By including some of our “green tips” for your wedding day planning you could encourage your guests take responsibility for preserving our environment and also give a little back, in their day to day lives:
- Invitations – deforestation is high on the agenda of Global Warming watchdogs and so it makes sense to minimize the use of paper in all of your wedding planning. There is an increasing number of recycled paper options for invitations, save the date cards, menus and service programs and of course, there is always e-cards! You could also cut down on paper use at your reception by using shells with painted on names as place holders for your dinner guests, instead of paper place names. Just think, 1 ton of recyclable paper can save 17 trees!
- Flowers – try to buy flowers grown in the location of your wedding and support local resources. Ask about pesticide free flowers and the option of organically grown flowers. Consider using flower pots for reception tables that can be given away after the event and offer bridesmaids an alternate to the traditional bouquet ie. Sequined clutch bags, tiny straw baskets embellished with ribbons and shells, or silk flowers.
- Jewellery – so you’ve heard about “blood diamonds” but don’t really know what its all about? Head on over to http://www.kimberelyprocess.com and educate yourself on diamonds cultivated in areas that use the profits to support local warfare. Try to steer clear of jewellers who are not savvy to this. Choose recycled gold and vintage rings and avoid the support of irresponsible mining practices that irreversibly damage the ecosystems around them.
- Eco-friendly edibles at your reception can go a long way towards supporting a food system that is not ecologically harmful. Organically grown veggies and meats that utilize sustainable farming practices might increase the price of your reception dinner, but will also improve the taste of your wedding fare, whilst saving the environment from harmful chemicals. Buy into the idea of Fair Trade Coffee, and support coffee beans that are only produced by farmers paid a fair price for their produce.
- Gifts – give your guests the option of making a donation, in your honour, to an environmental, cultural or social charity that will make a difference to the planet or the world that we live in. See weddinglistgiving.com or goodgifts.com Reception sites that are already dedicated to green causes can benefit significantly from your nuptials. Look around for local parks, botanical gardens, historical homes or museums that can add a great backdrop to your big day.
- Dress – is there such a thing as a “green wedding gown”? Yep, there sure is. With polyester fabrics being petroleum based and generic cotton brands using 5.8lbs of pesticide per acre to grow, ethical brides are making eco-friendly choices on their wedding apparel by opting for Fair Trade conscious gowns made from certified organic cotton, hemp or flax silk. We particularly liked Deborah Lindquists Hemp wedding bustier and flowing skirt and the ‘green bridal’ collection at Faernyns Grove. You can also do your own searches online or use the following directories to help out:
- Transportation – cut down on global emissions by having your wedding close to home, friends and family….if you must travel, organize buses to ferry all of your guests in one vehicle instead of 20. Also, consider earthy modes of transport like bicycles, rickshaw’s, or even walking to the church surrounded by your wedding party. Confetti – nope, throwing rice instead of confetti does not kill birds and it completely eco-friendly along with rose petals and ‘hops in a box’: http://www.farminabox.com/mall/productpage.cfm/FarminaBox/1c
- Clean Up – to truly get into the spirit of Environmental Preservation, then adopt the slogan “recycle reduce reuse” by insisting that your clean up crew recycle bottles, paper and plastics used at your reception and expose of them responsibly. Ask your caterer to package up left over’s and send them to your local YMCA or Salvation Army HQ. Consider donating your reception flowers to nursing homes, or hospitals, or give them to someone who will compost them for future growing.