ECO WEDDING PLANNER: CHANGING THE WAY WE SAY 'I DO' FOR OUR PLANET'S HEALTH
The go-to bridesmaid, a girl who knows how to host a party and a lover of all things ethical, creating a career as an eco wedding planner was only natural for Rochelle. Rochelle is the face, founder and lead planner of Conscious Weddings and Events, and I was lucky enough to sit down with her over a juice at Charlie's Raw Squeeze, and totally connect! We got to chat about her inspiration and motivation for starting her kick ass business as well as her passion for health and sustainability.
What made you so passionate about sustainability and being eco friendly?
The biggest driver for me is my daughter. I want her to enjoy the same planet, in the same condition, as I have my whole life. I am all about education and it gives me a certain fulfilment being in nature. I grew up in Far North Queensland and was always surrounded by beautiful tropical landscapes, which made me who I am today. Being exposed to organic, raw and vegan lifestyles also opened up a whole new world of being environmentally aware.
What inspired you to start up Conscious Weddings and Events?
I have always been told I host great parties and events, and I have been a bridesmaid more times than I can remember. Both of these factors combine with my passion for sustainability made Conscious Weddings and Events something I just had to start. I guess you could say it's my calling. The idea came to me for a reason so I definitely feel it's my responsibility to make a change.
"Our vision is to help make your special day a true reflection of you, whether you want an eco friendly, green, vegan, raw, no waste event or just a few ethical elements, our team are here to help you. Our planet needs you to give a shit and we want to help you do that with ease"
What are some of the impacts that weddings can have on the environment?
I've done a fair bit of research over the years and I'm still shocked by the statistics to this day. On average, one in four plates of food are thrown away and sent to landfill, which also means so much money is wasted, ahhh! A huge carbon footprint is created by delivering products from miles away and the shipping costs from overseas are ridiculous. There's several social impacts associated with weddings as well, I definitely believe the ethics of the people involved in making the goods and products I'm using is important and I like to know where they've come from.
A lot of the products used at weddings are single use and thrown out, rather than being reused or recycled. It's a shame that so much of that waste could be prevented! Little changes can really make a big difference. It can be as simple as using a bar tap or drink dispensers rather than bottles and cans. It's kind of cool but also kind of scary, weddings combine a little bit of everything, from people and businesses to food and fashion. Changing all of those things to be a little more locally sourced, eco friendly and sustainable could really make a positive impact.
You just had your first wedding shoot, how did that go? Were all of the suppliers greenies too?
Well not only was it a dedicated shoot, it also had a personal aspect to it - I joined it with my daughters 11th birthday party! I surprised her and her friends with ethical flower girl dresses and an endless amount of vegan food. They got to dress up and have their photos taken which really made it all the more special for me.
I had over 25 suppliers that were all sustainable, ethical or locally sourced. They were all so excited by the whole idea and said they had never heard of any other business trying to do what we are. Charlie's Raw Squeeze provided all the catering - the girls had no idea they were eating cashew cheese, haha. It was also held in a camping and holiday village so little power was used and we only created a small bin of rubbish. I can proudly say it was a minimal waste project!