The new trend in weddings is fortunately just as good for the environment as it is for the bride and groom! There are many ideas to make your wedding day beautiful and memorable, be socially aware, and also take care of the world we live in. The trend of green weddings can help reduce waste in landfills, reduce carbon monoxide output, and can even save you some green of your own!
Some great ideas for planning your green wedding:
In choosing your wedding and reception sites, consider having both in the same venue, or close to each other to cut down on driving and also transportation costs. Donate back to your community by using a local non-profit organization such as a museum, library, or town garden.
When searching for a caterer, ask questions about where their food comes from. Local, in-season, and organic foods will be fresh and delicious. Ask about Fair Trade certification. Donating or composting leftovers is a bonus. Using cloth napkins, tablecloths, china, glasses, and silverware will not only look beautiful and elegant, but will save thousands of years worth of biodegrading plastics. A friend of mine told me of a green wedding she attended where 75 guests produced only one bag of trash!!
What is Fair Trade? Take for instance a major US coffee retailer.
Their Fair Trade certification provides farmers a fair price for their coffee beans with a guaranteed minimum, which means they can invest in their crops, their communities, and their future. Fair Trade also creates some of the best coffee in the world, because farmers can afford to follow time-honored traditions that produce the finest beans.
Use natural products for decorations and favors. Be creative when thinking about your choices. Recycle junk mail for place cards, or purchase your flowers from a local greenhouse for fresh and even organic flowers free from pesticides. You can even grow your own flowers! Tree seedlings are a great favor to give back to the environment. Do not release butterflies, which can disrupt wild butterflies’ migration and spread disease or parasites, according to the North American Butterfly Association.
Natural fibers for your wedding dress and the entire wedding party is a great choice. You can reuse a vintage dress from a family member or friend. If buying new, hemp is a favorable material because it can be grown without pesticides and returns most of its nutrients to the soil. Cotton uses an average of approx. 5.8 lbs. of pesticides per acre.
Be eco-friendly from the beginning and be sure that your wedding invitations are printed on recycled or eco-friendly paper. Forgo a separation card – If all of your guests are also invited to the reception, the name and location of the reception can go on the invitation. Use a reply postcard instead of a card and envelope. Forget the tissue paper – which was once used to absorb slow-drying ink. You can even recycle a special paper you may already have.
When thinking about gifts for your registry and for your wedding party, choosing handmade fair trade gifts from the United States will support our local economy. Have your guests make a charitable donation in your names.
Take the time to be with friends and family. Don’t miss the opportunity to enjoy those close to you. Make your wedding simple and memorable. Planning a green wedding is a great way to help spread the word to reduce, reuse and recycle.