Planning your eco-wedding will mean more than considering the day. It could be that you truly want to apply eco-friendly principles to all aspects of your life and this means that you should consider your wedding gifts too. It is just as easy to register for eco-friendly gifts as it is to register for the usual gifts. Consider a few of these when you are putting your gift list together.
There are a few different plants that can be given as a gift that will live for many years and serve as a lasting reminder of your big day. The fortune plant is popular in Chinese culture and they consider it to be a symbol of abundance. The jade plant is another option and is ideal for the couple that does not have a lot of time to care for plants. It is part of the cactus family and therefore does not need to be watered very often. Bonsai trees could be an elegant plant for the home and when properly cared for they can last for decades.
Bamboo is an eco-friendly material and a bamboo box knife holder is a gift that is practical, chic and environmentally friendly. It is a strong but light wood and it is made from a renewable source. Alternatively, a set of wood placemats add an eco-friendly touch to a home. They have a vintage look and will last for years. Wood clocks are also a great gift. Don’t worry that you have to opt for plain wood either, find one that has a unique or bright design painted on it. Wood photo frames could also be a useful gift. Most guests opting for a photo frame for a wedding gift will opt for silver or another metal, but wood is homely and warming, as well as being sustainable.
Many newly-married couples will be opening their wedding gifts to find a towel bale, but you could ask for towels with a difference. Bamboo towels blend organic cotton fibers with bamboo fibers, which means that the towel will absorb moisture easily.
Eco-friendly kitchen gadgets
There are many people who have already discovered the merits of a slow cooker but you can also pick up an energy saving version. Find one that uses less than 300 watts, which will help to keep energy consumption low. Slow cookers are a great gift for a busy couple – meals can be cooking slowly all day while you are at work and you come home to a wonderful meal that took very little effort.
The possibilities for your eco-friendly wedding gift list are endless. You might want to focus instead on changing the way that you consume energy and ask for solar chargers or you might consider that ethical gifts – the donation of goods or services to third world countries – might be more appropriate. Consider your options and put together a wedding list with an eco-friendly twist!
Planning a wedding is all well and good if you have plenty of ideas to begin with, but what if you really have no idea where to start? It could be that you start out with plenty of creative thoughts but run out of steam part-way through the planning process. So what help is out there? Don’t worry, social media can come to your rescue!
One of the most popular social media sites is Pinterest, literally an online pinboard where you can gather your ideas together, create different boards for different topics and search for new ideas when you feel as though you need a helping hand. Check out Ecoura’s Pinterest page!
Pinterest for weddings
This modern-day scrapbook is a great place to begin and if you are used to spending a few hours at a time browsing online then you will love this site. People create boards for different subjects then pin images and links to them so that you can browse at your leisure. No matter how obscure you think your topic might be (1930s vintage tablecloths anyone??) somebody out there has thought of it first and started work on it. Simply put your subject into the search and it will link you to the various boards and pinners that are already hard at work on the matter. You can then create your own boards that are filled with ideas for your big day, by repining the images that you like.
When you are browsing on other sites online for ideas, look for the little Pinterest logo next to images and articles so that you can then pin these to your own boards. Then later on when you are starting to narrow down your choices for the wedding you have everything in one place and will not need to go hunting for the information.
You can have as many boards as you like on Pinterest and your friends and family can see them too, making it great if you are planning your day with the help of family that are not close enough to visit all the time.
Narrow down the options
Most people will find it easy to narrow down their options because they will be able to see that there is a trend on their Pinterest boards. It could be that you have chosen to pin 100 images of wedding dresses but that the majority are of a similar style so that you can see at a glance which style of dress you would prefer.
Make sure that you follow a few of the top pinners too in order to be able to keep up to date with anything new that they post.
Remember too that browsing this way is much more eco-friendly than traveling to a lot of shops and browsing in person. If you prefer to keep away from crowds then this is the best option for you – your bridesmaids and other friends can also keep their carbon footprint to a minimum by joining you for online discussions and planning! For wedding inspiration, check out Ecoura’s Pinterest page!
So your wedding day is fast approaching and you need to decide what your guests are going to be drinking at the reception. Usually the answer is very easy – you pick up champagne for the first drinks and the toasts and then offer wines, beers, and soft drinks before the bar opens in the evening.
If you want your day to be as eco-friendly as possible you may have to rethink your plans. True champagne comes from the region of the same name in France, which means that it may have developed a significant carbon footprint before it even reaches your wedding. If you can cope with the amount of travelling that your champagne might have done you might want to consider it anyway as a number of the main producers are taking significant steps towards making this an eco-friendly product. Recent reports suggest that the champagne industry wants to reduce its carbon footprint by 25% within four years and by 75% by 2050.
Organic champagne is available and means that no chemicals have been used during the process of production. Some are changing the way that they produce the wine so that they are sustainable in terms of water conservation and energy consumption and others are using as much biodegradable packaging as possible.
Locally made champagne is your next option so that you can cut back on its travel time and impact. Since these wines are not developed in the Champagne region of France we call them “sparkling wines” and there are some very good options on the market. Many of your guests may not even realize that they are not drinking champagne.
The same applies with wines and ciders. If you want to serve these, opt for locally made wine so that it does not have a heavy carbon footprint. The flavor of organic wines is often much better than those that have been produced with the help of pesticides and other chemicals. Many regions now produce organic ciders so getting your hands on this drink is not going to be difficult.
You might want your guests to be able to enjoy a cocktail or two on your big day and for this you are going to need spirits. It is now known that a number of producers in the US have eco-friendly spirits so you definitely will not miss out. If you are opting for gin, for example, try the Bluecoat American Gin, made in Philadelphia and has eco-friendly credentials because it uses organic ingredients and no additives.
Vodka is another option and there is an organic vodka made in Idaho that could be just what you are looking for. If not, opt for one created in Oregon from organic corn, wheat and rye – great for mixers and cocktails and perfect for a party!
Why not talk to local bartenders or your catering service to find out what else there is in your area to give your drinks menu that eco-friendly touch?
When you want an eco-friendly approach to your wedding, this should be applied to every last detail of the day. You may have looked into the reception venue itself to find out if it has eco-friendly credentials, but did you consider how your reception room is going to be decorated?
The good news is that it is very easy to take an environmentally-friendly approach to your reception decorations. One tip is to focus on the natural. If you opt for natural fabrics like organic cotton for your table cloths and napkins then you have a good basis for your table designs. You can then add on to this with other natural features.
Hessian-style table runners have a very rustic look and will work well no matter what colors you put with it. Flowers are a good choice for table decorations and you can be very creative with them. However, you need to think about where you get your flowers from. A standard florist may be importing flowers from other parts of the country or even from abroad so that you have a good choice all year round. The problem with this is that even though flowers are natural they may have a substantial carbon footprint. You need to be sure that the flowers that you choose are grown locally and have not traveled far. You can even take this a step further by growing your own flowers for the reception. You could consider wild flowers during the summer but be careful where and what you pick as there may be restrictions.
For a winter wedding it may be that your choice of flowers is limited unless you live somewhere where the weather is good all year round. If this is the case you do not have to lose out – consider foliage and greenery. A wedding at Christmas, for example, would not be complete without holly and ivy used to decorate tables and to create interesting decorations for side tables.
Candles also make good table decorations and you can rent lanterns and candlesticks so that your tables all match. You can make your own candles easily for that personal touch and they can easily be colored to match the scheme of your wedding. Just remember that if you are going to use candles you may need extras as some might have burnt out after a few hours.
Table confetti is also a popular choice for decorations at a wedding and you can make your own from old books or recycled paper. Use a craft punch to get different shapes such as hearts, butterflies and flowers so that it can fit into your theme.
All it takes to get the eco-friendly decorations that you want is a little planning. Ensure that you source locally for the most environmentally friendly options and it does not hurt to keep it simple – the day is about you, not your design skills!