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Greening Your Wedding Day
As the world wakes up to climate change, many brides and grooms are finding creative ways to green their weddings to ensure their special day is eco-friendly. So, how do you ensure your wedding won’t cost the earth?
- Reuse and recycle! The first principle of environmental sustainability is to recycle everything you can. Decorate your ceremony space and reception venue with reusable items, or ones that have already had a life before. Using second-hand decorations and materials doesn't just save money - it saves resources. Work with what you've got nearby (and in season) and when your big day is over, donate your decorations to a nursing home or hospital.
- Choose an eco-friendly venue. Transport emissions and pollution from driving and flying are major contributors to greenhouse gas emissions, so consider how far your guests will need to travel to get to your wedding location. Host your ceremony and reception at the same venue to cut down on car travel, and encourage your guests to car pool.
- Opt for Green Power. Assess your potential venue for natural light and the amount of lighting, heating or cooling required for your wedding. Ask your venue if they use Green Power. Or better still, choose a park or garden and celebrate your love of nature. Just make sure you take your rubbish home with you!
- Leave the car at home. Forget the motorcade of limousines. Look for eco-friendly options such as horse-drawn carriage, rickshaws or bicycles built for two. Better still, walk!
- Save some trees. Start by limiting the amount of paper you use by consolidating all your information into just a few pieces of paper. Send one special invitation made from beautiful recycled paper, or one made from an alternative fibre such as hemp or bamboo. Splurge on calligraphy, which is beautiful and an eco-friendly alternative to standard printing methods.
- Go paper free online. Direct your guests to a wedding website or blog where they can find all the details such as directions to your venue, dress code and wedding registry. You can also use this site for your pre-wedding parties to minimise the mailings.
- Choose eco-chic centrepieces and favours. Bamboo is considered one of the most sustainable materials on earth, as it can grow up to two feet a day. Use tall stalks of bamboo as centrepieces, or give small bamboo stalks in pots as favors. Alternatively, give small plants or wheatgrass in small pots or pails, or offer packets of seeds.
- Make the most of mood lighting. Candlelight is romantic and energy efficient, so turn down the lights and brighten the room with soy candles - they're made from a renewable resource, and are are cleaner and longer burning than regular candles.
- Embrace the ‘something old’ with clothes and jewellery. Wear a vintage wedding dress handed down from a family member. A talented dressmaker will be able to rework the dress to suit your shape and style, and you’ll save precious money and resources. If you have your heart set on a new dress, choose environmentally friendly fabrics, such as organic cotton, linen, silk and hemp. And consider hiring suits and dresses for the bridal party to minimise your environmental impact.
- Reduce the food miles. Choose a menu that features locally-grown and organic produce and wines to minimise emissions resulting from transportation. And ask your caterer to serve on-tap beverages to cut down on packaging from glass bottles and cans.
The Green Wedding Guide has an emissions calculator to help you reduce your wedding’s impact on the environment and offset your carbon emissions. Remember, a green wedding won’t only save you money, it will also save our precious environment.
Australia's number one online wedding shop sells a range of eco-friendly "green" wedding favours and decorations to help you create a greener wedding day. Shop our green wedding supplies now>>
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