Archive for the ‘Eco’ Category
Our annual sample sale has arrived! Now through September 24, all of our letterpress invitation samples are on sale for just $1 each. Browse our collection of 300+ invitation designs – we’ve got styles for every type of occasion (including traditional, modern, vintage, destination, rustic, retro, minimal, and more!). All of our invitations are completely customizable and can be letterpress printed or foil stamped for your next special occasion. The best part? We’ll plant 2 trees with American Forests for every sample purchased during the sale!
To purchase your samples, simply view your favorite designs, then click the “order a sample” button on the right side of the page. After you’ve selected all of the samples you’d like to purchase, visit the cart in the upper right side of your screen and “proceed to checkout”. If you’d like to see even more trees planted during our sale, select the “plant a tree” option during checkout and we’ll match you!
**The fine print: supplies may be limited. Samples ship in standard packaging without keepsake boxes. Samples purchased during sale period are not eligible for a sample refund when stationery order is placed (but your donation is going to a really great cause!). Please allow 2 business days for turn-around. Sale ends at 11:59pm on Monday, September 24.
We know, we know, this is supposed to be a blog about letterpress, but we thought you’d like these beautiful photos from one of our favorite places, Grindstone Farm. Not only does Grindstone provide delicious, nutritious, organic fruits and veggies to the Bella Figura staff through our CSA partnership, they are also a prime example of why farms make great wedding locations!
Of course, planning a wedding on a working farm can be tricky. You need to plan ahead so you are not stuck without power or lights (or bathrooms!), you’ll need to make sure grandma and grandpa do not have to walk a mile in dress shoes, and if you want the ultimate local experience of using food and flowers grown onsite, you’ll need to get the details to the farmer a year in advance.
When the details come together, it’ll be worth the trouble. Your guests will be able to share in an incredible one-of-a-kind experience, creating memories that will last a lifetime.
Interested in finding a farm like this near you for your wedding or big event? Or do you want to use locally grown produce or flowers for your special event? Check out localharvest.org to find CSAs, U Pick Farms, Farmers Markets, Grocery Co-ops in your area!
Over the years, Bella Figura has formed partnerships with important environmental organizations. One such organization is Earthworks, whose campaigns focus on the far reaching ecological and humanitarian concerns caused by all types of mining. Projects such as their “No Dirty Gold Campaign” are very important to exposing the truths behind this important wedding focused industry. Read about the search for the perfect conflict-free engagement ring!
One way we like to support our sustainable partners is to help them create beautiful communication pieces to use with their donors and other partners. For Earthworks, we created these simple, elegant Thank You Notes, and “From the Desk Of” note pads. Letterpress printed on our luxurious 1-ply white 100% reclaimed cotton paper in vine ink, the cards shine with the Earthworks logo. We love giving back, especially when the focus is something we hold dear to our hearts.
Hopefully these pieces will help further the cause!
Just as our printers enjoy telling stories of how they came to love letterpress, every bride knows the importance of a good engagement story… you want to tell the whole world how he presented that little box with the sparkly ring.
And let’s be serious — we love gold. It’s shiny, it’s pretty, and when placed on the left ring finger, a gold ring symbolizes never-ending love and commitment to our one-and-only.
When I started ring shopping with my fiance, I was torn. I knew I wanted a ring, but I was concerned about the environmental and social impacts of this particular “symbol of love”. From the beginning, I was adamant that I wanted a conflict-free diamond, but it wasn’t until I started digging into the facts that I began to understand the effects of gold mining on communities, mining workers, and our environment.
You may have noticed that proceeds from our Labor Day Sample Sale (a huge success by the way… thanks!!!!) went to support Earthwork’s No Dirty Gold Campaign. Earthworks is a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting communities and the environment from the impacts of irresponsible mining (Earthworks is also one of the eco causes we support as a member of 1% for the Planet!). I wanted to share with you some of what I have learned from Earthworks, and give you resources that will allow you to make informed purchases in the future.
Did you know that:
- One ring (if using traditional mining practices) produces an average of 20 TONS of waste!?!
- Gold mining is one of the world’s dirtiest industries. It wreaks havoc on local economies, causes illnesses, destroys streams, contaminates soil, and contributes to human rights abuses.
- Mined waste includes all sorts of toxins such as cadmium, mercury, arsenic, and lead. These metals enter local watersheds, contaminating drinking water for local residents.
Yeah. That’s pretty heavy stuff. Still, there are things you can do to help!
- Recycle old jewelry. You can have old rings melted down to make new ones. Support jewelers that offer products made with recycled gold.
- Buy vintage or antique jewelry.
- Love your ring. Take care of it and eventually pass it on to a child or friend.
To learn about more ways you can have an impact, or to learn more about the “No Dirty Gold Pledge”, visit the No Dirty Gold Campaign website today.
It’s that time of year again — our sample sale is back! Now through September 8, all of our letterpress invitation samples will be on sale for just $1! All proceeds from the sale will benefit Earthworks and will help aid their efforts to end dirty gold mining practices around the world. Sign the pledge today and make sure you know where your gold is coming from! The inventory for a few of our designs is limited, so you may receive samples in colors that are different from what’s shown on our website (but don’t worry — they’ll still be pretty!!). Samples may be ordered on our website – just click on your favorite designs, then select “order a sample” and proceed to checkout after you’ve selected all of the designs you’d like to see! The sale ends at 11:59pm on Thursday, September 8, so don’t wait — buy your samples today & help the environment in the process — it’s a win-win!
**The fine print: availability for select designs may be limited. If our inventory runs out for a sample that you’ve ordered, we’ll contact you to determine a suitable replacement option or to arrange a refund if necessary. We appreciate your understanding on this!**
Want to share with your guests that your letterpress invitations are eco? We offer a (free!) eco message letterpressed tastefully on the back of your invitation (in one of the invitation’s ink colors). We keep the impression very light so the letterpress will not show through the front. Our eco specs say, “letterpressed with wind power | tree free paper (100% reclaimed cotton)vegetable-oil based ink | old cast iron presses | love.” We think it is a subtle way to spread our message with the ones you love!
Want to read more about Bella Figura being a green letterpress print shop?
Over the past couple of years, we’ve found ourselves completely blown away by the thoughtfulness and generous spirits of the couples we’re honored to call Bella Figura brides and grooms. We think it’s so cool when a couple opts to forgo the traditional guest favors and instead makes a donation to a worthy nonprofit. To encourage this large-hearted trend, in early 2011 we started offering free letterpress favor cards to those couples making a donation to nonprofit organization doing good for the world. Here are just a handful of the many favor cards we’ve printed for couples worldwide this year…
Our Florian Script design; donation benefiting CHU St-Justine. From the couple, “The CHU St-Justine is a well renowned children’s hospital in Montreal and our donation will be given toward funding R&D activities. We both believe that children should be allowed to enjoy their young lives and play outside with their friends rather to be stuck in a hospital room. We hope that our donation will help the team of doctors find a cure to many of today’s illnesses that primarily attack young children.”
Today is Tuesday, which during the summer and early fall harvest season means only one thing here at Bella Figura – it’s CSA day! Bella Figura is proud to subsidize CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) memberships for employees through Grindstone Farm, a local organic farm. Once a week, a big van full of freshly picked organic veggies shows up at our door and we always love digging through the boxes to see what we have that week. This year we’ve been eating a lot of rainbow chard, kale, bokchoy, a variety of lettuces, onions, garlic, lots of beautiful tomatoes, potatoes, and zucchini galore.
Here is a quick peek at today’s share – parsley, patty pan squash, three varieties of tomatoes, baby carrots, two varieties of radishes, lemon basil, lots of tomatillos and the first of this season’s apples.
With tomatillos greeting us week after week, we’ve all been sharing ideas on how to best use them up. The verdict is that a great roasted tomatillo salsa can’t be beat. We love this recipe from epicurious – it’s simple, quick and tasty. Does it get much better?
Roasted Tomatillo Salsa
1 1/2 pounds fresh tomatillos
5 fresh serrano chiles (or sub the peppers of your choice; remove the seeds for less heat)
3 garlic cloves, unpeeled
1/2 cup fresh cilantro
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
2 teaspoons coarse salt
Preheat broiler or grill.
Remove husks from tomatillos and rinse under warm water to remove stickiness. Broil chiles, garlic, onion and tomatillos on rack of a broiler pan 1 to 2 inches from heat (or on the grill), turning once, until tomatillos are softened and slightly charred, about 7 minutes. Peel garlic and pull off tops of chiles. Purée all ingredients in a blender.
Allow to cool to room temperature and serve with your favorite chips or Mexican fare. Enjoy!
As part of our continued efforts to be truly eco-friendly, Bella Figura subsidizes CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) memberships for all employees. Many of us happily take advantage of the opportunity to have fresh, local, organic produce delivered once a week by a local organic farm, Grindstone Farm. The veggies and herbs are always incredibly fresh and delicious and have typically been picked within just hours of reaching us. Because the Delevan Center, the old warehouse we call home, is the Downtown Syracuse drop off location, our CSA deliveries literally come right to our door. We love seeing what awaits us as we fill up our bags and head home to cook – half the fun is figuring out what to do with all the cool ingredients we don’t always see in local grocery stores!
Typically, we get an assortment of great lettuces, kale, fresh herbs like cilantro and dill, broccoli so delicious you’ll never want to eat anything other than organic broccoli again, garlic scapes, cool daikon radishes that resemble white carrots, and lots and lots of beautiful red radishes. As the season is progressing, so are the crops, and the veggies we receive every week are changing up, but we’ve continued to get a lot of radishes, which led a few of us to start looking into recipes that use radishes and ideally the radish greens too. After a while, we’ve found ourselves at a bit of a loss as to what to do with them other than slice them up for salads. After some hunting around, one of our letterpress printers, Carrie, who is one of the finest artisans we know to ever run an Original Heidelberg windmill, found and tweaked the following recipe that was so good, we just had to share it in the event any of you are at a loss as to what to do with all of your radishes. If you like food with an Asian flair, you will love this recipe.
Asian Hamburger Skillet
- 1lb lean hamburger (although many of us are vegetarians so we substituted the Morning Star ground “meat” instead)
- 1 medium red onion, sliced about 1/4″ thick then cut into 2″ lengths
- 1 bunch of radishes, cut in matchsticks
- 1 bunch of radish tops, cut roughly into 1″ pieces
- 4 carrots, julienned or cut into 1/4″ slices
- 1-1/2 tsp ginger paste
- 2 tbsp fish sauce (although we’ve also tried General Tso’s sauce and it was delicious!)
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 lime (optional)
- Freshly ground pepper, to taste
In a large sauté pan, cook hamburger (or meat substitute) over medium high heat, until just beginning to brown, breaking into small bits with spatula. Stir in onion and radishes and cook another 2-3 minutes. Stir in carrots, radish tops, ginger paste and fish sauce and cook 5-10 minutes until onions are softened and hamburger is cooked through. Sprinkle with lime juice (if using) and pepper, to taste. Serve immediately…and don’t forget to let us know how you like it!
Here at Bella Figura, we are truly dedicated to being as eco-friendly as possible so we are always seeking out great new ideas for improving our eco practices and building great new partnerships. Accordingly, we were thrilled that Bella Figura’s parent company, Boxcar Press, recently teamed up with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as an EPA Green Power Partner, a program designed to encourage organizations to seek out renewable energy sources and to reduce carbon emissions. Our operations are 100% wind powered through NativeEnergy, a truly inspiring organization that allows businesses and individuals to purchase carbon offsets and renewable energy credits. NativeEnergy actively works to promote Native American, family farm, and community-based renewable energy projects to help make renewable energy more accessible. It’s a true pleasure for us to be working with the EPA and NativeEnergy to help promote renewable energy and we look forward to seeing an increasing number of businesses getting involved in the future.