Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Confessions...Take My Advice

Here it is the week of the wedding. I have done my best to be as environmentally, economically, and socially responsible as possible. I have shared a few of the stories with you. But as we always say, no event is 100% sustainable and so it was for this green wedding. In my final confession, I share the rest of unsustainable decisions I made…

  • I chose a new wedding dress. I didn’t reuse or reclaim the fabric in anyway. My guilty pleasure is made of luxurious silk and Chantilly lace.

  • There will be saucers under the coffee cups. I know, I know…we always advocate against this to save water and energy. If it had been a business meeting, I would agree. But the look of this formal dinner setting with a cup (no saucer) just didn’t work.

  • I asked the pastry chef to kindly not tell me where the decadent chocolate came from (I am pretty sure it isn’t from within 100 miles of here).

  • I chose beef for dinner instead of an all vegetarian menu. Although we do have a wonderful vegetarian option, my friends and family seem to be mostly carnivores who enjoy a really good steak.

  • Guests will fly in from New Jersey, Washington DC, San Francisco, La Conner, Vancouver BC, and Los Angeles. That is a lot of carbon to be responsible for. (And we thought we were being so careful by honeymooning close to home).

Take my advice (spoken during these last few days of dealing with the final details, crazy relatives, ridiculous requests and way too many things left to do)…ELOPE!

It is the only way to be truly sustainable. Save money, save the Earth and save your sanity!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Confessions...the Gift of Giving Back

In Indonesia’s West Java province, a law requires newly married couples to plant and care for five trees. The seedlings are generally brought by the bridegroom as a dowry for the bride. This initiative is an effort to repopulate the devastated rain forests.

What better time to start a tradition of caring for the Earth and it’s people than during a ceremony celebrating love and life? Western weddings can carry a heavy carbon footprint even with the best of intentions. The couple registering to receive even more stuff, just seems crazy.

Even if you say “no gifts” it seems as though people feel compelled to give you something. I understand, it is part of the tradition. Some of the gifts we have received come in the form of a friend making delicious desserts for the wedding, or running errands before the event, or managing duties during the ceremony (don't forget I know a lot of event professionals), or arranging a brunch the day after for our out-of-town family--the list goes on. These are incredibly special for both of us.

Still committed to a gift in the form of a crock pot, towels or money, others were asked instead to donate to the Oregon Food Bank. Although there are many good causes to choose from, feeding the hungry in our local community is essential to us with children comprising 36% of people eating meals from emergency food boxes. In addition, our area continues to be ravaged by high unemployment rates and an extreme lack of food available for donation.

To date, our food bank wedding “gifts” will provide emergency meals for 3,256 hungry people. My thanks to all of you--we are grateful and honored!