So, I have been thinking about writing a blog about eco-friendly weddings for a while now, and I thought what better day to write one than Earth Day! An eco-friendly wedding is an event that is planned with the thought to decrease the waste, to up-cycle and re-use, and generally reduce the impact and carbon footprint we create with such a large event.
I was initially inspired about a week ago when I saw a video on facebook about a woman who upcycles your wedding flowers after your wedding is over, distributing them to nonprofit organizations, nursing homes, and hospitals. Her service is not free, but as she states in the video, it is the first charitable thing you can do as a couple. Here is her site:
Marry Me is currently offering seed paper wedding favors - I love these - your guests take your favor home and plant it using the directions provided and have a romantic reminder of your special day.
I am also currently investigating new vendors and products like seed paper favor boxes and other favor ideas that would eliminate your favor waste altogether because I believe if you are going to talk the talk you better walk the walk.
One of my friends gave away mini-cactus (I live in Tucson) for favors at her wedding. They were adorable and the guests loved them. Last weekend I was at a cactus farm and purchased a couple of small cacti (plural for cactus). I thought they would make perfect favors - they were blooming the most adorable little red, orange and yellow flowers. Here is a photo of one:
Succulents planted in small pots are currently very popular. You can work with your a local nursery in advance to obtain large numbers of small plants prior to your wedding. One thing to consider though is having them pre-planted if you are going with personalized containers. I don't think you want to be re-potting hundreds of plants days before your wedding.
Going "eco-chic" (I love that term also) on your wedding day can be accomplished by making just a few green choices or challenging yourself to go all in. Your wedding can be just as beautiful as a conventional wedding and could save you some money in the long run. Here are are a few ideas I came across to get you started:
1. Transportation - having your wedding at the same venue as your reception or nearby reduces pollution by vehicles, the leading producers of air pollution. Use an alternative energy bus or carpool guests to get them to a reception further away.
2. Food & Drinks - consider using locally sourced, organic foods, which have to travel less of a distance, and keeps the money in your local economy. Provide wine and beer from local breweries and a local winery.
3. Consider donating excess food to local organizations that feed the homeless. Ask your caterer or the person providing food if this is an option. Choose a venue that will make it an option.
I did a little searching on the web and found some websites that offer green and/or socially conscious choices for brides & grooms to-be:
1. brilliantearth.com - strives to make jewlery sustainable & ethically sourced.
2. celia-grace - "An exquisitely ethical wedding dress collection that gives back & empowers women around the world through fair trade."
3. repeatroses.com - will distribute your wedding flowers to nonprofit organizations, nursing homes and hospitals.
4. bambeco.com - socially responsible gifts for the bride and groom and/or wedding party. "Every home good we offer is made with reclaimed, recycled, natural, renewable and organic materials to make a sustainable lifestyle accessible and attainable." And for every product they sell they will plant a tree. Also carbon-free delivery.
I hope these ideas will help get you started thinking about making some green choices for your wedding and become an advocate to change the way your guests and your community think about eco-friendly and "eco-chic." Have fun and enjoy the process!
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