If there’s one thing certified green event planner Karine Brighten wants folks to know about her industry, it’s that being eco-friendly doesn’t mean being mundane. From the moment she embraced the socially conscious approach to organizing events, Karine hit the ground running with one unique idea after another; today it’s not at all unusual to find her multi-tasking between the equally popular speed dating and fashion show, while also making dreams come true for eco-conscious brides and lining up participants for the annual Berkeley Vegan Earth Day. Thanks to Carmen Lee for the following glimpse into Karine’s life and vision.
In February , Karine Brighten Events became a Certified Bay Area Green Business. Karine’s success is impressive when you consider that she’s relatively new to the SF Bay Area. Karine and her husband were married two summers ago while they both worked as interns in the SF Bay Area. Their wedding photographer was Genevieve Shiffrar, a 2007 Women’s Initiative graduate. Back in her native Canada, Karine worked for Montreal’s largest event planning company. In August 2009, Karine and her husband relocated to the SF Bay Area and while waiting 3 months for her work visa, Karine enrolled in Women’s Initiative training based on Genevieve’s referral. In October, Karine organized Farm Sanctuary’s Walk For Farm Animals fundraiser in San Francisco. In November, while still taking the Women’s Initiative course, Karine started her own business specializing in eco-friendly events that are kind to animals and the planet.
In addition to her high-profile corporate and non-profit fundraiser events, Karine does weddings and other social gatherings. Karine’s work in coordinating the silent auction, sponsors, speakers, performers and volunteers at the Walk For Farm Animals event impressed one bride-to-be so much that she asked Karine to plan her June wedding!
True to her eco-conservation values, Karine puts into practice the permaculture principle of turning problems into solutions. This allows her to keep business costs low so her clients can benefit from affordable, eco-friendly events. For example, instead of taking on debt with a start-up business loan, Karine found ways to minimize both her expenses and her carbon footprint like working out of her home. At the same time, she says she enjoys working from her home, where she cares for her two dogs, and setting her own hours. Since she no longer enjoys Canada’s universal health care benefits, she’s adjusted by taking better care of herself such as eating well on her vegetarian diet while establishing herself as the East Bay’s only vegan event planner.
Karine gives back to the community by volunteering to causes she truly believes in.
For more information about booking a green celebration or business function, go to Karine Brighten Events.