Sunday, October 2, 2011

Eco-Friendly Weddings

Sustainability is a hot topic, and why not in regards to events? Unfortunately, it’s not always easy or economical to go green when you host an event for a group of people, but it can be possible without sacrificing your budget, elegance or sanity.
An obvious start, using recycled paper for your invitations can be a quick solution. There are so many options, and companies like Crane and Co. produce beautiful paper that is 100% biodegradable or organic cotton. Unlike events where Evites might be appropriate, your wedding invites can also cut back on printed sheets or additional envelopes. For a really unique idea, check out Botantical Paper Works for paper embedded with...wait for it...SEEDS!! Guests can plant your invitation in their backyard and it turns into flowers, plants or herbs instead of ending up in a landfill. Seeds can also be a great wedding favor, as a symbol for beginning a new part of your life.

Everyone wants the perfect dress, but maybe your perfect dress can be one that was used by others as well. This might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it’s worth it to check out websites that help recycle dresses which might otherwise go to waste. Some are even bought but never worn with the tags still on them. Try Recycled Bride  or Once Wed and check out what's out there.
If you’re not sure whether to keep your gown, consider donating it to charity or selling it and donating the proceeds. Your bridesmaids can donate their used gowns to charities such as The Glass Slipper Project or Fairy Godmothers Inc., both of which help give underprivileged teens a chance to find a prom dress if they can’t afford it.
Cooking organic or all-natural can be expensive, so maybe consider taking any leftover food from the reception dinner to a local shelter or soup kitchen instead. Just shopping local grocery store or farmer's market (or your caterer doing so) can make a big difference, as well as choosing fruits and veggies that are in season and don’t need to be grown in a greenhouse. Same with flowers, which is cheaper no matter who your florist is!
Go with the "green" theme and look at vintage materials for decorations, or raid your recently married friends' garage to see who might have supplies you can re-purpose. You can also look at outdoor venues or those run by non-profit organizations. Use all-natural makeup/beauty products and register for earth-friendly housewares. Explain to guests what it means to you to be green and why you made certain decisions in your wedding planning, and they will be happy to jump in the green boat with you.
Finally, check out the I Do Foundation to find ways to support charities through your special day! There are a million ways to be mindful of the environment when throwing a bash - I hope these help you get started :)

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