Greenifying Our Wedding

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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!
  4. 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!
  5. 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?

Greenifying Our Wedding

California Dreamin’

It has long been a dream of mine to go to California.

I think it started in high school, when I was a devoted fan of the TV show The OC. (I still am. I actually just started a full series rewatch a few days ago.) I was always captivated by the opening credits: the sun jumping off the crystalline blue waves, the exuberant sunset sky, the crisp shape of a sailboat cutting across the horizon. Every single cell yearned towards California.

I talked about it. And I thought about it. I looked up flights and things to do. But I never made real plans. I never did anything to make my dream a reality.

One of my favorite travel bloggers, Kate, had an interesting perspective in a post from January of this year. She basically said that the best way to make it to that destination you’ve always dreamed of was to make a commitment to going there this year. Not just a resolution, but a real commitment. Instantly, I knew that I wanted California to be where we went on our honeymoon. We flirted with a few other destinations (New York City, New Orleans) but I kept coming back to California. So we agreed that we would celebrate our marriage in the place that I have dreamed about the longest.

Originally, we were planning on San Diego (SoCal is, after all, where all the movies, etc, take place). But there were other adventures in store for us. We looked at flights to San Diego during our timeframe, and they were all strange times, or had way too many stops, or weren’t available from our location. On a whim, I plugged in San Francisco instead, and boom, we immediately found flights that were well within our budget, convenient times, and the flight there was even direct! We talked about it for about 15 minutes, and then booked ’em.

Which is how I got on the path of making my California dreamin’ a reality. There are benefits to being flexible in how your dream comes to fruition.

We head to SF in September, and I could not be more excited. I’m already planning things to do, places to eat, where we’ll stay. It’s hard to believe that something that has been in the back of my mind for so long is going to be a reality.

I can’t wait to share all of our Cali adventures here on the blog!

Have you been to California? Where did you go? If SF was on your itinerary, what was the best place you went/saw/ate?

California Dreamin’