I recently came across an awesome website called The Green Bride Guide. This website is a one stop shop for the eco-conscious bride and groom. It comes complete with ideas, advice and even a directory to find green vendors in your area. They have several sections for all your wedding planning needs including: Learn, Plan, Listen, Shop, and Share. My favorite section so far, well let’s be honest I love this site and can’t pick a favorite part, but a very useful area is the Plan section. In it you will find a beverage calculator, a cost estimator, and a seating chart creator to name a few. You will also find a carbon calculator which estimates the carbon created due to the travel of your guests either by plane or car. Most people who want to have green weddings probably forget about the effect traveling has on the environment. So to make green brides feel a little better, you can click “Offset My Wedding.” You will be directed to The Brighter Planet website where they can translate your carbon emissions into dollars. You pay your carbon bill with proceeds going to environmentally friendly projects, and you essentially neutralize your impact. Cool, huh?
It got me thinking about the other areas in the wedding that are pretty taxing to the environment. According to their website, The average wedding produces 63 tons of CO2 and 400-600 pounds of trash. That is A LOT of trash when you multiply it by 2.5 million weddings a year in just the United States! Everything from the paper used to make invitations, to the dress you wear once, to the favors, candles, flowers, etc. etc. adds up to one big ecological disaster. I used their directory to search for green vendors in Sedona and my results produced a big fat zero. Which is both surprising and sad as I know many people in Sedona are eco-conscious. That’s why it is essential that everyone starts looking for ways to be more green. If there is a demand for it, businesses will adapt. Of course, just because they weren’t listed in this sites directory doesn’t mean that green vendors don’t exist here. When you call vendors, ask them about environmentally friendly options. Flowers for example, are generally flown in from various parts of the world. If you want a spring flower like tulips for your fall wedding, be assured they are being shipped from South America or somewhere warm. Ask your florist about local flower options or try to chose only flowers that are in season. You could also consider using fruits in your centerpieces for color and mixing in some fresh greenery which is easy to come by locally. Not only will it be green but your wedding will be unique. Food takes its toll on the environment as well as it also has to be shipped in. Ask your caterer about local options. The Heartline Cafe, for example, uses many local ingredients including trout from the trout farm in the Canyon. You will never know what people offer until you ask and you may just inspire them to think outside of the box as well. Small changes can add up big time. Imagine if everyone eliminated just one pound of trash from their wedding. That would add up to 2.5 million pounds of trash a year.
There are a ton of green wedding sites and blogs out there with great advice and cute ideas. I love the pictures of weddings where people got a little creative with their resources. The Green Bride Guide is great for non brides as well, so check it out and see if you can implement any of their ideas into your daily routine or other events you may be planning.