Eco-friendly Countries – Choose a Honeymoon Destination!

If you’re determined that you want your honeymoon destination to be as eco-friendly as possible then it makes sense to look at the entire country, rather than just the individual hotel or resort you are going to be staying in. The more that a country does to be environmentally friendly the more likely it is that your accommodation will be green too. Recent research has listed some of the most eco-friendly destinations so why not consider these when planning your honeymoon?

Scandinavia

Finland has topped the chart of the most eco-friendly countries. The government there has committed to becoming a carbon-neutral society and at present almost two-thirds of the electricity produced in Finland comes from either nuclear power or renewable sources.  While Iceland is in second place in the list, it is closely followed by Sweden and Denmark who are following their neighbor’s lead in green initiatives. Consider a trip to Finland’s capital city of Helsinki where there are plenty of cultural attractions, or head to Iceland for the opportunity to spend a romantic evening watching the Northern Lights.

Europe

After Scandinavia dominated the top half of the list, it is no surprise to find that other European nations make up the rest of the top 10. In 5th place is Slovenia, followed by Spain, Portugal, Estonia, Malta and France, showing that European nations are taking positive steps to do more to protect the environment. Head to Slovenia’s capital city, Ljubljana, where you can spend time wandering along the cobbled streets and visiting some of the historic attractions. In the winter months you can enjoy a skiing honeymoon here if you love winter sports.

The rest of the World

New Zealand and Australia feature highly on the list. Waiheke Island in New Zealand is a popular choice for honeymooners thanks to the scenic beaches and the tranquil vineyards but the cities such as Auckland are also a great choice because of their lively social scene. Australia now has a number of eco-friendly projects and alternative energy projects such as solar power can be seen all over the country. For a honeymoon choose one of the eco-friendly rainforest lodges or try a luxury train journey from one side of the country to the other.    

Having an eco-friendly honeymoon is actually much easier if you look at the country as a whole, instead of just your accommodation. Countries are putting in place large-scale eco-friendly projects designed to reduce energy consumption, create more greener energy and to gradually reverse the damage that is being done to the planet. And most of them have beautiful towns, cities, beaches and countryside that also make them a great place for you to enjoy a wonderful honeymoon. With so many eco-friendly destinations to choose from, finding the green honeymoon that you want will not be difficult.

Eco-friendly Wedding Venues in New England

New England is such a beautiful part of the country and the great news is that there are plenty of eco-friendly wedding venues in the region, so why not consider one of these when you’re planning your big day? With such amazing scenery the photos will look fantastic and you will know that you played your part in preventing further damage to the environment.

Sweet Berry Farm

Located in Middletown, Rhode Island, this is actually a working farm. Conservation work is carried out here with the help of the Aquidneck Land Trust and when you’re planning your wedding you can choose to hold the event outdoors in the orchard or there is an indoor barn. The farm produces its own fruit, vegetables and flowers – all of which you can take advantage of for your wedding. With plenty of other local suppliers on hand, none of the produce you need for your wedding will have racked up much of a carbon footprint including the wine. You can even source green wedding favors and gifts locally.

Zukas Hilltop Barn

If you need a wedding location in Massachusetts try the Zukas Hilltop Barn in Spencer. You can opt for both indoor and outdoor weddings here and you can choose produce such as herbs, berries, vegetables and flowers which are all grown on the farm or you can source from local farms nearby. The farm also has a policy of donating left over goods to a food pantry or to local families. Meat and poultry reared on the farm are antibiotic-free and bottled water is not used to reduce plastic waste. The venue also makes sure that all laundry is done on-site so that there is no need to transport it elsewhere.

Stowe Mountain Lodge

Head to Stowe in Vermont for the Stowe Mountain Lodge, a real eco-friendly resort where all of your guests can be accommodated and there are plenty of different options for dining. Facilities at the resort include a golf course and a spa. The resort is committed to being as eco-friendly as possible and has won awards for its environmentally-friendly efforts. The use of greener toilets and showers, eco-friendly light bulbs, a strong recycling program, green cleaning products and motion detectors to regulate heating, lighting and air conditioning. Add to this the fact that much of the furniture, pottery and glass used as decoration have been produced locally and you will find a wedding venue that has very strong green credentials.

These are just a few of the eco-friendly options for a wedding venue in New England but with dramatic backdrops and top quality facilities you can be sure that your big day will stand out in the memories of all your guests for a long time to come.

 

Find your Eco-Friendly Wedding at a Bridal Show

Did you ever consider going along to a bridal show to help plan your wedding? Everyone needs a helping hand from time to time to make sure that their big day goes smoothly and one way to do that is to go along to a wedding fair.

Is a wedding fair eco-friendly?

It could definitely be considered that there are some eco-friendly elements to a wedding fair. After all, you are not going to be spending days driving round visiting bridal gown stores, caterers and stationers – they are all under one roof. You make one journey and all of the suppliers are there for you to meet, assess their products and services and book for your wedding if you want to. You can also save a lot of time doing it this way.

A good tip is to go to a wedding fair in the area where you want to get married. Most people will get married close to where they live but there are plenty of people who want to get married in their partner’s home town, or want to return to their own home town. If you want to make sure you are using local suppliers because they are a more eco-friendly option then this is the best way to do it all in a short space of time.

What eco-friendly services can I expect to find?

Most suppliers going to a wedding fair will be able to explain to you which are the most eco-friendly options. For example, a bridal gown designer or supplier will know if they are able to supply you with a vintage gown or if any of the gowns they supply have been made with eco-friendly fabric. Stationers will be able to tell you about recycled paper options for invitations. Caterers will be able to explain to you where they source their produce and how much of it they have to bring in from other areas.

You may not find suppliers that claim to be completely eco-friendly, but all you have to do is ask and they will do their best to get you exactly what you need, from the transport to the church to the entertainment for your evening reception.

For some wedding fairs you may need to buy a ticket in advance. This could be true of the smaller events where they already know that a lot of people intend to go along, but larger events you may just have to pay an entrance fee when you arrive. There are others where you might not have to pay a fee. All fairs are slightly different but the aim is always the same, to gather a large number of suppliers in one place and promote services that you need for your big day. Wedding fairs are held regularly in most towns, look online to find one in your area.

Track Down that Eco-Friendly Wedding Dress

It is very easy to say you want an eco-friendly wedding dress, but sometimes they are not that easy to find. So where do you start looking?

Sustainable designers

You don’t always have to visit a bridal boutique to get a great dress. You can go direct to some designers, particularly those that work to sustainable principles. You can rent or buy samples from them and some will ship samples out if you cannot get to their own boutique, which makes it easier to buy from a greener designer based further away from your home. Consider a designer such as Magnolia, an eco-friendly designer based in Vancouver that uses fabrics such as organic cotton and Indian silk. Alternatively, take a look at the gowns made by Celia Grace, a Cambodian label that uses fair trade locally-produced silk that is pesticide and antibiotic-free.

Conventional boutiques

There are some conventional shops that sell eco-friendly wedding gowns but you will need to ask and be specific. Not all sales people are going to know all about the gowns they are selling. Find out where they are made, what materials are used and if they are organic or fair trade.  However, this could be a costlier option so you will need to factor this in.

Go used / vintage

You can easily rent or buy a ‘preloved’ dress. Vintage dresses are some of the most beautiful gowns around and there is nothing in wedding etiquette that says your dress has to be brand new. How many people have worn the same dress that their mother or grandmother wore? Vintage is not just a modern trend, people have been doing this for decades without realizing that they were helping the environment a little. You can even try to find a gown at a thrift store – some now have whole wedding sections that have developed as a result of more and more people turning to pre-owned outfits for their special day. Nobody thinks twice about the groom renting a suit for the day, so why shouldn’t the bride get her outfit the same way?

Let the internet guide the way!

The first place anybody turns to for information these days is the internet and it will only take a few minutes to carry out a search for an eco-friendly wedding dress. Sites such as Etsy are filled with vintage items but the downside is that some sellers will not offer a return policy, so you are taking a chance with the fit and style – you may not like it as much when it arrives! However, there are some great bargains to be found and there is no reason why you cannot find your dream dress this way.

No matter what style of gown you like, there is an eco-friendly option out there that will suit you and you can enjoy your wedding day knowing that you haven’t done any damage to the planet.

Eco-friendly honeymoon on an Indian Houseboat

India is such a beautiful country that already has a number of eco-friendly resorts, so if you want a greener honeymoon you’ve probably already considered it as a potential destination. Something you might not have been aware of is the luxury eco-friendly houseboats that take you along the beautiful waterways of the Kerala region and Kashmir Lakes and which are perfect for a unique honeymoon.

Rudra Houseboats

Your honeymoon is not a time when you should be thinking about cooking and cleaning so it makes sense to opt for a luxury houseboat where there is a crew to look after you. The Rudra houseboats in the Kerala region are generally manned by a Captain, a cook and an oarsman so you don’t have to think about how the boat works or runs – you just relax and enjoy the amazing views.

Staff on the boat can prepare candlelit dinners each day for you to enjoy and you can book this five day houseboat stay as part of a longer trip to the Kerala region. The boat trip will take you to various places in the region to give you the opportunity to do a little sightseeing. The boat features luxury bedrooms and bathrooms as well as a kitchenette for you to use if you need to.

Kerala is known for its green spaces and there is even a nature reserve nearby where you might get to see a tiger or two if you are lucky. There are also beaches where you can relax and you could visit a tea plantation or two as part of your trip.

Kashmir boats

Boats can also be rented on the lakes in the Kashmir region of India. This is relatively inexpensive when it is compared to other luxury accommodations in the region and while most boats are designed to take multiple guests, it is possible to rent the entire vessel.  Try the Royal Houseboats, which are moored overlooking a lotus field on Dal Lake and are close to the region’s popular floating market.

The historic Butt’s Clermont Houseboats are also within relatively easy reach of the floating market and you would be following in the footsteps of celebrities like George Harrison. If you prefer something a little different, head to Gurkha Houseboats on Nagin Lake. Again, the accommodation is luxurious but this destination used to be popular with hippie travellers in the 1970s and 1980s so it has a very laid-back feel to it.

Many of the houseboats use solar power to generate electricity and there are recycling and water conservation measures in place. You can also choose to book your trip through one of the eco-friendly tour operators in the region so they can make sure that every aspect of your stay is a green one!

New Trends for Eco-Friendly Weddings

There are new trends every year for eco-friendly weddings as people find new ways to keep the environmental cost down and still have a spectacular wedding ceremony and reception. Why not consider a few of these ideas?

Reduce, reuse, recycle!

And we are just talking about your ceremony flowers here! Your ceremony flowers can easily be used to decorate your reception room as well. You will save money because you are not having separate flower arrangements for both parts of your big day and as most brides will opt for the same color scheme for both, it makes sense to simply move the flowers. Consider using the smaller bridesmaids bouquets as centerpieces for the tables.

Hire the outfits

Despite the obvious environmental benefits some people are still reluctant to embrace the trend to rent wedding dresses, although it is considered acceptable for the groom and groomsmen to hire tuxes for the day. This year there will be an emphasis on the benefits of renting the perfect outfit and it is a good idea to consider this for the bridesmaids, even if the bride prefers to buy a dress for herself. Bridesmaid dresses are hardly ever worn again, so why not just pay a small amount to use them for the day and then return them when it is all over?

Keep printing to a minimum

These days nobody expects to get to the wedding and find things like printed menus and order of service. Keep the cost of printing (and help the environment) by using decorative chalk boards around the room to inform people about the culinary delights that await them, and have something similar explaining the order of events too. These can then be reused and you may be able to find a party rental company that you can rent them from for the day.

Opt for potted plants

If the idea of floral arrangements is not appealing why not consider using potted plants to decorate your tables?  More and more brides are using potted plants instead for eco-friendly reasons. The plant remains in the pot and when it is removed later it is still living and will keep growing, unlike flowers which start to die off when they are cut. This is something that the bride can sort out herself, growing plants of her choice before the day and simply making sure that they are in suitably decorative pots. The plans will become a permanent reminder of the wedding afterwards as they can be taken home and will last for a long time if cared for properly.

Small potted plants can also be given as wedding favors, so your guests can watch them grow for years after the day.  Opt for terracotta pots to give the tables a rustic look.

These are just a few of the trends that are becoming popular with planners of eco-friendly weddings this year. Adapt to your own style and enjoy a wonderful day!

Could eco-friendly weddings soon be the norm?

While at the moment only a small percentage of people make their wedding as eco-friendly as possible, in some parts of the world steps are being taken to encourage greener and more environmentally-friendly ceremonies.

India is one of those countries where – for many people – a lack of materialism makes it easier to lead an eco-friendly lifestyle. It has now been revealed that the government in the Kerala region wants to work with religious and social groups to encourage people to plan their day with the environment in mind.

The government there has already successfully implemented green strategies when planning major events including the Malayatoor Perunal and the National Games and this has given the authorities the boost they need to promote green strategies for weddings. Some of the district administrations have already launched strategies on planning eco-friendly weddings. The plans have been well-received so far and it is expected that a full green strategy will be in place soon.

What about other countries?

While there may not be an official policy in other countries about planning a green wedding, there are the facilities, products and services in countries all over the world for you to ensure that your own special day is as environmentally-friendly as possible. Most countries do have laws and regulations on the reduction of carbon emissions and programs that encourage eco-friendly practices.

How easy is it to achieve an eco-friendly wedding?

The truth is that it is easier than you might think. All you have to do is think about the factors that can add to your carbon footprint and change them. Consider a few simple changes such as:

  • Use decorations from biodegradable and recycled materials
  • Opt for vintage and recycled outfits for the bride and bridesmaids
  • Use local suppliers
  • Arrange car pools to reduce the number of vehicles being used

There are plenty of other ways that you can make your day eco-friendly and with a little imagination it will be a very memorable occasion.

Think about barn weddings, which will give your day a rustic feel or opt for one of the modern hotels that have been built with all the latest eco-friendly features that you could wish for, from solar panels for energy production to greener housekeeping policies. Head for one of the eco-friendly lodges that are appearing in resorts, towns and villages in many countries and opt for a honeymoon where there are plenty of environmentally-friendly features.

Finally, don’t forget that it is just as easy to keep your jewelry eco-friendly. At Ecoura we produce wedding rings from renewed gold and for every engagement ring purchased we plant a tree, helping to give back to the environment. Visit one of our jewelers today and choose from our range of elegant and stylish designs for the finishing touch for your wedding!

Eco-friendly Wedding Details for 2017

So you want to plan your eco-friendly wedding this year?  With environmentally friendly products and services becoming much more popular, you might think that it would be easy to do this, but if you want to stay on trend there are a few things to take into consideration that will not damage the planet any further.

Wedding décor

Using recycled materials and locally produced items, you can dramatically reduce the environmental impact of your wedding. Try fresh flowers for decoration – these are biodegradable and can be taken home by guests at the end of the day.  The one thing you really need to avoid are balloons. While most people favor them because they are cheap, cheerful and easy to use, they are not the environment’s best friend. The actual rubber material used to make them is harmful for the environment and can easily end up in the water system where they can be consumed by fish and birds.  You could as an alternative, decorate the room with rented items such as parasols or create your own from recycled paper.

Eco-friendly confetti

While many people still use the less-than green variety of confetti, they love the idea of an environmentally-friendly version. Flower petals are the best choice here – they are biodegradable and let’s face it, they look much better in the wedding photos than tiny pieces of colored and coated paper. The paper version can actually be around much longer than you might think and it is so easy for it to be picked up by birds too.  You could make your own confetti. Why not get your own flower petals, dry them and then crush them so they are in fairly small pieces?  They retain the color and will still look great in the photos. You can mix it with birdseed too if you prefer – the birds will be attracted to the seed so it doesn’t just hang around on the pavements.  Don’t mix the petals with rice – this can be damaging if the birds pick it up.

A bird’s eye view

Up until a couple of years ago if you wanted aerial views of your wedding, you had to hire a helicopter.  Needless to say not many couples chose to go down this route, mainly because of the cost but some people were also mindful of the environmental considerations. However, this year aerial photos are going to be big news at all weddings and this is due mainly to the rise in popularity of the humble drone!  You can get aerial photos of your big day without seeing a spike in your carbon footprint – why not ask one of your guests?  There are a lot of people who own drones these days and the cost should also be fairly low.

Finally – don’t forget that recycled gold and jewelry are big news at the moment.  Ecoura can supply you with renewed gold rings that have not had a dramatic environmental or social impact.  

Green Wedding Trends for 2017

As you plan your 2017 wedding you may already have definite plans in mind for theme and how your big day can stay on the right side of eco-friendly. However, there are those who might just want a few hints and tips on what to expect in 2017 for the latest wedding trends and how to stay as green as possible.

Vintage style

The trend for vintage-style weddings has been around for a while and the good news is that this trend shows no sign of going anywhere anytime soon. Next year vintage style will ooze glamour, so if you want to stay fashionable make it big and bold.  If you opt for true vintage rather than reproduction you will be helping to keep your carbon footprint low.

Location with a twist

The choice of venue is very important if you want your wedding to be an event that your guests never forget and the trend for 2017 is to find a place with a beautiful outdoor setting or a very unique building.  Outdoor weddings can also help you to stay green as you will be making use of natural light, saving on energy consumption.

Get crafty!

One of the trends for the coming year is handcrafted invitations and calligraphy.  This is something that you can easily learn to do yourself and you can then make sure that the materials you use are recycled or at the very least recyclable. In fact, many wedding planners are encouraging couples to incorporate paper into the decorations and theme of the wedding, so paper flowers, for example, could be just one feature to consider.  It is low-cost and eco-friendly, so why not?

Local flavor

Look to your local area to find the flavors and trends for your wedding.  For example, couples in Vermont could be opting for maple syrup flavoring in some of the dishes for their menu, or for weddings in Utah you could feature buffalo on the menu. Staying local for your supplies is one of the easiest ways to stay eco-friendly.

Traditional cake

Recent trends for displays of cupcakes rather than traditional cakes are on the wane a little and now it seems that the traditional, tall, tiered cake is making its way back into fashion. Couples like the traditional style of the tall cake and it is great for making a feature out of your dessert table.  The cake often follows the color scheme of the wedding so consider this when planning how your cake is going to be decorated. Having it made locally will help you to stay as eco-friendly as possible.

These are just a few of the trends that you could consider when planning your 2017 wedding, although there are plenty of others too. Why not talk to a local wedding planner and find out which trends are proving to be most popular in your area?

What does being green really mean?

Going green is not something that people do simply for their wedding day – it can be something that you apply to every aspect of your life, depending upon how dedicated you want to be and how much of a difference you want to make. You could find yourself making just a few changes or major alterations to your lifestyle!

Being eco-friendly

If you don’t want your lifestyle to have a damaging effect on the planet then you need to look at how you might be able to reduce your carbon footprint. Do you always use your car for short journeys when you could easily walk or use public transport? Do you buy a lot of things that have been imported from other countries? Using your car less and buying locally-produced goods are just two easy changes that you can make to your lifestyle that will lessen your impact on the planet.

From there you will find it easier to make other changes. Your home’s energy consumption, for example. Do you find that you pay a lot for electricity usage? Chances are it is just because you are not vigilant about minor points like switching off appliances when they are not being used. Not only is this going to be better for your bank balance, the environment will thank you for it too!

Reduce, re-use, recycle

There are three words that can help you to become a much more environmentally-friendly person.

  • Reduce – cut back on the things that you use that are not absolutely essential. When you go to the store, for example, buy loose fruits and vegetables rather than pre-packed and you don’t have to worry about excess packaging that is definitely less than eco-friendly!
  • Re-use – If you can keep something and use it over and over again rather than throw it away after one use you will help to reduce your carbon footprint
  • Recycle – this is very important.  Recycling items means that less energy is used to make completely new items.  Plastic, paper, glass and cardboard can all be easily recycled and now most towns offer collections for recyclables – take advantage of this and make a difference.

Special occasions

Once you make small changes it is so much easier to plan for the greener aspects of special occasions like your wedding day.  Invitations from recycled paper, a menu of local and organic produce, green transport for you and your guests and sustainable materials used for the dress and other outfits and you should have the makings of a day that is not going to leave you feeling guilty about climate change.

For every person, having a greener way of life is going to be different. The important thing is to take that first step and then all the others that follow will be so much easier. Learn more about how Ecoura is committed to protecting the planet.