It seems like no matter where you go, you hear something about “going green” or being “eco-friendly.” This environmentally conscious mindset is a growing part of society, and for good reason. The earth is a limited resource, so we should do our part to take care of it. There is no reason your wedding should have to contend with your environmental conscience. With more and more industries leaning towards sustainable practices, it’s easy to have an environmentally friendly wedding.
From the beginning of your engagement until after the thank you notes have been sent, almost every aspect of your wedding planning can be eco-friendly. Over fifty jewelry retailers have signed the Golden Rules agreement, promising to sell only gold from mines that are actively supporting human rights, labor, and environmental concerns. In addition, it is also possible to buy conflict-free diamonds, bought only from areas not in conflict because of the gems. Buying only “clean” gold and conflict-free diamonds ensures that you’re only supporting environmentally sustainable practices.
When choosing a venue, take into consideration that many “typical” places use vast amounts of electricity. Think about getting married outside, on a farm or in a botanical garden. If a traditional venue is a must, look for one that uses recycled energy-efficient appliances and biodegradable products. Having your ceremony and reception in one place cuts back the fuel emissions caused by your guests having to drive from one place to another.
When sending your invitations, use only 100% recycled paper or consider using paper that has wildflower seeds mixed in. If you haven’t seen this, it looks just like normal paper, but can be planted in a garden or flower bed. These green papers can also be used for your save-the-dates and thank-you notes.
Flowers are one thing that seems eco-friendly already, but in fact they aren’t! Most flowers sold commercially are sprayed with harmful pesticides and fertilizers that pollute the groundwater. Instead, consider leaving blooms out altogether, or only use locally-grown, in-season flowers. If you’re dying to have flowers as centerpieces, consider potted plants that can be replanted later.
The food can easily be just as green as you are. With a few calls to caterers, it’s not too hard to find one that will serve only locally-grown organic dishes. Consider having an entirely vegan meal, if this suits your tastes.
Your decorations can be eco-friendly as well. The best policy is to only use things that will be used again, so think about what would make good favors to send with guests, or things that you could easily reuse in your home. Consider using bamboo as much as possible, since this is an extremely renewable resource.
These are just a few of the ways in which your wedding can be greener, even if your wedding colors are black and white. Your wedding day is special and should be memorable, but try to make it memorable in the minds of you and your guests, not in landfills.