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Green Weddings/Eco Friendly Weddings
by LifEvents by Shauna Henry

So, awhile back we finally got around to watching An Inconvenient Truth – “Wow!” is all I can say. Mind you, we live fairly green and socially conscious as it is. We have even gone green with our new baby boy. Did you know that it takes 500 years for a single diaper to biodegrade? G-Diapers is our very cute answer to this dilemna – check them out at http://www.gdiapers.com/. But, I digress, regardless of how green we try to be, to have the cold, hard scientific facts presented in the way the movies presents them really made me think. What I enjoyed was that the movie wasn’t all doom and gloom; it provides the information and websites that give us hope, that tell us that we can change the current situation. And, the changes we have to make aren’t as difficult as one might think.

Being in the business of events and weddings (a business that creates lots of waste), and having a bit of a green streak, I’ve been interested in the green phenomenon for awhile now. The movie, lit a fire under my butt to learn more and I thought it my duty to report my findings for all you San Diego and non-San Diego couples wanting to go green.

First, don’t be intimidated by thinking it’s all or nothing – remember anything that you choose to do green is something that will help our environment, so don’t get discouraged if you can’t go 100% green. Just reading this post will hopefully start you to thinking more socially conscious and you will find ways in your every day life to improve Mama Earth.

Here are some quick suggestions of items to consider for a green wedding or event (I actually pulled some of these ideas from other websites, but can’t remember who, so if I’ve copied your work, please feel free to email me so that I may give you credit – I do apologize):

· Invitations – use recycled, hand-made or tree-free paper and order from a company that advertises for all green invitations and stationary. And, if possible find the local vendor to avoid the shipping costs (costs meaning the carbon dioxide it takes to ship the item). Take a look at these websites to view more: http://www.ecofriendlyinvitations.com/; http://www.minted.com/; or simply type “eco-friendly invitations” into your web browser.

· Go local – try to find everything you need locally – food, invitations, gifts, flowers can be found locally and will reduce the cost of the earth’s resources from shipping. Visit your farmers market and flower marts.

· Have a small wedding – easier said than done many times, but as your guest list grows so does the amount of travel, the amount of waste and the amount food consumed. Invite those friends and loved ones whom you see or speak to often. Every co-worker in the office is not necessary to invite, nor is your 2nd cousin who lives across the country and you’ve spoken to once in the last few years. So, unless it’s going to cause a major riff within the family, make a rule and stick to it to invite only those friends and family you are actually close with.

· Research what you buy or rent – it may not always be possible, but try to establish the “greenness” of the products you buy or rent. Be sure your diamonds are not conflict diamonds. Conflict diamonds, also known as blood diamond (see the movie by the same name), are mined in war zones and are used to fund illegal military action. Slave labor is used and children are utilized in horrific ways. One jeweler, Tiffany & Co. has pledged to sell only certified non-conflict diamonds.

· Go vintage or gently used with as much as you can – rings, dresses, suits. When buying things used, you will also be saving yourself money and with the average cost of a wedding being in the $50,000 range (in Southern California), every bit of savings helps. Remember, however, that buying (even used) isn’t always as green as renting – if you’ll never wear the suit or tuxedo again, then by all means rent away. Re-usable items are a very green way to go.

· Venue – Here in San Diego we are quite lucky because we have both the weather on our side and many parks to choose from to have a wedding. Treehugger.com recommends “supporting your local community garden, farmer, LEED certified building or other worthwhile project.”

· Travel – Go to http://www.treehugger.com/ for ways to reduce your carbon footprint on everything from traveling (honeymoon, wedding guests) to food, health, fashion and beauty.

These are just some ideas to get you started. Changing the way we live starts with changing the way we think – before buying new, before impulse buying, ask yourself if this could be done in a more eco-friendly way.


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