Thursday, May 1, 2008

Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Green?



It has become hip to become green or concerned about our environment. This fact of keeping an eye on the environment has been shown to me since I was little, but then it was called pollution. Does anyone but me remember the Native American on the horse looking over the freeway at all the trash and smog then the one tear ran down his face because what was going on with nature or who remembers Woodsy the Owl ? "Whoo, Whoo, don't polloute." Even though I have not been the best at doing my part with recycling, partly because I was either too lazy to take my recycling to the local recycling center or too cheap to pay for curbside service. I have recently started making a few changes in my home to do my part for the environment, such as purchasing recyclable shopping bags to take to the grocery store, purchasing the old standard for cleaning products like ammonia and bleach instead of purchasing more toxic cleaning products and using reusable containers for my lunch instead of using foil or plastic wrap. I recently attended the Columbus Bridal Consultants monthly meeting (to learn more for my side business) and the topic was Eco-friendly weddings. I thought that the topic was so interesting that I wanted more information to see what I could use for my wedding.

First off..in looking at information for an Eco-friendly wedding, these weddings are typically 20% higher that other weddings, but more and more companies are offering products in this area and prices are starting to drop. Below I have found some resources that may be helpful if you trying to go green for your wedding.

Invitations

There are many paper companies offering either totally recycled papers or partical recycled papers. If you do not want to go the recycled paper route and still do not want your guest throw their invitations in the trash, you have them tear them up and throw them in their yard. There are papers that are being offered that have seeds in them that you can shred and place in the ground that will eventually bloom in a beautiful floral display.

Favors

Why do we spend money on favors? I know because they are fun, cute and if you do not have them at your wedding you can be considered cheap. Today many Eco-friendly brides are opting to not have wedding favors, but are using the money that they would have on favors on making a donation to her favorite charity in their guest names instead. Other Eco-friendly wedding items are edible items, such as chocolates or other candies. Check out the companies below for more ideas.

Flowers

We all have our own ideas for what type of floral designs for our wedding. I know that I am a hydrangea type of girl myself. If you want to be green about your floral design and save some money buy and use local and seasonal flowers. Seasonal flowers are more plentifully than flowers that are not. Buying locally helps local farmers. Check with your florist on what is in season during your wedding.

Another way to be Eco-friendly is to find other alternatives, such as candles, for bouquets or table decor.

Reception

Alot of times food goes to waste at receptions, due to guest RSVP and then not showing up, getting to drunk to eat the cake or the no one likes the sushi that you selected for the reception. Some ways that you can not waste food is to check a locate non-profit in your area, such as Second Serving, who comes to get food prepared by a cater and gives it to the homeless. Some of these agencies are disappearing due to strict health laws in certain cities.

Another way that you can do some environmental good is to purchases local or organic foods to be severed for the meal. Some stores such as Trader Joe's and Whole Foods carry foods and even wines that are all organic.

Also, I know it is expensive, you can use washable linens,plates and silverware instead of plastic. If you can not afford that you can have your guest scrap their plastic plates and place the trash in one container and the plastic plates and cups, not forks, knives or spoons, in another. This bag with all the plastic in it can be taken to a recycling center.

Transportation

Cars pollute our environment with emissions daily. One of the ways to be green and to cut down some of that pollution is to have your wedding and reception all in one place so that your guest do not have to travel. Another way to do this to have your guest to travel to one location and to have buses, trolleys or ask them to car pool to the reception site.

Attire

There are many sites that offer green or Eco-friendly wedding attire. These companies offer Eco-friendly materials or Eco-friendly in the way that they process the fabric. Here are a few companies:

I know many of us, myself included, have a picture of what we want our dress to look like. To save some money and recycle clothing, there are stores that sell or rent gently used or donated wedding dresses. Also, when you are done with your dress, I know this will be hard, you can donate your dress to many non-profit organizations that have sells that the profits benefit breast cancer research, children's programming and other social causes. Check out Get Married, to find out more information about agencies in your area.

So that you bridesmaids do not feel left out in keeping that gorgous dress that you picked out for them, they can donate their dress and even their shoes to locate charities like The Fairy Godmother, that help give prom dresses and accessories to young ladies that are unable to obtain the attair for their prom. Put those dresses to use.

Check out resale shops, consignment shops or thrifts stores (all my favorite) for jewelry for your big day. Utilizing these places you can reuse something that was already used, instead of purchasing something new. Many of these places donate to charity or support local social programs.

Lastly, on attire is dry cleaning. Instead of having your attire dry cleaned the regular way you can have it wet cleaned. You would have to request this service for a dry cleaner. Please check before using this option with your bridal shop and with dry cleaner if this method is right for your fabric. Wet cleaning use alot less energy and does not use harsh chemicals.

For my wedding, I am looking at the amount of paper that I going to use in the invitations, having the guest scrap their plates and place the plastic in another bag and ordering just enough food so that there is not alot of waste.

We can all do little things, even if it is as simple as serving organic wine at your reception, that will help us all in the future. Heck, it is just one day (so I keep telling myself), but our world is here for a lifetime.

1 comment:

JewishGal said...

The favors thing is really irritating to me. Why would people think you're being cheap by not giving them stupid crap they're going to throw away? We aren't having favors at our wedding on purpose (however there are a lot of things people can take home, like religious things that will be part of the ceremony/meal, but they are things people will use again in religious contexts and not just throw away after a day). I recently went to a wedding that had no favors and I didn't even notice until I got home and realized I didn't have a little bottle of bubbles or something - I was too busy having fun, dancing, eating, drinking, etc. ha!