Welle acquired her own stock of renewable and sustainable items such as soy and beeswax candles and plates made of recycled glass. For events where disposable items are required, she uses plates, cups, and napkins made from biodegradable materials. To decorate an event space, she uses natural materials like flowers, leaves, and bamboo, LEDs, and linens made from natural fibers and colored with soy-based vegetable inks. One of her favorite tactics is reducing printed marketing materials. “There are so many electronic avenues now, why continue to give out paper?” she says.
“When I mentioned [doing a green event] to a few other places that were going to help me put it together, I basically got back blank stares,” says Brook Dorsch, owner of Dorsch Gallery, for whom Welle planned a 100-person reception in March. “Jessica made some really great suggestions and did things that were not just environmentally conscious but also aesthetically pleasing, which is important for us as an art gallery.” Welle used recyclable plates, cups, and napkins for food service, bamboo for decor accents—and a bamboo forest—and made use of the gallery’s fluorescent lighting in a way that generated less heat and used less energy.
“Going green doesn’t mean I’m going to do your decor with newspaper—it’s about reusing products, so I get to be more creative,” Welle says. “It’s challenging, but that’s what makes it fun.”