Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Finding an Eco-Friendly Office Space for Rent in the Philippines

In establishing and projecting a professional image, a professional environment is required more so for frequent meetings with prospective clients. Regrettably, there are pitfalls to finding and renting office spaces that you should avoid as much as possible. Consider the following factors when choosing eco-friendly office space for rent Philippines.

Logically, finding the most appropriate office space is not without difficulties. What more if your office is an active figure in the green movement? There are not as many choices when it comes to finding environmentally-friendly offices. Here’s a simple SPACE test to guide you in the finding the right office.

S – Savings

Savings on the rental costs is possible. For instance, you may start by negotiating the upfront deposit especially if you are going to pay a year’s lease in advance. You can save further by opting for office spaces with ready-to-work workstations equipped with the required furnishing and equipment. The best office space is the one that takes care of the maintenance services.

Nonetheless, you can save more if the office rental business prioritizes energy-efficient systems. For example, there are not many elevators in the office building since it promotes the use of stairs. Some eco-friendly office has stairs logistically facing the open spaces or overlooking greeneries.

P – Productivity

Traditional offices help in bolstering staff’s motivation, drive and productivity. Telecommute is an ideal way to save on overhead costs. However, if you prefer to have your staff in-house, then might as well choose an office that can contribute greatly to the staff productivity.

Anyhow, working in a green office and environment alone can boost the productivity levels of the staff. A research showed that employees working in an eco-friendly company are 16% more productive than those working in a conventional firm.   

A – Address

Office address in locations like Makati establishes prestige. However, setting up the corporate office in this location may be cost-prohibitive. Alternatively, you can choose cheaper locations but bring the same level of prestige. Just make sure that the location is still accessible to your prospects and clients, so they too can shrink their carbon footprint. On the other hand, make sure that the services that your business needs and will need in the future are also close to your location.

A great example is Evotech in Nuvali Laguna. Nuvali is an eco-community with mixed-use purposes. Laguna is known for its techno-parks and Evotech is not an exemption. Thus, Evotech is an ideal place for business process outsourcing and information technology/information technology-enabled services (IT/ITES) companies.

C – Clauses

Office rental businesses have their respective stipulations. As always, when renting, read the fine print before signing the lease contract. Make sure that you understand each and every clause in the contract.
Going back to the previous example, Nuvali, specifically Lakeside Evozone, is a PEZA zone. PEZA stands for Philippine Economic Zone Authority. There are certain design restrictions that must be followed diligently if you want to be eligible for tax exemptions. Yes, that’s more savings for you!

E – Expansion

In the future, you might need to expand the office space. Determine if this is allowed or not. Make sure that there are provisions for expansion otherwise you might need to transfer to a new location. Oppositely, if you need to downsize, make sure that the office rental management allows sub-leasing the excess spaces.

Renting an eco-friendly office space not only raises your business profile. Instead, it lets other stakeholders know of your business advocacies early on. It highlights the fact that you mean business and yet without causing too much strain on Mother Earth. Nonetheless, it should be a genuine commitment on your part; not just for show off!

Image credits: Jitwave.com | CubeMe.com | RatestoGo.com

Monday, September 22, 2014

Creative Ideas to Perk Up Your Wedding

Traditions are fine until they get boring. Weddings can be generic and predictable. But why would you want your wedding to be ‘typical’ when it can be extravagant altogether – from the theme to wedding catering – ? ‘Extravagant’ doesn’t mean pricey in this context, but rather and exceptional and inimitable that makes your guests rave about your wedding days after it occurred.

Here are some fascinating, almost-quirky ideas to make your wedding the next talk of the town. And hey, some of the ideas are really eco-friendly! Of course, you don’t want your carbon footprints to add up, right?

1) Have your guests write their wishes and remarks on plates or tablecloths and used them during special occasions in the future like your first anniversary instead of the usual guest book.

2) Pick a particularly special start time of the wedding ceremony like 4:37 which is the exact time you said yes to his proposal.

3) Have your bridesmaids carry a special bouquet made from their most favorite native flowers and then combine all their favorite flowers into your own bouquet.

4) Mass transport your guests from the church to the reception such as through a hot air balloon ride or horse-drawn carriage, if logistically possible.

5) Create a custom ‘Welcome Bag’ stuffed with a guest’s favorites from mini bottles of bubbly or gift certificates to a local spa or shop.

6) Ask your florist to set up a DIY station with all the needed supplies like blooms, ribbons and pins and have your guests create their own corsage and boutonniere. Local blooms only.

7) Arrange a room for the kids complete with snacks, drinks, pillows, blankets, toys, etc., and of course a babysitter or two.

8) Set up a bubbly bar full of in-season fruit purees, citrus twists and even flavored ice cubes where your guests can customize their champagne before the toast.

9) Set up a video booth instead of a photo booth where the guests can record their messages and wishes to both of you.

10)  Revolutionize the reception with creative up-lighting such as falling snow or leaves, geometric patterns or pictures of you together to transform the plain walls into something worth-staring at.

11) Create a wedding website, regularly update the site including details of the planning and integrate some social media widgets on it so visitors can share, like or tweet the updates. What a great way to save papers and trees!

12) Organize a pre-wedding camp or field day for the entourage so they’d get acquainted with one another before the big day.

13)  Put a line that read ‘Wanna Dance? What Song?’ on the RSVP card and let them pick up to three songs.

14) Have your grandmothers as your flower girls or you may even have your grandfathers escort them.

15) Imitate your love story on the aisle runner where every guest can have a glimpse on how you two started dating.

16) Decorate the comfort rooms with your childhood photos and remember the wackier, the better.

17) Have your guests dive face-first on a foot-long ice cream parade in various flavors or banana split.

18) Have the guests leave a message for both of you and let them put it into your anniversary piñata.

19) Create countdown signs and post them on your official Facebook, Twitter or Instagram page daily. Again, cut down on paper usage!

20) Style the aisle runner with photos, texts, flowers or any objects that reflect both of your personalities instead of plain white or red carpet. DIY is great.

21) Imprint table numbers on jars or boxes containing your favorite snacks that can hold the guests until the arrival of the main course.

22) Provide the guests with markers and stamps and ask them to encircle a word in the dictionary that best describes you as newlyweds.

23) Give reception tables their own nicknames such as places you’ve visited together when you became a couple.

24) Order a wedding cake in multiple tiers with different flavors on each tier and have your guests take a piece of their preferred tier. Alternatively, have a fruit-bowl-like wedding cake!

25) Held a trivia quiz about the two of you and present the persons that give the right answers with a unique gift like a gardening kit.

26) Create a wedding video that spans from the preparation to the reception and beyond.

Some weddings can get pretty boring and predictable, but not yours. You can pick any of these enthralling wedding ideas. Whichever you choose though, remember that a wedding is all about creativity and individuality – two ingredients that make any wedding truly standout. 

Image credits: KarenHarveycox.com | JoannaFassinger.com | GreenWeddingShoes.com | UnitedWithLove.com | InspiredBride.net | Blog.TheKnot.com | OneWed.com | Bride.net | WeddingPaperDivas.com

Monday, September 15, 2014

And the Green Wedding of the Year Awards Goes to... Brangelina!

We can only envy Angie since she didn’t stress herself out in preparing her wedding. Unlike most of the brides-to-be here in the Philippines, we think A LOT whether to hire a catering service in Manila or a catering Alabang; whether to have the wedding rites at Our Lady of Remedies, San Agustin Church or Binondo Church; whether to have the reception at Palaciode Maynila, Kaisa Heritage Center or The Atrium at Bulwagang Recoletos and more.

Leave it to Brangelina (Brad Pitt + Angelina Jolie) for having such a small yet ‘grand’ wedding! Well, it is not the Hollywood ‘grand’ that we are talking about with A-listers on the guest list, but just the grandness of how everything was put together. Indeed, it deserves the ‘Green Wedding of the Year Award’ if there is such a thing. Everyone’s talking about it soon after everyone learned the two are dating, but the wedding is not your traditional wedding. In fact, it will never be ordinary. Below are the details.

The flowers

There were no floral arrangements although there were pink oleander bloom petals which the flower girls threw in just before Angie walk down the aisle.

Angelina carried an informal bouquet made from wild flowers freshly picked out of the garden. Her bouquet includes sweetly scented white valerian. The bouquet also has oleander leaves.

The gown

Created by Luigi Massi of Atelier Versace, Angie has a very distinctive concept in her mind. She wanted her wedding gown to be a reflection of her family that she had already built with Brad long before their special day. The hand-designed antique lace and silk gown and veil became a huge canvas that showcased the creativity of her kids. Pictures of zebras, drum kits and Eiffel tower were featured on the gown.

Her something borrowed was a small gold locket with her mom’s pic on it.

As for Brad, he wore a suit straight from his closet. Yes, it is not even new. He also borrowed a tie from one of his sons since he forgot to pack one for him.

As for the kids, the four boys donned cream linen black suits. Shiloh wore shorts and a hat. Zahara wore an Adama Kebe-designed outfit while Vivienne wore a little white dress she has been seen on a couple of times before the wedding day.

The party

The bridal party is rather small. Their eldest sons Maddox and Pax walked with Angeline side-by-side down the aisle. Zahara and Vivienne were the flower girls. Knox and Shiloh were the ring bearers. If you are asking, yes, it happened. One of the ring bearers accidentally dropped the wedding ring on the floor.

The ring

Jeweler Robert Procop, who designed the couple’s engagement ring, also designed the wedding bands. The 16-carat emerald-cut diamond ring worth $500,000 was created based on Brad’s designs with distinctive facets and elongated shapes complete with a galaxy of smaller graduated stones.

A long-time friend and collaborator, Procop only sources his gold, platinum and gemstones from conflict-free areas specifically from Kimberley Process Certification Scheme-compliant countries.

It took one year to finish the ring. The media dubbed the ring as the diamond ring that launched a thousand tabloid covers!

The church

Angie and Brad wed at a chapel at Chateau Miraval, an eco-friendly estate owned by the couple found in an ancient village in Correns, France. Correns is regarded as the very first organic village in the country.

Angie entered the chapel to the tune of Brad and their children’s and the guests humming of ‘Here Comes the Bride.’ The wedding march was played on the newlywed’s way out.

The vows

Their six children helped in writing their respective wedding vows. They enlisted their help to ensure that all the words are extra special and personal.

The reception

The 1,000-acre estate features a lake, lush forestry, olive trees and vineyards. It is also equipped with an indoor pool, gyms and a spa. This is the same house where Brad proposed to Angelina in March 2012.

The food

There were only a total of 23 people present at the über-intimate wedding. Angie had her actor brother, James Haven and the rest were from Brad’s side. The guests were served with home-cooked meals. The delicious menu used only the freshest, locally-grown ingredients such as sea bass. They drank wine prepared at Brad’s personal vineyard.

The cake

Pax baked the wedding cake with the help of some of his friends. It was baked on the premise itself.

Brangelina decided to tie the knot in what we call a categorically understated, super relaxed ceremony. This is not what everybody expects, but it only shows how committed the two to their advocacies. To sum it up: The global eco-village community will never forget August 23!

Source: Ecouterre | Glamour Magazine UK | US Magazine Weekly | Global Cool

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Eco-Friendly Wedding Invitation Ideas

There’s a lot of things going in the mind of the bride – wedding date, wedding gown, wedding invites, wedding catering, etc. Of all these though, invitations should not be much of a problem. For any ethical wedding, an eco-friendly invitation is a must. Here are some of the eco-friendliest ideas for the invitation.

1) Recycled paper

This is a no-brainer. You can gather unused papers at home and work. You can even ask your friends to give you some of theirs if it is okay with them. Surely, it will be. That is, if you want to make your own invitations. Aside from the papers, you only need to buy embellishments and a calligraphy pen.

Alternatively, you can buy recycled papers on your local supplies store or even online. There are lots of choices online, and you can even match the colors to the overall theme of the wedding. Again, that is, if you are going to DIY.

If not, pre-made recycled invites are also available. You can customize the invitations to be uniquely yours for a small fee. Some vendors don’t even require a customization fee. Some even include the envelope for the price of $1 per invite for flat, single colored invitations.

If you don’t want a pre-made invitation, most vendors have in-house designers. They will create digital proofs based on your requirements for you to approve. If you are happy with the proof, then you can place your order. Final approval comes next prior to printing.

Of course, it will be printed on recycled papers as per your instruction using equally green ink. An example is soy-based ink. While the ink takes a while to dry, the benefits are all worth it. For instance, soy-based ink releases only about 2 to 4% of volatile compounds.

If you are buying from an ethical shop, chances are, the ink that they are using are also environmentally-friendly. Better ask the provider to make sure.

2) Plantable papers

Plantable papers are embedded with native seeds which, obviously, can be planted. This is the current trend when it comes to green wedding as it is a unique way to let others know of your advocacy. It can also be a great remembrance of your wedding day.

Online shops that offer plantable wedding invitations are continuously growing in numbers. Some vendors sell on a per piece basis (as low as $5 per invite) and in bulk ($250 per 50 pieces). The price is for premium seed papers. Most vendors also include a plain envelope for bulk orders.

3) Paperless

In reducing your wedding footprint, you might as well create a digital wedding invite. Facebook is a good place for a temporary web page, but you may want to consider a wedding website of your own – one that concentrates on the event itself.

Here’s the good news. Online is a myriad of free website building tools. It may be in the form of a blog where you can document and publish wedding details as they progress.

Apart from being free, there are other perks of creating your very own wedding website. The site allows the to-be-weds like you to put everything in one place – galleries, registry, map, etc. You can also create a page as your digital invite that you can send or share directly to your friends’ email inbox. In this way, your friends can simply an RSVP confirmation email back.

It is with great honor, pride, excitement and anticipation to receive a wedding invitation. What more when it comes to receiving chic, rustic invitation that speaks volume of what you truly care about as a person? Evidently, eco-invites need not be expensive. Sometimes, the meaning behind the invites itself is more than enough; it’s priceless!

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