By: Bella B.
The world has been experiencing a welcome wave of green lately. From clothing to food to trash bags, almost anything can be purchased in an eco-friendly manner. For the eco-minded couple, a green wedding is a great way to go. Your wedding and reception are both large events that can have a huge impact on the earth from the fuel used in travel to the waste created on that special day. Here are some ways to green your special day.
Handmade and Plantable. Begin your eco-friendly wedding with invitations and announcements made of biodegradable, seed-embedded paper that can be planted to grow flowers. Seed-embedded paper is a fun, creative, and very green material that can be used for anything from invitations to place cards. When planted, the paper disintegrates and the seeds embedded in it will grow into beautiful flowers. Check out Botanical Paper Works for handmade invitation paper that grows wildflowers.
Go Digital. Send your save-the-date cards and invitations by e-mail, and request RSVPs by the same method, or by phone. Some might think that emailing invitation is in bad taste, but you can still forgo the RSVP response cards and ask your guests to RSVP by email. This way you will be saving paper and money - less cost for the invitation and RSVP cards and the stamps.
Make your Own. Another option is to make your own using recycled paper and soy ink. Both products have a minimal impact on the environment.
Stay Close to Home. You can use almost any location for a eco-friendly wedding. However, eliminating as much travel as possible for your guests is the greenest way to go. Reduce traveling by holding the ceremony and the reception in the same place or close to one another. To complement your eco-friendly theme, you may want to choose a garden, park, or beach and time your wedding during daylight hours to lessen the need for electricity.
If you have an outdoor wedding during warmer months, give each guest a bamboo fan at the ceremony. This is not only a great green favor, but it will keep your guests cool and comfortable.
Reception Menu. At the reception, your food should also be eco-friendly. This may mean doing quite a bit of searching for the right caterer, but it will be well worth it. Select fruits and vegetables that are in season. Request that the majority of the ingredients be purchased locally, and provide organic food. At the end of the event, have leftovers donated to a local shelter.
Wedding Decorations and Favors. An eco-friendly wedding theme can offer a great option for both centerpieces and wedding favors. Place small plants or tree seedling favor trees at the center of each table, and let the guests take them home to plant. You can also incorporate unique Blumebox brand cardboard flower vase! They are made out of cardboard and coated with a varnish that creates the sheen. Each cardboard vase is 100% recyclable as well as the poly bag that goes inside the vase to hold your blooms. Try to reduce your waste as much as possible. Don't decorate with any items that will be thrown away at the end of the day. If you do have disposable decorations, make sure that they are recycled.
Wedding Flowers. For decorations and bouquets, choose organically grown, local flowers that are in season. This will reduce the distance that they need to be shipped, as well as eliminate pesticides and other dangerous chemicals in the growing process. Visit Organic Bouquet for organic flowers, or go to your local farmer's market. Another option is to use dried or silk flowers. A great benefit of these flowers is that you can keep them forever as a special memento from your wedding day.
You can even green your wedding dress! If you are having a garden or beach wedding, consider wearing an organic cotton sundress. For brides who still want all the frills and glory of a more traditional dress, there are also organic silk/hemp blends or purchase a pre-owned wedding dress. This allows you to recycle the resources and materials used to make the dress in the first place and save a good bit of money. Visit your local pre-owned bridal shops. Don't forget that vintage wedding gowns are also very green, as they are an excellent way to reuse.