How To Have an Eco-Friendly Wedding

Getting married is all about celebrating a couple coming together in love. Sunshine and rainbows, right? Not to be a Debbie Downer, but all those parties can have a negative impact on the environment. Making a few adjustments to your bridal shower and wedding can help minimize your footprint on Mother Earth. Eco-friendly events are near and dear to our Lazy Bride heart, as we’ve been creating green weddings for over 15 years. We were honoured to be included in this article with 8 ways to have an eco-friendly shower in Brides. The article has tons of wonderful ideas from various wedding pros all over the world.

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Plus, we have a few more tips on how a few small adjustments can make your event more Earth-friendly:
* go local! Rather than importing flowers from halfway across the world, which is a waste of finite resources and contributing to global warming via the burning of fossil fuels, use flowers and foiliage that is available locally. Not only will you help Mother Earth but your pocketbook will smile, as locally sourced ranaculus is a fraction of the cost of imported hydrangeas.
* support micro-businesses and artists. Instead of purchasing favors or gift items from a factory in China, support artisans in your community or purchase one-of-a-kind items from craftspeople on Etsy.
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* rent rather than buy linens/napkins. Renting items reduces the impact on resources (imagine if 100 brides all purchased linens instead of renting them). Many of these cheap linens found on Amazon are not durable to withstand more than one use and often end up in the dump, where it takes anywhere from 20 to 200 years to biodegrade. Did you know that fabric is the second biggest polluter of the environment, after Big Oil? The less material items we produce, the better for the planet.  For the same price or slightly more, you can get better quality rental linens for your wedding while minimizing your impact on the environment. Better yet, consider using wooden tables that don’t require linens.
*where’s the beef?  A recent study found that one kilogram of beef (four steaks) releases greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to driving a car for three hours. Researchers found that the gasses emitted in the chain of raising cattle required 169 megajoules of energy to produce 2.2 pounds of beef. Leave a 100-watt light bulb burning for 20 days and you’d use the same amount of energy. Over two-thirds of the energy used was just on producing and transporting the feed alone! Skipping the meat will also keep your budget down, since steak is usually one of the pricier meal items.

* register for experiences, rather than things. Many couples already have their homes set up by the time the wedding rolls around so they’re not in need of another blender or a set of china. Rather than asking for household goods that are likely to sit in a closet, register for experiences, like taking a class together or having a couples spa day or a horseback riding tour. Even better, donate to a worthwhile charity. The Good Beginning is a registry with a conscious for couples who want to make a positive impact on society.

* offset your carbon footprint. From rental deliveries to guests transportation, your wedding has an impact on Mother Earth. Consider buying carbon offsets and water restoration certificates to make your wedding carbon neutral. Terrapass has packages specifically for weddings  Bonus – instead of buying favors (that will likely never be used), purchase carbon offsets and donate in lieu of favors. Mother Earth and your guests will thank you!
What tips are you going to incorporate to your celebration to help Mother Earth?

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