Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Green Weddings are not a Color Trend

For the five of you who were reading this little blog back in October, you may recall I mentioned a  Santa Monica-based non-profit called Sustainable Works in this post as a local option for free classes in sustainability and eco-living.  Since then, Jason and I took the full course and started moving towards greener choices, together, in our everyday joint lives. Following that, I participated in their teacher training courses, and I'm now about to start teaching a full six week course.

Needless to say, I'm a little excited to finally be back in a classroom again (I used to teach, years ago) and to be sharing my professional expertise in a community-based setting on behalf of such a great non-profit organization. (Yes, great.  I've worked and volunteered with other non-profits and this one is truly exceptionally well run and successful in achieving its mission.)

As I start working through my lesson plans, I thought it might be interesting to apply these general big-picture sustainability issues and solutions to the specific context of weddings.  I've mentioned before that I have some issues with how green weddings are generally portrayed in the wedding world.  Last week was no exception to that frustration, when a major mainstream wedding website mentioned on twitter that it was so over the green wedding trend. 

Um, I hate to inform you, wedding site (I wish I remembered which one), but green weddings are somewhat different than the Pantone Color of The Year trend b*s. Green weddings are actually about long-term sustainability, and are driven by the concept that we have limited resources available on this planet and we need to learn how to consume and manage them more responsibly.  Unlike most wedding "trends" green weddings are not driven by their marketing potential, no matter how many "eco-friendly" favors you try to peddle me. 

Yes, there are also tons of great Green Wedding resources around the web that don't pander to the trend cr*p, but sometimes their lists of dos and don'ts are a little overwhelming, even for me.  So, over the next six weeks as I plan out my classes, I thought I'd try and break down the rationale and possibilities for approaching sustainable weddings in a sane and non-marketed fashion. As I'm pulling together these posts, let me know if you have any questions, about green weddings or general sustainability issues, and I'll work to incorporate the responses. 

14 comments:

  1. that is so cool that you took classes and are now teaching them. i would love to do something like that! don't really know of such an organization here in nyc.

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  2. So glad you are tackling this. Environmentally responsible choices are a big deal. I get pissed off when Earth day rolls around every year and suddenly everyone pretends like they care for 2.2 seconds. Living environmentally responsible should extend to all parts of your life, including your wedding. It's difficult doing it all at once, but little steps are the way to do it.

    Wedding are a big source of waste and excess, so I'd be really interested if you have any advice on cutting down the waste associated with them.

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  3. @Ms Bunny - don't worry, waste at weddings is one of my hot button topics. I'll make sure to pull together some sustainability options during the week I cover waste issues.

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  4. I'm really excited about this post series you got going!

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  5. This is an excellent idea! Can't wait to see what you have to say.

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  6. We need some advice on having a green wedding or having better green practices.

    My main issue is what is the best way to eat green at your wedding. I don't want to have tons of food/dessert wasted. Should we eat fish or chicken or neither? Also, how can we reuse the flowers? I heard about giving them to local retirement homes or the like (which I love) any other suggestions?

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  7. When we decided to go meatless for our wedding, nobody was willing to acknowledge that it might be for environmental reasons, and not to simply torment our guests. I'm very curious to know the carbon footprint of the average wedding dinner (with steak and chicken options) versus a vegetarian dinner, etc.

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  8. we've recycled so much stuff for our wedding decor-- which in turn has made me really examine other ways in which we can have a greener wedding. so this post series will be super beneficial to me. i was actually going to do a search for "how to greenify your wedding" but in light of the wedding world not *quite* getting the meaning of what a green wedding really is... i think i'll be stopping here to get advice on eco-friendly weddings.

    so i'm ready! bring on the green!

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  9. I can't wait for this series- I have spent a lot of time these last few days researching recyclable dinnerware and paper goods, so I'm really interested to hear your suggestions and apply it to other areas of the wedding as well!

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  10. Yay! I can't wait for this series! We're doing our best to be as green as possible and are incorporating a whole bunch of recycled items as well as recycling/composting options for our waste....AND I can't wait to stop in and pick up new/awesome ways to be more green. Bring it on??

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  11. Awesome title, awesome post.

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  12. Here here! The disposableness/one dayness of weddings needs some counterbalance!!

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  13. We're definitely trying to focus on reducing, reusing, and recycling for our wedding. Something I'm struggling with is our guests' travel. A lot of guests will be flying to the wedding, which has a big carbon footprint. I don't know how to resolve this other than shrinking our guest list, which we don't want to do.

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