TBC is going "Green" today....my wonderful friend, Kendall Brown of Eclatante Design sent me some cool ideas for a "Lite-Green Wedding" to share with you. Kendall is an amazing event designer and I so enjoy talking with her...I always learn something new and interesting...so without further ado...check out these great tips from Kendall!
Kendall: The trick is to not give up just because you're not doing the whole carbon footprint calculation thing. It's really not hard to make some easy smaller choices that, in the aggregate, make a big difference. Sometimes, it just requires a teensy bit of additional planning.
And don't think you have to do every single thing on this list - anything you do is a good choice! Plus, there are lots of other little things you can do that aren't on this list.
It has become abundantly clear to me there is a huge amount of waste associated with weddings. Here's one example: A couple of weeks ago, we did a wedding filled with gorgeous stems of lush cherry blossoms - we had them everywhere. They were expensive but were fresh and stunning! The next day the bride's mom went back to the venue to pick up some items we stored there overnight and she saw those beautiful branches sticking out of the trashcans. It just sent a horrible message.
Those occurrences have inspired Eclatante to come up with a strategy to eliminate the waste of beautiful flowers who have a lot left to give! We are teaming up with different charity organizations in the Philadelphia area to have volunteers come in and rearrange flowers in their own vases and take them to hospitals and retirement homes or anywhere else where there are people who would really appreciate having beautiful flowers around them. It's a great thing to do and it doesn't cost a thing!
So, really, it comes down to anything you can do to minimize waste. I've put together a little list of ideas to cut down on the amount of waste at a wedding:
- Substitute some disposable decor with live plants, then give them away to your guests or to charities.
- Substitute some of your decor with beautiful, colorful food.
- Suggest to your guests that they take candles home with them. If not taken home, they will be thrown away.
- Consider donations instead of guest favors - better yet, as a favor, plant a tree; there are organizations that do that (and tell them so on their seating card).
- Look for a reception site that has a recycling plan.
- Send response postcards instead of response cards that require envelopes (you'll reduce the cost of postage, too!)
- Using herbs or flowers as seating cards.
- Recycle those Styrofoam peanuts you'll get in your huge presents by taking them to your local UPS store.
- Send a one-page front and back save-the-date card that directs people to a website where they can get all the information you would have sent on multiple cards.
- Set up a donation plan for leftover food and beverages.
Here are some ideas to cut down on carbon emissions:
- Offer locally brewed beer.
- See if you can use a caterer that will provide some food choices made up of locally grown ingredients.
- Hold the ceremony and reception in the same location.
- Have your wedding outside.
- If many of your guests are driving to your wedding are from the same vicinity, direct them to a parking lot near their homes, then shuttle them to your wedding or offer carpool information on your website.
- Shuttle guests from hotels and back.
- Shop on-line as much as possible for your attendant gifts, accessories, etc.
Here are some proactive steps:
- Offer your guests cocktail napkins made from recycled paper with energy saving tips written on them.
- Ask your decorator to use soy base candles rather than candles made of petroleum based wax.
- Ask your floral designer about using locally grown flowers or even using flowers from growers who do not use harmful pesticides.
- Register with an organization that will direct a percentage of your registry sales to the non-profit of your choice. Check out IDoFoundation for more information. It doesn't add to the cost of the gift and the money goes to the organization of your choice.
- Ask your make-up artist to use mineral-based makeup.
- Consider using farm tables and cotton or other natural fiber table runners that won't need to be dry cleaned.
- Here's a really fun one - environmentally sound honeymoons! Check out REI Adventures... it's a great source of Eco-friendly and exciting honeymoon destinations.
Thanks Kendall for stopping by the cafe and sharing these wonderful "green tips" with us today and perfect timing.....in celebration of Earth Day...let's keep the celebration going!