Tip of the Day #30: Go Green
On Tuesday evening I attended the ISES Sustainability Summit held at the Rubin Museum of Art in Manhattan. I was excited to have an opportunity to brush up on “green” practices and learn about sustainable events in the marketplace. Although reducing, reusing and recycling probably aren’t the three “R’s” on brides’ minds, I think it’s important that all consumers are conscious of their carbon footprints and actively trying to become more green. Based on the amateur shot I captured of the event, it is clear that going green is still a hot topic for many people!
I won’t preach in this post because I am sometimes guilty of wasteful practices but always try to do my part by recycling, turning off lights, and eating local produce. Weddings in particular can be quite a drain on resources (and money!) There are countless wedding vendors who have gone green and started producing sustainable products and working to conserve resources. Enjoy some of my tips on how to host a greener wedding without having to shell out more “green.”
Green Wedding Dresses: Brides can shop for vintage wedding gowns or ask friends and family members if they have wedding dresses that they would like to reuse. If you’re looking for companies that produce dresses with sustainable fabrics, dresses are now being produced in hemp blends, fairly traded silk, soy knit, organic cotton, organic linen and bamboo blends. Dresses made out of sustainable fibers are produced without the pesticides found in conventional cotton or the petroleum used in synthetic textiles like nylon and polyester.
Eco-Friendly Invitations and Printed Materials: There are tons of amazing invitation designers that have created eco-friendly lines. The invites and paper goods are made from recycled paper or an alternative fiber such as hemp or bamboo. Some invitations contain seeds and can be planted into a tree. While preparing invitations, try to consolidate inserts, minimize mailings, or seek out paper-free invitations on websites like Paperless Post.
Organic Catering: While choosing a caterer, ask about whether or not they use local produce and if they buy organic ingredients and produce. Seasonal ingredients are fantastic to incorporate as well. The fresher, the better!
Organic Flowers: Organic flowers should meet USDA Organic standards and vendors should verify that flowers have the VeriFlora Certified Sustainably Grown label. These flowers have been produced in an environmentally and socially responsible manner and meet the highest standards for freshness and quality. Fair Trade Certified flowers means that the production of the flowers uses sustainable farming methods and that producers are paid a fair price that covers the cost of sustainable production and living.
Transportation: If possible, consolidate transportation and use eco-friendly transportation methods for your guests. There are companies that have green shuttles and limos (think hybrid, biodiesel fueled vehicles).
Venue: Choose ceremony and reception venues that are close in proximity to the majority of your guests — better yet, combine the ceremony and reception into one venue so guests don’t have to travel at all. If you’re hosting your wedding at a hotel, look for hotels that are LEED certified and ask the staff about what they do to stay green.
Honeymoon: There are plenty of eco-friendly options for honeymoon travel. Gaiam Life has created a fantastic list of 7 romantic honeymoon spots here. Do your part and give back with your main squeeze in tow!