Friday, March 20, 2009

Tips to Green Your Wedding: Treading Lightly

"Going green" and "green living" are such buzz phrases right now--and there's no exception when it comes to the idea of having a 'green wedding.' So over the next few months I will periodically share tips on ways you can be thoughtful in planning your wedding or event to tread a little more lightly on the earth!
Tip #1: Local, Local, Local
A great way to have huge impact is to consider your menu and the foods you will serve at the wedding. When you or your caterer uses seasonal, locally-grown foods from area farmers and producers you are accomplishing many things at once. When you serve local foods you are: supporting sustainable agriculture where fruit and veggies are grown naturally and meat is often raised without antibiotics= helathier for you; cutting down on food miles/the cost to transport food; supporting an alternative to industrial agriculture which has many negative environmental impacts.

The easisest way to go about a local menu is to seek out caterers in your area that work with local, seasonal ingredients and have partnerships with local food producers. You can find local producers in your area by visiting or going to the USDA's local farmer's market finder here.
TIP: Northeast Ohio caterer Spice of Life is one that uses ALL regional, seasonal and sustainable ingredients in their menus. Check them out here. They even include on their web site a list of f amily farms they have partnerships with.
Same idea as food: get it locally or choose organic wine (grapes grown without chemical pesticides). Purchasing wine by the case from area vineyards is also normally a very cost-effective option.
Instead of ordering and having flowers shipped from across or outside of the country, explore options at local farmers markets or flower markets. This will be easier in some areas of the country than others, but it's worth checking into.

If you are using a florist for your wedding, tell him or her that it is important to you to use local blooms and work with them to select flowers that are in season and available in your area. Not only is this 'green,' it will also many times save you money!

Lastly, if you want to really take it 'grassroots,' try growing your own wheatgrass centerpieces! (Takes about 7-10 days) Believe it or not, this decor option works well with many wedding styles--from casual to more formal and is a super easy (and cheap)project which requires just wheatgrass seed, containers and soil. Get creative with your containers to fit the feel of your wedding--and guests can even take these home as favors! Directions on how to grow your own wheatgrass centerpieces here.

Of course, you can forego flowers as centerpieces altogether. I'll talk about that another day!


Marit said...

Love this post, great suggestions! I have an invite that could tie in:

And of course, it prints on earth-friendly paper!

Ryan said...

Great ideas! A few more to consider: