Julie Muir is a marriage celebrant in Newcastle, who loves creating personalized wedding ceremonies for her clients – and caring for the environment! As this months Carbon Hero, we wanted to celebrate her contribution. Julie plants a tree for every couple she marries, and also offsets the paper used in the weddings that she is the celebrant for. She’s already helped us plant 53 trees, and counting!
Can you tell us a little about yourself and the inspirations behind your brand?
I am a young, fun, modern marriage celebrant based in Newcastle, NSW. I love writing personalised ceremonies that reflect the personalities of those involved. The ceremony should be the best part of the wedding day, not the boring part that has to be endured to get to the bar at the reception! There should be laughter and there should be tears and everything in between. My ceremonies are relaxed, memorable and uplifting.
Why is caring for the environment important to you?
I have been fortunate enough to travel to over 50 countries, so I’ve seen first-hand the devastation caused by poor environmental practices, particularly in developing countries. This has motivated me to do what I can both in my personal and my professional life to protect the environment. For me it’s important that myself and my brand values are one and the same. I want to contribute positively to my community and to the planet in all aspects of my life.
What motivates you to support Carbon Positive’s work in particular?
I was looking for a charitable organisation that I could donate to every time I took a new booking. At the same time, I was thinking about the unavoidable printing involved in getting married because of the legal paperwork. That’s when I found the CPA’s Plant a Native Tree Program. I had a light-bulb moment where I realised this was the solution to both of these. The e-gift-cards make it easy for me to share the feel-good factor with my clients, of doing something positive for the environment. It’s a win-win for everyone involved. My clients don’t book me because of the tree planting but I think it does re-affirm that we are a good fit for each other.
Are there any other green initiatives that your organisation is working on?
I do genuinely believe in the power of one. Although I am just a small solopreneur, I feel good knowing that I am making a positive impact where I can.
I no longer print my ‘couples resource kit’- at 50 page document that I just couldn’t justify printing for every couple anymore. Instead I send couples a PDF version. I was a bit worried my clients would think this was a cost-saving measure rather than be environmentally motivated, but thankfully no-one has complained.
For 2018, I’ve decided to only buy second hand clothes. I am always on the hunt for gorgeous dresses for my weddings, but there is no need for them to be brand new every time. I’ve picked up some lovely clothing at bargain prices from some of my local charity shops.
I am active with the organisation ‘Take 3 for the Sea’ so I’ve borrowed this principle for my job too. I do weddings at a range of stunning outdoor locations: beaches, forests, parks etc. It’s important not just to leave them as I find them, but to actively make the space better if I can. Before I leave, I always take 3 items of rubbish with me!
Are there any other environmental initiatives that your organisation is working on?
The wedding industry traditionally isn’t known for its eco-credentials (imported flowers, a dress that is only worn once, and confetti that will outlive us all) but people are beginning to realise that it is possible to make more ethical and sustainable choices for weddings without having to get married in a hemp dress! I want this to be more than just an eco-wedding trend; I want to be part of a cultural movement that recognises the importance of protecting the environment.