How to reduce the bridal carbon footprint
By Kai Ma
July 7, 2011
Eco-consciousness is no longer a mere trend for the hippies at heart. Rather, its a philosophy and value system thats trickling into mainstream culture in surprising ways. From cloth grocery bags being sold at fashionable boutiques, to the use of local, organic ingredients by renowned chefs, examples of our greener culture run the eco-spectrum. So it shouldnt surprise you that couples, too, are looking for interesting ways to reduce the bridal carbon footprint.
Over the past few years, wedding planners have noticed an increase in eco-conscious couples, and more planners and companies are catering to this growing shift. Even the recent nuptials of Prince William and Kate Middleton were noted for its green initiative; the royal couple used locally sourced items and asked guests to donate to charities. Even though it may be impossible to go completely green, couples are more aware of just how easy some of the change is, and how those changes, even the small ones, can make a huge impact.
Any type of wedding, from the rustic backyard ceremony to the high-cost ballroom extravaganza, can incorporate an environmental philosophy. Also, eco-conscious options do not have to compromise on comfort or quality. In fact, small eco-touchesfrom biodegradable wedding favors to an organic menuwill be noticed and appreciated by your guests. Eco-conscious wedding choices can also provide personalization opportunities for the progressive and well-informed couple. Here are some ideas to consider
Location, Location, Location
Have your ceremony and reception at the same place. It cuts down on traveling and will reduce the stress of having to shuffle guests to a different venue. Not having to include additional directions in your invite will save money and paper.
The New Invitation
Speaking of paper, cutting down on hard copy invites can be one of the easiest ways to green your wedding. Tech savvy couples are creating their own invitations to be emailed to guests. There are some exceptional programs available that allow for some amazingly creative invites. Its also a great way to curb costs.
Find restaurants and caterers that source local ingredients. This will support the local farmers and ensure the freshest quality of products. If possible, choose a local and organic menu (including alcohol and beverages). However, it should be noted that this may cost more.
Do Earth a Favor
Instead of tacky wedding favors that end up in landfills, consider more meaningful gifts. One example is a packet of seeds packaged within biodegradable paper that your guests can easily plant; the paper options are lovely and can be printed with a special note. As your love grows, so do the plants. Another option is informing your guest that instead of favors, you have donated money to a specific charity in his or her name. Provide a card detailing the charity.
Check with your florist to better understand what local seasonal flowers are available. Instead of cut flowers for the centerpieces, use potted flowers or herbs. Your guests will be able to cherish these long after your nuptials.
Love Your Lighting
Consider the use of natural light if you plan a wedding in the morning or afternoon. For an evening reception, use candles and LED light bulbs, which often exude a softer, gentler light.
Purchase only digital proofs. Avoid using disposable cameras and ask friends with digital cameras to share photographs on community picture sharing sites like Flickr or Snapfish.