon etc.) towards the events you produce as well."