Thursday, July 5, 2018

Be Seen and Be Green

5 ideas for planning an eco-friendly event


1. Make recycling super accessible

Generally, people really do want to recycle. But how to do it isn't obvious (especially at an event), the most common response it to give up and toss it in the trash. It’s important to make it a priority, and people get overwhelmed easily. Make signs to mark recycling areas clearly, and make sure the staff knows the drill, too.
Photo: Deer Pearl Flowers

2. Reduce your paper trail

Whether you go digital or consciously print, include a message in your invitations about your zero waste goals. This helps hold your guests partially responsible, and a united front is always best, right?


3. Serve local food

Photo: The Knot


4. Seek out green venues

Whether it’s a space for the event itself or the hotels you recommend to your guests, you may find many green options just by searching. Look for venues that are sustainably built and feature low-energy lighting, energy efficient windows, solar panels and certified organic bedding and towels.


5. Use biodegradable or reusable decor 

There are lots of ways to go here – tablecloths, mason jars, bamboo plates and cutlery, even goodie bags and boxes. Both Green Party Goods and Eco Party Time are great resources for recyclable materials. Another way to be eco-friendly with your decor is to use the natural light and supplement with soy based candles. LEDs are an energy efficient option if natural light isn’t going to do it. 
Finally, be wary of single-use water bottles or individually wrapped items - they easily end up in the trash - which will eventually end up in a landfill. Instead of water bottles, for example, glasses and water pitchers are an easy option that reduces waste and elevates the experience subtly.

Unlike black tie, eco-friendly events shouldn’t really be optional. With the knowledge and resources we now have, celebrations and gatherings are better if they can be green. And you might be surprised how easy it can be. Here are five ideas for making your next event one that toasts the environment along with your special guests.


As much as we love the tradition of a printed paper invitation, using online communications will definitely save some trees. Websites like Paperless Post and Evite all have really unique, elegant digital invitation options that also help organize RSVPs. Or, use plantable or seed paper for your invitations. These materials can actually give back to the environment (and also give guests a cool takeaway). 



It's always best to choose local and organic. Using local growers benefits the community not just by supporting the famers and markets, and chances are, you'll taste the difference, too. Plus, you'll be reducing the wasteful transport footprint from food and supplies that would have to be shipped. Here’s a fun idea: include locally grown herbs in pots as a table favor, encouraging guests to garnish their own food.



Friday, May 4, 2018

Event Pin-spiration!


Oh, it’s our very favorite time of year. Spring (which is always ridiculously late to arrive on Cape Cod) means the buds get to blooming, the grill gets stoked and the windows get opened. And… all of the season’s events are taking shape!

If you need a first-rate portable toilet for your event, we’re your people. But if you need some inspiration for the other aspects of your shindig – food, cocktails, invites, favors, colors – please join us on this little stroll down Pinterest lane. Creative ideas abound!


Take the Cake (Really)

If you’re looking for a nontraditional wedding cake, there are many directions in which you can go. Cake pops, cupcakes, even a tower of donuts… all fair game. But you know what’s even more awesome (especially if you’re still drinking red wine)? A “cheesecake”! Designed to look like a wedding cake, each tier is a wheel of cheese - both beautiful and delicious graced with fruits, nuts and other cheese-worthy accompaniments.

Photo: Bridal Musings

Color Crush

Behr paint has chosen "In the Moment" as their 2018 color of the year, how perfect is that for a wedding or special event? This silvery blue-green shade is very on trend, not just in home interiors, but on the runway and in nature! This “Earthy and Elegant” palette from Hey Wedding Lady seems to be quite in the moment, wouldn’t you say?

Photo: Hey Wedding Lady


Take a Nod from Nature

There are so many creative ways to approach this, it’s hard to choose just one picture to speak the thousand words. But this idea for place cards from La Crema winery wins. It’s so simple: just write guests names on leaves with a metallic pen.





Mini Meals

We love this for so many reasons. In addition to shaking up the food options for your guests, little bites like these are memorable, delicious and super fun. Snacks are the best.

Photo credit: Pizzazzerie


Multi-Tasking Menu 

One of those ideas that makes you say: “Why didn’t I think of that?”  An event menu printed on a bread bag A) gives your guests a treat to take home (or snack on before the meal comes, B) saves on getting fancy printed paper menus that just get thrown away anyway, and C) provides a perfect photo op.

Photo from Martha Stewart Weddings

Fan-tastic

Perfect for outdoor or summer events, this event program works double duty. It makes the cost of getting programs printed worth it, and keeps your guests cool, too.

Downloadable template from Swell and Grand



Poptails!

Because who wouldn’t want to put a popsicle in their glass of bubbly? In addition to being super cute, this is a creative way to make a kids’ snack into an "adults only” treat.  The French 75 "poptails" shown are especially awesome.

Photo: Pinterest


Food Favors

Send your guests home with a sentiment AND a snack! Whether it gets devoted on the ride home or becomes a sweet or savory reminder of your event, all you need is love. And a donut.

Photo from Something Turquoise




Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Simple Style: 5 Women Who Nailed it

Sometimes it's what you don't flaunt that makes the most lasting impression.

We are in the event business, specifically the portable restroom business. But what may not surprise you is that we don't really love talking about toilets. They are universally required, but more of a fact of life rather than a topic for your next dinner party.

But when you're planning an event, bathrooms – portable ones, especially – are a make-or-break kind of deal. Definitely a must-have, but not meant to be your event’s show stopper. They shouldn't draw attention, rather, leave you with a feeling of: “Gee, that was a nice restroom. Polished, but not fussy. Classy."

At Eliza J, we like to call this understated elegance. I may be in the porta potty business, but the women known for their classic, simple style are actually my inspiration. Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly, Coco Chanel, Greta Garbo, Jackie O…these ladies all had perfect polish, and their timeless looks created a lasting impression that was anything but over the top.

audrey hepburn
Classic Hepburn.
jackie o
Even relaxing, Jackie always looked great.
Before I make these women roll over in their graves, I want to be clear that I am not comparing five of the most remarkable style icons to toilets – even really nice ones like ours! But what is it that makes Audrey, Grace, Coco, Greta and Jackie so memorable? For Audrey, her pixie hair cut, signature cropped pants and ballet flats were casual, but she always looked 100% put together. Princess or not, Grace knew how to make a statement with a simple strand of pearls, without feeling the need to over-accessorize. Coco can be credited with both the women's suit (collarless jacket and shirt) and the little black dress. Greta had a slightly androgynous look that appealed to both sexes, yet she never lost her femininity. And Jackie. Whether she wore a Lilly Pulitzer shift dress as the First Lady, or a scarf and oversized shades as Mrs. Onassis, she always had a presence.


So, how do these style icons inspire me to deliver great portable restrooms? It’s simple. ElizaJ® portable restrooms are high quality, pristinely clean and attractive. They have everything you need – without the overpriced add-ons you don't need. All of our units are completely self contained, with fresh water flush and sinks, and solar, motion activated or electric lighting. Our Powder Room Comfort® Series Trailers also feature separate restrooms for men and women, no-hand touch sinks and flush, air conditioning – even a plug and play set up for music. Just the bells and whistles that matter… no gimmicks, no flaunting.


Need a clean, attractive and elegantly understated portable restroom for your event?
Contact us today to get a quote.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Elegant or Overdone?


Like many companies, we strive to provide quality products and first-rate customer service. But there's a special nuance to what we do at ElizaJ. Sure, we rent porta potties, but really, we're in the event business. For us, that means providing a service that is so seamless, guests are thrilled – yet perhaps they can't quite put their finger on why.  In other words, we provide "understated elegance."

What is undertstated elegance, you say? To us, it's that sense that all is right - in a subtle sort of way.  We like to say it with pictures. Here are some of our favorites.... can you guess which is the ElizaJ style?

THIS?
OR THIS?
THIS?
OR THIS?
THIS?
OR THIS?
THIS?

OR THIS?

You get the idea... we believe in understated elegance.

ElizaJ portable restrooms are ultra clean (we hope that goes without saying). They are attractive. They are stocked with all the essentials, but not overloaded with the pricey items you don't need.

After many years in the event planning side of the business, the inspiration for ElizaJ was simple. Ask any woman if she's ever used a porta potty in a dress, and the reaction is usually pretty grim. But ask her if she's ever used an ElizaJ® portable restroom in a dress, and she'll give you rave reviews.


Photo credits, clockwise from top left: Style Motivation, Pinterest, Blue Kitchen, Buffalo Spree, Mary L Pink and Green, One Hally U, Cake Picture Gallery, Fondant Cake Images

Monday, July 27, 2015

Porta Potty Etiquette

Eight Tips for Toilet Teamwork

Portapotty etiquette: IS there such a thing? You bet! It might seem like etiquette would be the last thing to consider in a portable restroom, but no matter where you go, common bathroom courtesies are expected and appreciated. 

At ElizaJ, we guarantee clean (and great looking!) portable restrooms for your outdoor event. But it takes a village... to ensure the best experience possible for all involved, here are my suggestions for proper portapotty protocol:

1. Wait your turn. At some point during the event, there’s bound to be a line for the bathroom. But no matter what, cutting is never cool. Sorry, first come, first served.


2. Don't save spots. This is an extension of the "waiting your turn" rule. Allowing your friends to join you in line is bound to upset anyone with a full bladder.


3. Get down to business. Be considerate of others who may be waiting – this isn't the best time for a full makeup redo or send a text message in private (see #4). 


4. Leave your phone behind. This might seem obvious, but these days we seem to be connected to our phones - even "in there." Not only does this seem like overdoing it on the multitasking, but accidentally dropping it in the flush is a sure way to have to shell out the dough for a new iPhone 6.


5. Let us know you're in there. Have you ever walked into a porta potty (or airplane bathroom) that displayed the “vacant” sign, only to walk in on someone? Keep your private business private, by making sure to lock the door upon entering.

6. Relax. Like taxi cabs, clothing stores, restaurants and libraries, porta potties are just another example of something we share with others. If you shake hands with people without first using hand sanitizer, you can open the door to a portable bathroom, too. But please do wash your hands on your way out. :-)


7. Clean up after yourself. Just like your mother taught you, leaving a place a little cleaner that you found it is a sign of great manners. Make sure the toilet paper gets flushed, and leave the seat down and free of any surprise "sprinkles" for the next guest.

8. Hold the door. When you have completed your mission, hold the door for the next person in line. This lets them know that the toilet is free to use. And if you've been a good doobie as explained in #7, they'll be walking into a nice, clean one.


So that's it - some common courtesies to keep in mind for your next portable toilet experience! To inquire about renting a high quality, clean and attractive portable restroom for your event, please contact me at ekendall@elizaj.com.

Best, 
Liza


Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Understated Elegance

The late Lilly Pullitzer. Picture credit: PA Photo


Coco Chanel. Audrey Hepburn. Lilly Pulitzer. These late great women all had their own individual appeal, but there is one thing they all had in common: understated elegance. In other words, graceful yet refined; tasteful yet timeless.

You might wonder why your local portable restroom maven is blogging about icons of fashion and film. Well, it just so happens that understated elegance is my business, too. 

Toilets don't have a lot of built in style or beauty. Unfortunately, their "Je ne sais quoi" is often "Je ne sais quoi... that smell is." So we potty peddlers have some pretty big sterotypes to overcome. My background is in event planning, so we always knew we would be a step above the garden variety "construction site" portapotties. When I talk about my inspiration for ElizaJ, all I have to do is ask a woman if she's ever used a porta potty in a dress... the rest is self-explanatory. My signature on a unit guarantees it's wince-free.

But wince-free isn't all. It may seem like a lofty goal, but when you enter one of my portable restrooms, I hope to evoke the same type of emotions you would have watching a classic Hepburn movie – or seeing Jackie Kennedy rocking a colorful yet simple Pullitzer shift dress. I want you to feel comfortable and confident, never distracted or put off.

ElizaJ® portable restrooms are high quality, clean and attractive.  They have everything you need – without the overpriced add-ons you don't need. All of our units are clean, pristine and completely self contained, with fresh water flush and sinks, and solar, motion activated or electric lighting. Our Powder Room Comfort® Series Trailers also feature separate restrooms for men and women, no-hand touch sinks and flush, air conditioning – even a plug and play set up for music.

But perhaps pictures say it best.  Some just wont do. Some are over the top. Some are just right.

Not for MY wedding!
Is the event itself in the bathroom?
Understated elegance...
...inside and out.

Ms. Chanel once said: "Simplicity is the keynote of all true elegance."  We think so, too.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Your Portapotty Pro: Make Sure Their Reputation Isn't in the Toilet

And... we're back. Earlier this month, we began talking about some of the questions you should ask when renting portable restrooms. You might think portapotties are a dime a dozen, but there is actually a very large discrepancy between elegantly understated, run of the mill, and just plain awful.

Last time, we explored the question: "Do I Need a Portable Restroom Attendant at My Event?" (The short answer is no, as long as you're dealing with a respected, professional company). This week, we're talking about the second important question to ask a portable restroom company: What is your reputation in the industry?

Reputation is a big deal. This is not your own carefully-crafted marketing speak, it's what others have to say about you. Sure, every once in a while someone with an axe to grind might blurt out a negative remark regarding one of their collegues – especially if they feel threatened by the competition. But by and large, a professionals' rep among their peers is a pretty good indicator of what you'll get if you hire them.

Our industry is much broader than a circle of potty pros. We fit within the event industry as a whole – on par with caterers, event planners, tent rental companies, DJs, florists, photographers and more. So we really take stock in what these other professionals have to say about us. We all work together to put on great events, so it only makes sense that each one of us would only refer and speak highly of the companies we know we can count on. It doesn't matter what kind of event it is, pros want to work with other pros. They want everything to run smoothly. 

elizaj portable restrooms wedding tent
ElizaJ comes to the table with 40+ years combined experience in the event community, and our background covers way more than portapotty pickup and delivery. We've planned fundraisers, corporate outings, private functions and weddings. We were also the leading local entertainment agency for many years booking bands, DJs and magic shows. In fact, for one of our high profile gigs back in the late 90s, we booked the DJ for Rory Kennedy and Mark Bailey's rehearsal dinner at the Kennedy Compound in Hyannis Port, and a magician for the children the day after the wedding. The DJ was actually still there when John Jr. and the Bessettes were reported missing, and we recieved a call then next morning from the Kennedy compound informing us of the tragedy and the cancellation of the magician. It is still a very sad memory, forever locked in my mind.

But the point here is that a good reputation is made and earned. You should not assume it's a given – it takes time, experience and proven professionalism.  We look at portable restroom rentals as one piece of a much bigger puzzle, so it's imperative that we work with every other vendor to do a great job and above all, keep the customer happy. It's a winning combination.

Until next time, 
Liza

p.s. Stay tuned in the coming weeks to get the skinny on event industry experience, and why it matters when it comes to hiring a portable restroom professional.