Weddings are beautiful and unforgettable celebrations but all the resources that go into orchestrating one can make quite an environmental impact. Fortunately, with your big day approaching there are countless opportunities to make eco-conscious decisions that will not only make your day ‘green’ but even more special. Here are some tips you can use to create a beautiful, environmentally conscious ceremony and reception.
- Use local vendors, including an organic caterer who uses all local ingredients. This will reduce carbon emissions and support your local economy. Green wedding planners are also growing in popularity throughout the country.
- Recycle everything! This includes mailing out wedding invitations printed on recycled paper with soy inks, buying gently used wedding items and a used wedding dress, and exchanging rings made of recycled gold and fair-labor gemstones.
- Cut down on paper and diminish paper waste and costly printing by creating a wedding website that includes everything from directions to an online RSVP.
- Peruse your local farmers markets or organic florist shops for potted plants to add some natural color to your ceremony. When the wedding is over, give these plants away as wedding favors or you can even donate them to a local hospital or retirement home.
- Put a new spin on traditional wedding favors by letting each guest choose an environmental charity you will donate to in their name.
- Share your love in the splendor of a natural setting that highlights just how beautiful our planet is. Imagine having your ceremony during a beautiful day at the park or a spectacular sunset at the beach.
- Rent or buy instead of using disposable dishware and linens. If your organic caterer does not provide this service, this is another small step that you can take to make a huge impact.
- Encourage guests to carpool and have your ceremony and reception at one location to cut down on car emissions.
- Register for a green honeymoon with an ecotourism site like http://www.elevateddestinations.com. Feeling guilty about all of those carbon emissions you will use by flying to your honeymoon? Your guests can offset them by planting a tree in your honor. Just visit http://www.carbonfootprint.com
- Keep a digital wedding album. Most photographers use digital cameras and you can follow the green trend by reducing the amount of prints you buy and keeping some of your special moments on your wedding website.
Not only will you feel great about throwing a huge party with a smaller environmental impact, but hopefully your guests will take the lessons learned from your wedding and implement them elsewhere. Let’s do our part for eco-conscious living!