I recently had the pleasure of meeting with a couple who are planning a September wedding in St. James, Long Island. They were overflowing with excitement about their upcoming nuptials. They were all for creating a fun, memorable, beautiful and eco-friendly event but first they wanted to learn more about what a Green Event was or could be.
As a courtesy to the couple, I came up with this GREEN EVENT PRIMER.
- Distribute pre-event information invitations, announcements and directions via electronic means.
- Select a Vintage Wedding outfit or craft something new from organic materials.
- Fill your gift registry with eco-friendly options.
- Pick local, organic, flowers in season. (In the New York Metro area we adore Grove Design and Amy Merrick).
- Decorate minimally, selecting flowers, plants and trees that can be planted after the event is done.
- Find eco-friendly party favors.
- Shine with soy-based candles and solar lighting when available.
- Facilitate use of carpooling or charter services to transport guests to and from the venue.
- Find a creative caterer from your community who employs best Green practices.
- Use local organic foods in season.
- Provide vegetarian options.
- Serve bite-size or finger foods that require no utensils or choose entrées that can be served in cozy large containers, “buffet-style” – (saves resources and encourages a more casual, communal feel to the meal).
- Offer reusable items for serving and eating. (If you can’t find a caterer in your area who provides this, consider choosing these items yourself at your local thrift store or consignment shop, and have fun creating an eclectic, mismatched vintage presentation for your tables with a unique array of reused silverware, glasses, mugs and plates and cloth napkins).
- Avoid single serve containers and wasteful packaging of beverages, condiments, sugar, cream, etc.
- Fill water glasses as guests desire from pitchers or a water cooler as opposed to filling when empty.
- Use real glasses or compostable/sustainable paper products, avoiding styrofoam and individual water bottles.
- Offer organic local wines or beer from a local brewery, and organic, fair-trade certified coffee.
- Reuse and store banquet materials; plates, stemware, tables, chairs for celebrants in the future.
- Recycle and/or compost waste.
Keep your Green Eyes Open and be delighted by what you can find to support your sustainable vision!