For any event, but particularly a wedding, travel to and from the venue can be responsible for seriously increasing your carbon footprint. Everyone tends to travel in their own cars unless the wedding is a long distance from home, but car travel can be very damaging for the environment. So what is the solution? A car pool!
Organizing a car pool
This is going to seem like a mammoth task but there are a few things that you can do to make it go smoothly. First of all you need to ask people how they are going to get to and from the wedding. You could send out a mass email or just ask people to note it on their RSVP when they get their invitation. The next step is a little boring but it will help! Create a spreadsheet with all list of guests on it and note where they live and if they are planning to drive or not.
This spreadsheet will help you to work out if there are guests that live close enough together to share a vehicle. You will also need to know if the guests are planning to stay overnight at the wedding location – some will prefer to return to their own home and this will affect the way that you match people up.
Talk to everyone first before you go making arrangements for them. Some will be happy to car pool and some will not. Explain to everyone why you are doing it – some will want to help you to reduce your wedding day’s impact on the environment but there will also be people who do not understand why it is important. How much time you want to spend convincing them is up to you!
Car pool benefits
The reduction in fuel usage will be important for the environment but remember that it will also save your guests some money. The cost of gas can be split between everyone in the car, which would be much more if they had all arrived in individual cars. It also means that some of your guests can get to know each other before they arrive at the wedding, so you will have far fewer of those guests that do not know anyone and find it hard to talk to strangers. And there are also fewer parking issues – there are so many venues that only seem to have enough parking facilities for half the number of guests that you have invited!
Alternatives to car pools include hiring coaches to ferry guests from the church to the reception and then back to hotels or even home. When planning your wedding, consider not only the travelling that you are going to be doing but that of your guests too – the environmental impact soon adds up but with a little (or a lot) of careful planning, you can change that.
Brides today are often turning to the DIY option for various aspects of their wedding, but is this really any greener than other options? The answer is that there are various ways a DIY wedding can be much more eco-friendly than the ready-prepared options so a little careful planning could be all you need.
When you realize just how many things are ready-made for your big day, it can seem to be easier to have somebody else do it for you. Items such as stationery, decorations, party favors and even clothes can all be made by you for the wedding and one of the advantages of doing things this way is that you can be sure you get exactly what you want, but making sure it is green is another matter!
You can order eco-friendly stationery for your wedding online or have a local stationery supplier produce it for you, but it is just as eco-friendly for you to purchase recycled paper and other items to make your own. If you simply buy random items to make your wedding stationery with then you cannot be sure that it is the greenest option. However, make sure you allow plenty of time as if you want to get them just perfect it can be a very time-consuming thing to do.
For a DIY wedding the best decorations are those that you can find in the garden! Raid your own green space as well as that of your friends and neighbors to gather huge amounts of flowers and trailing greenery. The only downside to this option is that it has to be done as late as possible to avoid the flowers drooping before the big day. Aim to decorate the venue the night before. If you opt for other types of decorations such as paper decorations or balloons, you will find that your carbon footprint rises slightly. And when you have finished with your flowers and greenery, they can simply be added to the compost!
When you are putting together your party favors you could just purchase these ready-made but you cannot be sure what the carbon footprint of these is. Why not consider a party favor that helps your guests to live an eco-friendly lifestyle? Wild-flower seeds in recycled paper packets are a good choice as it can help to give guests a lasting memory of your big day.
Okay, we will admit you need some serious skills to be able to pull this one off but you can make sure your hand-made outfits are eco-friendly. Using eco-friendly fabrics such as organic cottons and silks are a good idea but you need to make sure that they are produced locally (or as near as you can get!) in order to be sure that their carbon footprint is low. Remember that many fabrics are mass-produced in the Far East these days so do a little research before you make this decision. This is another one that will have to be started early to make sure that you are ready for the big day. Last but not least, don’t forget your eco-friendly wedding rings!