Thursday, July 17, 2008

Going Green, Part 2

Continued from yesterday's post....

6. Make it personal
While you've definitely got to throw a good party, it doesn’t need to feel like ancient Rome (or the Playboy mansion). What you lack in material decadence, you can make up for in personal touches. Why not ask friends to grow and bring flowers? You’ll end up with the most fabulous flower (un)arrangements ever seen, and your guests will appreciate being involved. Or why not create a scrap book to which friends and relatives can add poems, drawings, pictures, or anecdotes. These are the things that most folks remember most fondly—not the chocolate fountain or the cut-glass chandeliers.

7. The perfect eco-invites
An invitation sets the scene for a party, so you don’t want to look cheap or tacky, but you also don’t want to compromise your principles. Fortunately, there is an increasing number of suppliers of recycled, handmade, or tree-free invitations out there—check the bottom of this guide for a list of suppliers. Some may offer a self-assembly option, which saves on money but can take considerable work, others will put the whole thing together for you. We are pleased to offer our custom invitations and custom save the dates on recycled or PCW cardstock so that you don't have to compromise your style in any way. You can still be chic while being green. If you are happy breaking from tradition, then electronic invites like Evites are worth considering, too.

8. Gifts of conscience
There are almost too many retailers of green gifts to mention these days, and many offer registry services. So why not ask for that solar cooker you’ve always wanted? Popular eco-choices for gift registries include Viva Terra, Branch, Fresh Heirlooms and Gaiam. Many local craft stores may also do registries, and even mainstream retailers now have many eco-options, such as organic linens, etc. Remember though, less is almost always more when it comes to being green—so think carefully about how many bamboo yoga mats you really want or need. If you have all you need, why not create an online donation registry to a worthy cause instead?

9. Offsetting the rest
To be truly green, make every effort to cut emissions, waste, and other negative impacts of your wedding at the source. However, the thing is still likely to create a significant impact. Offsetting can be a means of taking responsibility for that impact and channeling funds into some positive projects—as long as you pick your offset provider carefully. Popular choices include Terrapass, Native Energy, and MyClimate in the US, and Climate Care in Europe. Native Energy even has an online wedding offset calculator. If you can’t afford offsets for the whole wedding, then why not offset a portion and ask guests to contribute to the rest? You can at least include information on offset providers on the invites so guests can choose whether to offset their travel. Be aware though, that some see offsetting as fundamentally flawed, no matter which provider you choose—so make sure it fits with your version of what’s green.

10. Communicate
Whatever you do to green your wedding, make sure you tell people about it. Screening An Inconvenient Truth during the ceremony is probably over the top, but you can still take advantage of having your friends and family gathered in one place to do a little friendly education. Tell them about yourselves and about what is important to you. If you can create a wonderful, magical celebration that treads a little lighter on the planet, then people will remember it. Too many folks still believe environmentalism is all doom and gloom—this is the perfect opportunity to prove them wrong!

Check back tomorrow for the 3rd and final part of this series! I invite all of our readers to share their tips, photos, etc., just contact us! We'd love to hear from you!

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