Let’s face it – Our future will not be so bright if we all don’t “Go Green”! I’m sure my statement hasn’t raised too many eyebrows, but read on for some good food for thought…
People are undoubtedly aware that our planet earth can no longer sustain our destructive behaviors and things need to change drastically and immediately (actually, 20 years ago… but present day will have to suffice). I don’t profess to be an avid environmental activist, more so, a realist who is aware of our imminent danger and that the status quo, wait-and-see approach of the masses is not the solution. While this certainly doesn’t apply to everyone, I think if we analyzed the attitudes within our own social units (ie family, friends, and colleagues) we would find that 99.9% are aware of our environmental crisis and most are happily complying with government legislated programs such as 3Rs, yard waste, and Energy as a Managed Service (well…maybe not this one yet). Compliance and forced adoption of mandated programs are only part of the solution. There needs to be a shift in our sociological attitudes such that we are not only accepting, but endorsing the necessary changes. We, as a societal mass, have to embrace the notion that we can make a difference on an individual basis. Currently, too many are still subscribing to the theory that our individual efforts don’t mean anything. Quite frankly, within the greater scope of our environmental catastrophe, the sociably responsible action of an individual who participates in the community recycling program is rather insignificant. Of course, the collective efforts of all individuals within the community, and the communities in a nation, and so on, certainly make a difference.
So, how do we as individuals shift our attitudes, and start endorsing and promoting sustainability? More importantly, how can we do this without turning our lives and homes upside down? Finally, what the heck does this have to do with weddings??
The best way for me to answer questions 1 -3 and to keep this blog within the confines of weddings, is to list some examples that I have read from other green wedding blogs. There is tons of information and suggestions on how to have the ultra earth-friendly experience, but it is not an ‘extreme measure’ that I am preaching. My list of top 5 eco-friendly wedding ideas contains suggestions that won’t require that we make this radical self-transformation into a green-revolutionary or eco-zealout. Rather, it conveys subtle concepts that will hopefully engage and inspire new thoughts. Also, please bear in mind that it is not my intention to recycle someone else’s ideas, but rather use these concepts in support of my claim that we are better difference makers by not only applying, but promoting such (or similar) creative concepts. Hopefully I am following the proper protocols with regards to referencing because I’m fairly new to the blogging scene. I’m very open to correction, but for now, I will simply attach a link to the website that applies…Without further ado, here’s my list of suggested ways that we can easily and effectively help out Mother Nature on our wedding day:
1. Plantable invitations: This is quite a hot new trend. These are invitations that are made from bio-degradable paper with embedded seeds and are supposed to be planted, rather than discarded. Once planted, and with proper care, the recipient gets an eco-friendly gift from the sender. Pretty cool concept, right? Beyond its intended purpose of being a vehicle to communicate the itinerary of a wedding and then grow a plant, the invitation represents an individual’s attitude towards environment reform. I suppose it’s a little too philosophical or metaphorical to describe an invitation in such depth, but if you think about it, there is some validity here. The recipient of the invitation will undoubtedly yield an unexpected and positive response from this ‘out of the ordinary’ and interesting concept. Likely, this will invoke further discussion, and from there - we all know how word of mouth can spread. We all agree that the invitation sets the tone of a wedding, so make sure you augment this invitation with some other eco concept! Anyone interested should check out The Orange Tulip http://www.theorangetulip.ca/about.html. It’s a unique shop right in the heart of the Glebe that carries a full selection of plantable wedding invitations, response cards, thank-you cards, and even favours.
2. Intimate sized weddings: This might make you go hmmm because it’s certainly one of my favorites (be it that we are an intimate venue), but truthfully the concept is simple. The fewer guests, naturally means fewer resources are consumed for your wedding day. This includes everything from utilities to lodging, air and automotive travel (fuel exhausted). Besides, the cost of your wedding day will be drastically reduced and the whole planning exercise becomes much simpler. All you have to do is limit your guest list only to those that are close and special to both of you. In other words, abandon the rules that have conditioned us, and have ultimately forced us to invite relatives that we hardly even know. (http://ecobites.com/articles/green-celebrations/green-weddings/2687-sustainable-wedding-trends-for-2011)
3. Tree seedlings as wedding favours: Similar concept to the plantable invitations, except the seedlings are used as a wedding favor. We all know the importance that trees have on reducing Co2 emissions, but these also serve as an ever-lasting symbol of your marriage. http://www.treebeginnings.com/tree-seedling-favors.html
4. Select a central location: O.K., I admit, this is another self-glossing plug. But, this concept is supported by an impartial blogger that I came across in my reading -(http://www.ecowedding.org/planning-guide/our-recommendations-for-an-eco-wedding.html). If you will, consider the total fuel consumption of having all your guests travel a long distance for your wedding? Selecting a location that is nearby and centralized will greatly reduce carbon emissions. Not to mention, most of your guests will be thankful that they didn’t have to pack a lunch before travelling to your wedding.
5. e-vitations: Emailing wedding invitations is certainly not for everyone, but there are some very stylish ways to do this. You can completely customize your own look, include a slide show, your favorite song, and simply click and send. Check out this site for some more details: http://www.myinvitationlink.com/blog/. The obvious advantages to the environment are 1) no paper waste, and 2) no fuel consumption for delivery to and from. Besides that, the cost is drastically less than mailing, and the ability to manage your replies is a great help in the planning exercise.
I welcome the thoughts and ideas from anyone interested in adding to this contribution. I will make every effort to be far more concise in my next posting which is coming very soon!