Weddings should be heartwarming—not global warming. So how can you make your wedding a little more environmentally friendly?
Step 1: Plan a small wedding Planning a small wedding is greener than a big wedding. Less waste, less transportation usage—and it’s a great excuse not to invite the bazillion annoying people you’d rather not see.
Step 2: Skip the paper invitations Skip the paper invitations and direct your guests to your wedding website. No dead trees. No waste. Very little energy consumption.
TIP: To calculate the impact of your wedding, use a wedding carbon calculator. There are a few online, such as the one at "terrapass.com":http://terrapass.com.
Step 3: Wear a used wedding dress Wear a used wedding dress. Face it, it’s only been worn once or twice, and you’ll give the kids in the sweatshop a day off.
Step 4: Skip the bridesmaids’ dresses Skip the hideous bridesmaids’ dresses, and let the gals loose in a thrift store or their own closets. To go even greener, encourage them to do each other’s hair and makeup, rather than traveling to a salon.
Step 5: Rethink your wedding transportation Rethink your wedding transportation. Ditch the limo and have the ceremony and reception in the same place. Make sure it’s centrally located and accessible to public transportation or other green means of transport.
TIP: Buy carbon offset credits from a site like "www.carbonfund.org":http://www.carbonfund.org for every guests who flies in.
Step 6: Rethink the flowers Imported flowers cost a lot of energy to grow and ship. Instead use local, organically grown flowers. Better yet, use only rooted flowers and plants and you’ll actually be making oxygen while you walk down the aisle.
Step 7: Have a green gift registry Sign up for one of the many green gift registries, like "gaiam.com":http://gaiam.com or "vivaterra.com":http://vivaterra.com. An even better idea is to ask your guests to forgo gifts completely and make a donation to your favorite environmental group.
Step 8: Skip the traditional honeymoon Skip your traditional honeymoon where you fly to some Polynesian carbon orgy. Instead think of a romantic way to go totally green. Travel by train, or go somewhere locally.
Step 9: Have a vegetarian reception Make sure the menu for your reception is vegetarian and comprised of only locally grown produce. Meat production is one of the most harmful industries to the environment.
TIP: Don’t overdo the catering. Food thrown into dumps is a major cause of carbon emissions.
Step 10: Make sure your settings are reusable Make sure all your place settings are reusable.
Step 11: Elope To really make your wedding green, hop on your bikes and elope to the nearest city hall. It not only saves the environment, it saves tens of thousands of dollars, and a whole lot of hassle.
FACT: The average wedding creates 14.5 tons of carbon dioxide.