A whopping 2.3 million couples will get married this year in the US. That's an average of nearly 6,200 weddings a day! There are eco-guides galore for brides and grooms who want to protect the planet while saying their I DOs, but what about guests who want to be eco-conscious? The gals from Celebrate Green say there's no need to show up in a dress made from last year's magazines. (While a fun idea, it would certainly grab attention from the bride, a definite no-no whether the wedding is eco-friendly or not!) Here's their list of the top ways for guests to help celebrate that big day the eco way.
If not, check for eco-friendlier items on their registry. For instance, they may have chosen a set of bamboo bowls or wool blankets. Look for items that are locally produced instead of made and shipped from overseas. These may not have been selected because they're eco-friendly, but who cares? If they are greener choices, you'll feel great picking them and the bride and groom will be happy as well!
When giving a tangible gift, avoid conventional wrapping paper. The Carnegie Mellon Green Practices initiative says that "If every American family wrapped just three presents in reused materials, it would save enough paper to cover 45,000 football fields."
Why buy paper from virgin trees when there are so many great alternatives--fabric made just for wrapping, silk scarves, a map from the honeymoon destination, tree-free or recycled papers, and seed embedded wrapping that can be planted once the gift is opened, to name a few.
In many circles, it used to be considered crass to give cash for weddings, but these days, money really is green. Just be sure to offer bills or a check and not gift cards which, for the most part, are made of plastic, ultimately are tossed and never degrade. (Even if the plastic is made from PLA--theoretically compostable plastic--the card's magnetic strip will stay around a lot longer than many marriages!)
Getting there the greenest way
One of the most impactful decisions you can make is whether to attend the wedding or not. Flying across the country for a day is not the most eco-friendly move you can make. But if you decide to go, you may want to purchase carbon offsets.
If you live close to the wedding venue, walk or carpool if possible. Even if you drive alone, you can volunteer to have other guests travel with you between the ceremony and reception.
Do you have any eco-chic or go-green wedding ideas to share? Leave us a comment here and on our Facebook page. We want to hear from you!
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