Eco – Weddings

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(LL) – In the United States alone, approximately 2.5 millions weddings are held each year. This 40-billion dollar/year industry is growing. The environmental impact of weddings includes everything from plane travel to invitations. Fortunately the trend of having a green wedding is growing.

Calculate the carbon footprint of your wedding and donate to offset the impact. Native Energy contributes donations to 100% renewable wind energy production. Carbon Fund’s slogan urges to ‘reduce what you can’ and ‘offset what you can’t’.  There is a specific carbon calculator for weddings. donations go towards renewable energy, energy efficient, and reforestation projects that reduce CO2 emmisions.

For details involving green weddings, there are many resources popping up.  One of the easiest ways to go green is to use eco-friendly vendors.  Below are some collected ideas for green wedding planning.

- Vintage, recycled, or organic cotton wedding dresses.  Buy a new or ‘worn once’ designer dress at a fraction of its original price.  Google search for eco bridal fashions.  For example, Vert eco couture by Jessica Iverson uses organic, sustainable, and biodegradable fabrics such as hemp.

- Recycled paper invitations.  Botanical Paper Works has created ‘plantable’ invitations and cards that grow into wildflowers when planted.  The cards are also made from 100% post-consumer waste.  Save paper by skipping the event and location detail cards, and put the information on a simple wedding web site.

- Organic, local catering. In addition to supporting organic farmers, using local and seasonal ingredients cuts back on the carbon impact of food transportation and storage.  Check out Back to Earth catering and eco Caters.

- Choose a gift registry that donates to an organization of your choice. At couples can set up a registry where guests can donate to specified charities or to a charity of their choice that they support.

- Select seasonal, farmers’ market flowers.  Check for farmers’ markets in your area and support local farmers as well as save money.  If this is not an option, consider an organic florist.  Local Harvest is based in Santa Cruz, CA, but their web site searches for local flower growers and farmers’ markets closet to your desired location in the U.S.

Check out a directory of green wedding vendors at Eco Wedding.  Popular wedding site The Knot has a section for green wedding planning. Inhabitat, a site devoted to green design, states that for weddings remember to use five principles when planning, ‘local, organic, handmade, recycled, and renewable’ to end up with a fabulously green wedding.