Thursday, September 18, 2014

Top 10 tips for planning a green wedding

One of the more popular wedding themes with couples is planning a ceremony that is "eco-friendly". Here are some ideas on how you can minimize how much impact your wedding has on the environment with these tips, so you don't feel guilty on your big day.

1. Gown

Consider alternative dress materials such as hemp, bamboo, organic cotton, wool or silk. Consider renting or borrowing a vintage gown or jewelry. Don't forget about the makeup either, and select all-natural products that are safe for the environment

Find all-natural beauty products >>>

2. Honeymoon

Stay local or choose an eco-friendly tourism location. You can choose from a fancy resort or a simple "bare-bones" place to stay. You could also skip the plane trip, and opt for a longer (but more romantic) train ride. If you decide to fly far away, consider offsetting your carbon footprint.

Fancy resort in Puerto Rico >>>
Simple island vacation to Dominica >>>

eco friendly honeymoon

3. Photographers

Select a photographer that uses digital proofs, instead of printing them out. This will save paper, chemicals, and time for both of you. Have your friends share their digital photos with guests online to avoid the single-use disposable cameras.

Search for digital cameras >>>

4. Rings

Consider something other than diamonds, which usually come from conflict-torn regions of the world with unsafe labor practices. There are synthetic diamonds, "conflict-free" diamonds, wooden bands, and recycled metal bands. Of course, hand-me-down and reused jewelry is always the best option.

Search recycled rings >>> 
Learn more about how diamonds are mined and sold at

5. Invitations

Consider post-consumer recycled paper, handmade cards from reused paper, alternative inks such as vegetable or soy-based inks. Instead of mailing invitations that are bulky and multiple sheets of paper, consider postcards or online invitations (e-vites).

Search for recycled wedding invitations >>>

recycled wedding invitations

6. Decorations

Select organic and local flowers whenever possible. Live plants can also be used for a dual purpose, as decorations and as gifts to guests. For candles, select beeswax or soy-based options that reduce toxins for your guests.

Find soy-based candles >>>

7. Location

To reduce travel time and distance, have the wedding and reception in the same place. Pick a unique, local spot, such as an art gallery, garden, farm, non-profit meeting space, green hotel or organic restaurant.

8. Gifts

Instead of receiving gifts that you probably don't need, ask for charitable donations to a good cause. For gifts you need, consider registering at places with eco-friendly options (local, fair-trade, handmade, organic, etc). Other great gifts include community-supported agriculture (CSA) subscriptions from a local farm, museum and park annual passes, organic sheets and bedding, or gift certificates to organic or vegan restaurants.

9. Bachelor/ette parties

When ordering the alcohol for the party, choose local and organic wine and beer. Look for eco-friendly shuttle or limousine services to get you back and forth safely.

Find organic wine bottles and boxes >>>

10. Food and Drink

Select caterers that offer local, organic and seasonal foods and beverages. Consider vegetarian and vegan options for your guests, along with organic and cruelty-free meat, and wild caught seafood. Provide compost and recycling options at the venue, use real silverware, plates and utensils, or select compostable options.

Find compostable plates, utensils and cups >>>

green compostable plates and cups

Greening your wedding doesn't have to be difficult or more expensive. You can let your guests know that you put great care for the environment into your wedding plans. After all, this will be the first thing that guests will see from the new couple, so you want it to be the right message that reflects who you are as a couple.