Earth Day was just a few weeks back, and now with spring flowers and warm weather around us everyone is dusting off the winter cobwebs and heading outdoors. This time of year you appreciate what Mother Nature has to offer us, and the responsibility we all have to leave as little trace on the earth as we can. Being eco-conscious in our day-to-day lives can have a lasting effect on the environment, but it doesn’t have to stop there. Have you thought about how much “stuff” goes into your wedding? What about having a Green Wedding?
Here are some ways you can be earth-friendly in your wedding planning:
Go organic – Pesticides and chemicals have a harsh effect on the environment. Support natural farmers by choosing menu items made with organic foods. There are even organic beverages available, so stock the bar with the “clean” items that taste good and are better for you. And when it comes to the attire of your bridal party, there are organic cotton options available to you, as well.
Go recycled – Any bride can tell you that a lot of paper is used in a wedding. Invitations come with multiple pieces and envelopes. There are menu cards, place cards, and table numbers to display. And don’t forget all of those thank you cards! Look for stationery that is printed on recycled paper. Don’t be fooled by the 10% recycled options on out; Make sure you go for the highest percentage of recycled paper possible.
Go naturally – Favors are a great way to add a very earth-friendly spin on your party. Why not give tree seedlings to your guests so they can plant a tree in their yard? Or instead give a donation to an eco-conscious organization in the guests’ names? Leave that lasting impression with them that you care about them – and Mother Nature.
Go locally – Do you know what kind of an imprint transportation leaves on the environment? Shipping those flowers from South America, ordering the guest book and favors from the west coast, and bringing in wines from across the globe – transporting these items creates pollution that could be avoided if you stay local. This area has so many artist communities and eco-friendly vendors. Seek out local ingredients for your menu, locally grown flowers for your centerpieces, and locally designed items for your stationery and favors. Not only is this environmentally friendly, but it also helps the local economy by giving business to vendors in your own backyard.
Go smart – Ask your vendors questions. Learn about where the meat and vegetables for your entrees is coming from. Ask your florist what is done with all those glass vases when you’re done with them. Talk to your boutique about the chemicals used on the fabric of your bridesmaids dresses. The more you talk about it the more aware you become. And, eventually, the more aware all of us become.
Planning a Green Wedding doesn’t mean boring or hippie or unconventional. It just means that you are making choices that fit in line with what you want and what is best for the environment. And like everything else you put into your special day – have fun with it! 🙂
Last year I had a couple who planned a Green Wedding. Their favors were evergreen tree seedlings, and the combined their place card with their favor to save on paper. They made their floral arrangements themselves using peonies from a family member’s garden. It was Green, personal, and beautiful.
(Photos by Niki Rossi)