The Eco-Friendly Way to Say "I Do"
Many newly engaged couples are delighted to find that they can combine their enthusiasm for green living and their eco-friendly lifestyles into planning their nuptials. Considering the costs of a wedding in terms of not just monetary costs but also in terms of harm to our fragile environment is a great way to kick off your new life together. Let’s look at the many ways that you can bring your love of Mother Earth into your wedding plans.
A trendy new choice for eco-friendly weddings is for the bride to wear a beautiful gown made of organically grown cotton. Organic cotton is produced in a way that is not as harmful to the environment; there are no pesticides, insecticides, or other harsh chemicals used on an organic cotton crop. Many top designers are getting on board with the increased demand for organic cotton wedding gowns, so there are lots of choices on the racks to suit any style. Another great way to go green in your white gown is to search vintage stores and consignment shops. You can easily have a vintage gown altered to fit.
Does the thought of sending out a bulk amount of wedding invitations make you cringe at all the waste you are creating? The answer is to send out eco-friendly invitations that are printed on post-consumer recycled paper, or the new tree-free paper that is manufactured from recycled items like denim, hemp fibers, and coffee beans. Some truly green couples choose to make their own invitations on homemade paper instead of using processed inks.
Do the planet a “favor” with earth-friendly wedding favors and show off your tree-hugging style. Your wedding is a perfect setting for you to reinforce your commitment to a healthy planet through the distribution of eco-friendly wedding favors. Instead of the traditional favors that are old and dated anyway, consider giving your guests tree seedlings, seed packets, or cuttings from your favorite trees or plants, along with written instructions on how to plant the “favor”.
Wow the taste buds of everyone who comes to the reception, naturally. The food for your wedding reception can express your dedication to being a good steward of the environment. Go for organic, locally grown foods to satiate the palates of your guests. This includes organic wines or coffee from fair-trade zones. Also consider recycled glasses and dinnerware.
While gold is a traditional choice for wedding bands, the fact of the matter is that mining for gold is an unfriendly practice for the environment. Gold mining releases hazardous toxins and chemicals into the areas surrounding the mine when gold ore is taken from the ground. A better option is silver wedding bands for your eco-friendly engagement. Silver is mined in a much less environmentally destructive manner and leaves less of an impact on areas where it is mined. Another great option is to select an engagement ring and wedding bands that have already been used before, such as a family heirloom or vintage ring. The materials in vintage rings have already been mined, which lessens the impact that your wedding has on the environment.
Did you know that cut flowers can be toxic to the workers who grow them and to the planet? What’s more, most of the cut flowers that are found in the U.S. are grown on farms in South America and Central America, necessitating the burning of fuel (and the subsequent emissions that harm the ozone layer) just to get them to your venue. Earth-loving couples opt instead for locally grown organic cut flowers that are just as beautiful.
Earth-Friendly Honeymoon Destinations
And finally, end your wedding on an “eco-fantastic” note by choosing an earth-friendly honeymoon destination. A honeymoon spent at a nearby campground or park is a great way to get in touch with nature while celebrating your new life together. Couples do not have to fly halfway around the globe to make beautiful memories that will last a lifetime. For those couples who have always dreamed of a romantic getaway to an international destination, there are eco-conscious honeymoon packages out there that will reduce the size of your carbon footprint while still allowing you to have a great time.
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