The Green Aisle

Planet-conscious couples are choosing beautiful, unique and earth friendly weddings.  A green or “greenish” wedding considers the environmental impact created by their celebration and reflects a proactive stance in conserving and preserving our natural resources.  To calculate the carbon footprint left by your own wedding, go online to portovert.com or terrapass.com.  A few simple choices can make your own wedding a little greener, and life sustaining, for all.

 

Smaller weddings inlcude only those people closest to you and stretch your wedding dollars to include environmentally friendly options.  Going green isn’t less expensive, but by minimizing the guest list you enhance your choices of natural, organic, reusable, recyclable, or primary consumable goods.

 

Green devotee brides can choose from hemp wedding dresses at threadheadcreations.com and eco-committed grooms can wear organic cotton dress shirts from Boll Organic LLC, found at bollorganic.com.   Borrowing everything from your gown to jewelry saves both financially and environmentally.

 

Choose a location that downplays the effects of man-made products and energy.  Arizona abounds with breathtaking natural venues requiring little or no added decor, from the red rocks of Sedona to desert gardens and mountain preserves.  An outdoor event uses less electricity by taking advantage of natural lighting then easing into the ambiance of candlelight.  Historical buildings, retrofitted for modern use, and reusable or dual-purpose spaces, such as art galleries, lend themselves to a green theme.  Use clean-burning outdoor propane heaters instead of electric or wood-burning fires cuts energy and pollution.

 

Bypassing paper invitations in favor of emailed invitations may be too much for some brides, but recyclable and organic papers are available locally and online at sites such as jampaper.com.   Email Save-the-Date cards and host an online wedding website with itinerary, maps, and related information saves additional postage, printing, paper and a tumble of inserts to stuff.  Allowing for online responses rather than mailed responses is not only eco-friendly but may result in quicker responses.

 

Beautify your event with locally grown flowers and botanicals plus using seasonal blooms to sustain the local economy and eliminate your portion of jet fuel exhaust from flowers being flown-in.  Dress up any venue with potted trees that can be locally donated for planting or give plant friendly favors to guests and ask that they plant it in your honor.  For favor ideas, see plantamemory.com.  

 

Tabletop décor can use natural resources to create unique and lovely interest.  Use reusable cloth linens and napkins to eliminate paper waste. Names penned on river rock, artistically cut palm bark, or leaves can save paper and signify seating.  Choose a poster instead of individual escort cards to indicate seat assignments. 

 

Edible centerpieces are deliciously interesting and happily consumed by guests.  Add ambient low lighting using slower burning earth-friendly soy-based candles found in many local candle shops. 

 

Use reusable rentals or compostable disposables for tableware.  Ask your caterer to prepare appetizers, salads and soups in edible containers such as cucumber cups, food-formed spoons, hollowed bread, pumpkin, tomato, tortilla or cabbage bowls.  Edible containers eliminate the use of wash water and detergents.  What isn’t eaten can be composted.    Ask your caterer to sort trash by recyclable and compostable items and arrange for delivery to the appropriate waste reuse facilities.

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