After a weeklong stint in Paris (I'm not bragging, there's a point), I found myself comparing the lifestyle of a Parisian versus a Tulsan.
While I gave points to the good old U.S. in some areas (namely that our restaurants do not charge $4 for a single glass bottle of Diet Coke), I mostly appreciated how Parisians get around town. They move around the city by foot, by the Metro and by bike, which the city rents out.
There are still cars and plenty of traffic, especially that of motorcycles, but the city felt more eco-friendly. By not driving for one week, I thought I was somehow helping the environment, or at least assisting to remove some of the large carbon footprint I helped cause with the flight to France.
Although Tulsa isn't super eco-friendly, environmentally sound, or whatever other "green" euphemism you'd like to substitute, we are becoming a more environmentally conscious city. In the spirit of supporting and further educating the city and its citizens, an upcoming event promises to make green fashionable, fun and fund-worthy.
On Thursday, April 16, Ihloff Salon and Day Spa plays host to ReFresh Tulsa, an event promoting green organizations and green living in Tulsa. Held at the Tulsa Garden Center, 2435 S. Peoria Ave., from 6pm-10pm, attendees can expect food, fashion, art and education all to support three local environmental causes: Sustainable Tulsa, The Mayor's Green Team and Up With Trees.
This is the second year for ReFresh Tulsa. Tracy Berryhill, director of education and events for Ihloff Salon and Day Spa, said the idea for ReFresh Tulsa began three years ago. The salon has been and continues to be involved in a variety of events supporting local philanthropy, the green cause included. "We are passionate about the environment and our commitment is a part of the very essence of our company," said Marilyn Ihloff, founder and president of Ihloff Salon and Day Spa.
This commitment is due in part to the salon's affiliation with Aveda since 1997. Aveda is a professional hair and skin care product line that largely supports eco-friendly pursuits, from its ingredients to packaging along with its campaigning for earth-friendly causes.
One of the ways Aveda reaches this last goal is through its salons, which participate in an Earth month partnership that gives proceeds to environmentally-friendly causes. Ihloff Salon raised $2,000 in its first year and from there, decided to go above and beyond. The first event, held three years ago, was a success, but it wasn't until two years ago when the December ice storm hit Tulsa that the salon's efforts became more prominent. Last year's event, held at Jewel and sponsored by In The Raw, raised $10,000; and this year's event has expanded even further.
This year's ReFresh Tulsa definitely practices what it preaches; nearly everything involved in the event has strong ties to environmental causes and/or laced with local ties. The silent auction features gifts and services donated by local organizations and the food catered by local food services. There will also be booths from green service groups to help bring about awareness and education on sustainability, green living and other environmental issues, including Up With Trees, The Met, Nightingale Theater and Tulsa Young Professionals, to name a few. Sun City Solar Energy, a company headquartered in Tulsa, will be there to provide information on homes powered by solar energy.
Beyond food and facts, there will be fun. Area artists will be present, creating masterpieces live as the event takes place.
Ziegler's has donated canvases and supplies for some of Tulsa's finest. Berryhill said that last year's artists focused solely on painting, but that any artistic medium could take place during this year's ReFresh Tulsa. Once completed, the pieces will be donated to the night's final auction.
And certainly, no Ihloff event would be complete without something fashion- and hair-related. The Recycled Fashion Show features looks from area boutiques and designers like Dolce Vita, Little Black Dress, Louis and Cluck and Dwelling Spaces. Additionally, in going with the sustainable theme, Ra$pberry Grunt's couture vintage pieces will also be included in the show. There will also be recycled fashion from Ihloff, all of which will be included in the silent auction. The fashion show also gives the salon a chance to do what it does best, hair. The event features a hair show with styling and makeup from the staff.
As noted, this exciting evening has all been planned to raise money for three of Tulsa's environmental organizations. Tulsa has made major leaps in becoming a more eco-conscious city. Marilyn Ihloff agrees, saying, "Tulsa is continuing to build sustainability and make major strides to becoming a more 'green--friendly' city. Sustainable Tulsa, The Mayor's Green Team and Up With Trees are great organizations that are working to make our community a more green and sustainable place to live."
The Mayor's Green Team met last April with the goal to show "how the City of Tulsa and Tulsa residents can work together to help Tulsa become a Sustainable City." That initial meeting also set forth the promise that "in the coming year, the Team will focus their efforts on both Internal (within the City of Tulsa) and External (city, county and state) initiatives that will help to make not only Tulsa but all Oklahoma communities sustainable."
From its Web site, www.cityoftulsa.org/BeGreen, you can discover tips about what you can do to conserve energy and water, stay updated on all the environmental and green living events taking place in the city, and take a look at all of the initiatives that are occurring in support of "ReGreening" Tulsa.
The Mayor's Green Team wants 20,000 trees planted by 2010 and that's just what Up With Trees is all about. Since 1976, this organization has been "dedicated to planting, preserving and promoting Tulsa's urban forest. Up With Trees can boast that "In the 30-plus years since [its foundation], supported by volunteer labor and generous donations, Up With Trees has planted more than 20,000 trees. The organization now maintains more than 450 sites along Tulsa expressways and streets, in parks and along trails, and in many other public locations." You can find out more information about Up With Trees on its Web site, www.upwithtrees.org.
To show your support for these organizations and to have a fun night out, you'll need a ticket, well, a bracelet really. Bracelet tickets for ReFresh Tulsa can be purchased in advance at either Ihloff Salon location, 1876 Utica Square, or 8343 S. Memorial Dr., or at Dwelling Spaces, 119 S. Detroit Ave. There may also be bracelet-tickets left at Up With Trees, 9920 E. 44th Pl., and Little Black Dress, 1325 E. 15th St. Tickets purchased in advance are $10, but they will also be available at the door for $15. To find out more, visit www.ihloffspa.com or you can visit ReFresh Tulsa's Facebook page.
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