15 October 2007

Blog Action Day

Today over 15,000 bloggers are working to have 12.5 million readers view some words about the environment. Read more about it here.

Here is my effort to you. First you should know that I have a background in ecology and have worked with environmental research in the western U. S., Central America, and South America. However I think some of the best efforts to reach more of the general public to think about the environment are to have people consider their consumer efforts and basic resource use like water, especially water (but that is a personal passion because the lack of clean water globally is a big issue that is a reality for a lot of the world).

So I do have A LOT of ideas about the environment and our daily interface with resources but I am going to try to keep this post wedding-related since I am 97 days away until my wedding. I am going to write about why we are making eco-friendly efforts for our wedding. Green weddings are very trendy right now and I am fine with that, I don't care if the bride or groom are hippies, senior scientists, or just doing something green for one day, they are making an effort. The greenest wedding is a simple two-person elopement at city hall but not everyone wants such bare-bones efforts. When I started my wedding research the first book I picked up from the library was "Green Weddings That Don't Cost the Earth" and I highly recommend checking it out. It is bare bones green wedding planning from a period before when the wedding industry exploded all over this segment of the market. Read this first, then move on to Organic Weddings and Eco-Chic Wedding Planning.

We have put a good deal of effort into our marriage. We did DIY marriage preparation 12 months before the wedding, then a facilitated 3-day marriage retreat 10 months before the wedding, we are taking dancing lessons 4 months out and leading up to the wedding, and the dance classes really are a concentrated, physical manifestation about marriage prep for us. I'll write more about that one day soon. The wedding itself is a quick ceremony with a fun party around it. Here is information about our wedding celebration. Read it to judge if these are things you want to do, use it for inspiration to do something that embodies you and your fiance, or ignore it. For us this celebration is a balance between maximizing our joy with our far-flung guests and limiting the resources we are using in our effort.

  • vintage (a.k.a. used) rings
  • second hand dress and second hand guayaberas for fathers
  • save-the-dates made of recycled chipboard and old calendars
  • invites made from our junk mail and embedded with wildflower seeds so they can be planted when guests are done with them
  • lodging in Costa Rica is low-impact with green space
  • reception location, wedding location, and lodging are all within walking distance
  • public transportation down to our wedding location... yep, yep, yep... gin and tonics on the bus to the coast!
  • use of leftover wedding decorations from other weddings that already happened (yay for a network of online friends!)
  • candles, re-chargeable batteries, solar, and low-voltage electric sources
  • flowers grown at our reception site to be cut the day of the wedding and composted there when we are done
  • use of scrap fabrics for table runners and napkins to be donated to the area for re-use
  • banana leaves will be cut from our reception site and used as plates then composted at the site
  • glasses will be used wine bottles cut and smoothed for our use as well as other use in the area
  • veggie food options, local catch, and local preparation
  • fans for cooling instead of air-conditioning with small attached programs made of recycled paper and old playing cards
  • bridal party gifts include handmade necklaces, recycled tin containers, handmade bags with scrap material, and sarongs to benefit a community education program
  • relatively small guest list for a wedding... about 20-30 people
  • guest favors are a donation to a local primary forest project as a carbon offset for all of our collective travel
  • the big guest activity besides the wedding is a volunteer work day with an indigenous community center involving a hike back through the forest to the site and labor (we are still determining labor needs) with the families of the project because the kids luckily have that week off from school
  • another activity is a visit to a sloth sanctuary and animal facility that rears critters confiscated by MINAE that people are trying to illegally smuggle out of the country
  • Our mini-moon will be nearby in Panama at a low-impact eco-tourism project
Do what you can to reduce your resource consumption. Find a balance that you feel comfortable with to maximize the joy of your wedding. And good luck with your wedding planning.

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