In the past few years, I have slowly become more and more interested in environmentalism, and ways that I can make my stay on earth a bit more earth-friendly. It has been a slow process: there are so many things in life that are great and convenient but not very green, and it has been a tough process to even begin to address them. I haven’t made nearly as much progress as I would like, but I do my best.
One big thing that can have a huge impact on the environment is a wedding. Think about it: all the disposable paper goods (invitations, save the dates, RSVP cards, programs, napkins, name plates, food labels, etc, etc); all of the travel; even the electricity required to keep a wedding going for however many hours are needed. One statistic I read put the average wedding at 62 TONS of carbon. Jesus, Mary, and Joseph.
When it came to our wedding, it was really important for us that we do our best to keep costs down, both fiscal and environmental. Here are a few ways that we are doing just that:
- Having it in a more central location. – We debated having a destination wedding, but ultimately wanted as much family as possible to be able to join us, and so we based it in a place where the average amount of travel required would be low.
- Paperless invitations. – When I first heard about paperless invitations, I knew it was something that I wanted to consider. I was a bit leery about how others would react to it, but we have had nothing but positivity. We used Glo, which has been working awesome. The only thing that I would change about it is that the design is a little bit behind the times; something more sleek and modern would be nice. Otherwise, it has been awesome to be able to email things out, and have people RSVP simply by going to our website. We did send out a few invitations for the Luddites (and our grandmas), but we just had them printed for cheap at Staples.
- Minimal disposable dinnerware. – No paper plates, plastic cups, or disposable utensils for us. Though it is costing us a bit more, we decided to rent these things along with our tables and chairs. I’m quite willing to pay the extra moolah in order to save some garbage!
- Minimal decorations. – We are avoiding too many paper decorations. We are planning on a few lanterns for the trees, a rented archway, and … that’s pretty much it. The great thing about having a backyard wedding is that the venue pretty much decorates itself!
- Having it during the day. – Daytime = less lighting required = less electricity.
Of course, there are some things that are unavoidable. Despite having a more central location, we do still have a lot of family that lives out of town or out of province, and there are going to be carbon emissions going along with them congregating here to celebrate with us. Not to mention our flights to San Francisco for our honeymoon. But I’m really pleased with the efforts that we have made to be more in line with our values, even if they do require a bit more effort – and money – on our part.
Don’t you think it’s worth it?