And I think it’s what I want to be

It’s not that easy being green…
It seems you blend in with so many other ordinary things

When green is all there is to be
It could make you wonder why, but why wonder why
Wonder, I am green and it’ll do fine, it’s beautiful
And I think it’s what I want to be

A friend of mine recently wrote about not being very green for her wedding.  She said she doesn’t know where her diamond is from, they’re using disposable stuff for their barbecue, and they have other stuff that is not recycled and not local.

Alert the presses! We must stop this wedding!

No, but really.  I hadn’t thought about any of this until I read her post, and then I was like, “Huh. What an interesting thing to think about.”  I read what she wrote and thought, “Well, yeah.  There’s a lot I’m not doing.  There’s a lot I could be doing more on.”  Here’s what we’re doing environmentally “wrong”:

  • We have new dresses from David’s Bridal.  I am pretty sure that these were not made locally or with organic materials.  What they were made with was some cloth and design that we could afford. Sorry, world.
  • Our invitations are going to be printed on the most affordable paper we can get at PaperSource, because the sizes are standard, the store is local, and we know what colors we need.  Maybe they will be on recycled paper? Maybe not.  We haven’t really gotten that far, but we’ll get what we’ll get, and again, I think the decision will be made by budget rather than environmental friendliness.
  • Our food may or may not be local.  Local or no, I can tell you one thing our food definitely is: delicious.
  • My ring might be a “blood diamond.” Eep.

Okay; having said all that, there is actually a lot that we are doing right.

  • We’re getting married relatively locally, and we’re supporting a small, local organization by using their space.
  • Our caterer is local; they will have pretty minimal travel.  Additionally, our officiant, band, and many guests are also local.  Yay lower travel costs!
  • Our rings are both antiques: not recycled, but reused.  That sounds a little grungier than I mean it.  What I mean is that we found something beautiful that already existed; we did not create any market for these rings to be manufactured (I hope).
  • We’re planning to coordinate carpooling to minimize traffic.
  • We’re using real dishes (sorry Angie! Not a dig, I promise!), which will be washed and reused.
  • Our RSVP cards are going to be postcards – minimize the paper!

I feel like I’m putting so much into just making the wedding happen that I’m not going out of my way to make sure things are “eco friendly.” It seems like such a trend; “Be a green bride! This is the only way you can take care of the world!”

Honestly, it’s a bit of a bummer that we’re not doing more, but there’s only so much we can do while maintaining our sanity.  In real life (ie non-wedding-related-life), we recycle, compost, and try to ride bicycles instead of driving (just tonight we went on a date, bicycling to the movies and then to a restaurant! Look at us go!). We do what we can in lots of little ways, and our wedding is not a badge of “Look How Environmental We Are!” It’s our wedding, and it’s supposed to be a special day for our relationship and the people who affect and support our relationship. Where it’s doable, we’ll pick the better-for-the-world option, but honestly we’re going to pick the better-for-our-budget and more-representative-of-us option first.

I know this isn’t the trend, and, especially as someone who tries so hard to minimize my impact and waste and take good care of – not to mention appreciate! – the environment, it’s hard to admit that I am not doing every single little thing that I possibly could do.  But I think we’re doing a lot, and we’re doing it fairly intentionally.  And I think that that is okay.

Where are you on this scale of things?  Does doing this stuff sometimes balance out when you can’t do it?  What little steps are you taking?



Filed under Marriage/Wedding/Engagement

3 responses to “And I think it’s what I want to be

  1. whoop whoop! serious shout out time!

    i think, and i can’t really own that b/c you read my own whine session about it, but just from gathering what other folks say- it’s about balance. and that’s what you and turtle have.

    and the fact that you are doing your part in your lives outside of the wedding matters, too. we recycle and we try to keep down our carbon footprint (except my commute but i can’t change that). i think you two are doing a fantastic job!

  2. I say focus on what you are doing, not what you aren’t doing, and do what you can. That’s all that can be expected of you. You don’t have to solve the all the environmental problems with your one wedding. You just should contribute in the ways that you can.

  3. We planned our wedding with absolutely no concern for being green. Of course, this was 2 years ago and 2 years can make a huge difference in your life.

    Approximately one year ago we started our transition to eating and living organically. Our goal was the be 50 percent by 6 months and 100 percent by 1 year. I must say we are just about there which is amazing.

    Don’t feel bad for not doing everything green! Plan your wedding according to what you want and can afford. Just do what you can…:)

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