Earlier this year I was doing some research on new wedding practices and trends, when I came across the term “green wedding”. At first I thought a green wedding was one that used the color green as the theme, but I quickly realized that this “green” had to do with the environment… and that it was far from just being a trend. Eager to learn more, I decided to do a bit more research on what exactly a green wedding is.
The website greenbrideguide.com describes a green wedding as “any wedding where the couple tries to decrease the impact of their event on the planet”. The website goes on to list these facts:
- Every year there are close to 2.5 million weddings
- Each wedding produces, on average, 62 tons of carbon dioxide and 400-600 lbs. of garbage total
This amounts to a lot of waste for all of the weddings that take place every year, but if every couple were to make just one green decision for their wedding that would be 2.5 million green decisions - enough to make a big difference. What’s more is that green wedding choices are usually better for your wallet as well. Interested? Here are 5 ways to green your Albuquerque or Santa Fe wedding day!
Transportation for guests to and from a wedding is what accounts for most of the carbon dioxide emissions associated with an event. You can reduce this impact by choosing a location that is close to many of your guests. If transportation is required from one venue to another, ask guests to carpool or consider taking public transportation, such as the Railrunner. Use your imagination and let your personalities shine through!
The average meal travels 1500 miles to get from farm to plate (via greenbrideguide.com). Additionally, many crops are still produced using synthetic fertilizers and sprayed with harmful chemicals. Choosing locally sourced and organic fare is one of the best ways to green the food served at your wedding.
Gifts & Favors
One of the best things about New Mexico is our local flavor and flare – first time and repeat visitors are enchanted by it! Celebrate our state by choosing local items for your favors and welcome bags. Some ideas include jars of locally-made salsa, chocolate, and green chile. Gifts & favors like these not only help boost our local economy, but are also an eco-friendly option because they weren’t transported for miles & miles to get here, which reduces the carbon footprint of your wedding.
There are so many great ways to green the flowers at your wedding! Some options include:
· Reuse your flowers – cut down on wasted flowers by repurposing flowers from one area to another. For example, use flowers from the chairs at your ceremony to decorate the head table at your reception.
· Donate your flowers – I’ve seen brides give back to the community after their weddings by donating flowers to a nursing home, hospice care center, or to a hospital. Often times after your wedding you have no use for all of the flowers that are left over, and knowing what your donation will mean to the people who receive them will brighten both your day and theirs!
Reuse your décor
Often times for weddings there is an assortment of décor purchased that you will have little to no use for after the wedding, and many of these items will end up being thrown out. Follow these tips to reduce the amount of waste after your Big Day:
· Instead of buying so many items for your wedding, try to use what you already have instead. For example, maybe you have a cute basket that could be used as your flower girl’s basket; add some ribbon to incorporate your wedding colors! Instead of buying a card box, use a cute old suitcase or small chest for a vintage vibe.
· Reduce waste by renting what you might not use again. For example, if you don’t think you’ll need a cake stand again you can rent one from your cake designer instead of buying one. Similarly, many florists will rent vases to you so that you don’t have to buy them.
· Buy used instead of new - check out eBay and similar websites for décor that is being sold from another event. Couples who have just had a wedding may be trying to sell some of their items online for a discounted price, and they’re likely to still be in good condition. After your event your can also try to resell your décor for another couple to enjoy!
· Try to find a use for your wedding décor in your home. Maybe you used wooden table numbers that can be repurposed as the street numbers on your home. Or, maybe some of the vases you used to decorate your guest tables can now be used to decorate an end table in your home. Every time you see the item in your home you’ll remember your wedding day!