Deeper Into the Earth: More Eco-Friendly Wedding Ideas
by: Michael Kabel
Maybe you’ve seen the articles about holding a green wedding, and gotten the basic ideas about holding a ceremony and reception that are respectful of nature and our planet’s limited resources. The simplest approach comes down to just a few basic techniques: use live floral arrangements that can be moved and replanted somewhere. Buy certified conflict-free diamonds. Recycle your reception leftovers by donating the uneaten portions to local charities.
But what more can be done? The burgeoning worldwide effort to conserve resources has the great advantage that every little bit helps. As an ever-increasing number of couples dispense with the extravagant, money- and resource-guzzling events of the past and shift to a more austere and inventive wedding aesthetic, you might consider joining the movement with the methods described above and going a step further in making a contribution to the future.
If you’re already an environmentalist, “green warrior” or just someone ready to give the total effort to making your wedding as eco-active as possible, consider the tips below as your graduate course in saving and conserving during your wedding event.
A Green Wedding Begins At Home. Rather than contracting professionals to bake your cake or make your wedding dress, consider creating these items yourself in your own home.
Baking your own wedding cake in your home stove expends less energy than the commercial ovens used in professional bakeries, and you can control the ingredients. You can use free-range eggs, whole flour, organic milk and sugar, and other all-natural ingredients, creating a cake free of additives and preservatives. These chemicals are potentially deadly to local ecosystems, as they typically result in toxic runoff into groundwater. Transporting the cake to the reception yourself also prevents the bakery’s delivery truck from consuming fossil fuels and releasing exhaust fumes into the atmosphere.
For your wedding dress or tuxedo, consider wearing something that can be used again, rather than a garment that will just gather dust in the back of a closet. Buy a simple white dress or dark suit, decorating it if you like with a garland or wreath of wildflowers. Because you can wear it again, you’ll also conserve energy and prevent chemical use by sparing a trip to the laundry or dry cleaner.
Of course, you can always ask a friend or relative for help with the cake or dress.
Let There Be Natural Light. Reserving a church or synagogue for the ceremony, then renting a cavernous reception facility, creates a huge need for electricity to power lights and climate control systems. Conserve resources by getting married outdoors or in an area with plentiful natural light (such as an arboretum or other glassed-in enclosure). Getting married in the temperate months of spring, when the days grow longer, allows for maximum lighting time available with a minimum of discomfort. If you’re getting married during warmer months, build a tent to offer shelter to your more heat-sensitive guests, decorating its sides and poles with fresh wildflowers.
Please Don’t Pick The Flowers. You already know the benefits of decorating with reusable flowers. For the wedding finale, have your guests throw plastic rose petals. They won’t stain the floor and can be reused at the reception or at another time in the future. You may also choose to simply employ synthetic flowers throughout your wedding ceremony and reception.
Throwing Rice Is For the Birds. Rather than throwing rice as you depart the church, have your guests throw birdseed. It’s actually safer for people walking around than rice grains and the birds that come along later will like the taste better. If you must throw rice for tradition’s sake, boil it first to make it pliable. By the way, the old idea that rice causes birds to explode has been debunked as nothing more than an urban legend.
Give Guests A Favor That Keeps the Wedding Spirit Going. The entire point of a wedding favor is to give your guests something that evokes a memory of your wedding celebration. Why not make the favor match the theme? Giving unique wedding favors such as seed packets allows them to create a growing memory of your special event. Seed packets are quickly becoming one of the more trendy wedding favors on the market, exactly because of their lovely finished product.
My Wedding Favors presents this article as part of our commitment to maintaining our world’s delicate balance. We proudly carry a wide selection of green and eco-conscious wedding favors, including a designer assortment of the seed packets mentioned above. To learn more about green weddings, and to browse our eco-wedding selection of favors, personalized wedding favors, bridesmaids’ gifts and bridal shower favors, visit us online at www.myweddingfavors.com.