What makes a wedding dress eco-friendly?

If you are planning the perfect eco-friendly wedding day then one of the main things you have to ensure is that your wedding dress is eco-friendly.  We all know just how important the dress is.  After all, you are the bride and it is only right that all eyes are on you as you walk up the aisle.  You should never worry that going green means that you have to compromise on impact at all.

Location

It is well-known that for many retailers it is far cheaper to have garments made in far-flung parts of the world and export them in than it is to have them made locally.  However, there are dress-makers in every town and city that can easily help you to create your dream dress without the need for counting the air-miles.

Fabric

Eco-friendly fabric requirements vary.  You could choose fabric that is manufactured locally, although in most areas this is very hard to come by.  You could also choose fabric that is made organically, so you are reducing the damage that is done by pesticides and other chemicals.  You could opt for recycled fabric so that you are not adding to the planet’s problems and you are using something that you can find locally.

Recycling

You might be able to find just what you need in a vintage store.  Using a dress that has previously belonged to someone else is not something that you should dismiss.  Vintage style is very popular at the moment and there are some exquisitely-made dresses from the 1920s, 30s, 40s and 50s that will be able to help you to make an impact on your big day.  One of the saddest things about weddings in general is that most of the beautiful gowns that are bought will never be used again – but you could change that!

Unique style

It is tempting to buy off the peg sometimes as this can save a great deal of money but remember that these are dresses that are mass-produced. It can be much more eco-friendly to look for something unique.  Talk to a local dress maker about creating an individual dress, taking into account all the points mentioned above.  Organic silk or recycled fabric can be used to create a beautiful dress that is unique to you.  It is much harder to get an individual look if you go to one of the mainstream stores for your gown.

Before you hit the shops to find your perfect dress, have a look online to find out what eco-friendly options are available in your area. Consider the type of dress that you want and see if you can find a similar style in a vintage store. If you are clear in your mind about the type of dress that you want it can be much easier to work out how to find it!

Eco-friendly Honeymoons in Mexico

Mexico is a country that has attracted mass tourism in recent years, yet even with all the large scale luxury resorts there is a growing eco-tourism sector here and many of the larger hotels and resorts are now making the switch to greener practices. This makes it the ideal destination for those who want an eco-friendly honeymoon! Take a look at these luxury resorts where you can enjoy all the finest features of modern hotels, but without worrying about the damage being done to the planet.

Xinalani Retreat

Head over to Puerto Vallarta to Banderas Bay. The Xinalani Retreat is a tranquil resort that has both a jungle and ocean backdrop for you to enjoy. It is only a small hotel but the accommodation is luxurious. Here you can take part in wellness retreats and group workshops as well as enjoying all the luxury features of the resort.

Escudo Jaguar Hotel

This hotel can be found in the Usamacinta River in Frontera Corozal. This is a resort that has camping areas as well as standard hotel rooms. The Choles native people run the resort and have taken good care of the land around the resort. The food served here is based on locally-grown produce and there are plenty of activities that are available to guests.

Xaloc Resort

The luxury bungalows at the resort have been constructed using eco-friendly methods and materials. Guests will notice that all the small green details have been covered. Again, a wide range of activities are available at the resort as well as local attractions such as craft workshops. Explore the local area and mingle with the local people to get a feel for the traditional side of life here.

Hacienda Chichen Resort & Yaxin Spa

Consider a trip to Chicen Itza where you can enjoy luxury accommodation but be close to the various Mayan ruins on the Yucatan Peninsula. The spa offers a range of holistic treatments that take their inspiration from the Mayan culture. There are a number of ecotourist activities in the region and the hotel can arrange for you to take part.

Puerta Calakmul Ecovillage

This is the perfect resort if you want to spend a little time exploring the jungle. The hotel has a high standard of accommodation as well as a range of amenities for guests to enjoy. Staff can arrange for you to go on trips to see the local ruins and other attractions in the area.

The hotels have employed a wide range of eco-friendly measures in order to reduce their carbon footprint. This includes alternative methods of energy production such as solar power and wind turbines as well as strong recycling policies and water saving measures. Using local produce not only cuts down on a carbon footprint but also supports the local communities. Why not consider one of these resorts for your eco-friendly honeymoon?

 

Eco-friendly Wedding Venues in Oregon

The beautiful state of Oregon is home to many amazing venues that you could consider for your special day but are they eco-friendly? The good news is that there are plenty of venues that take their commitment to green issues seriously. Why not consider one of these for your wedding?

Village Green Resort

If you want to create an outdoor theme for your wedding then a good place to start might be the Village Green Resort. This Cottage Grove hotel is perfect for those who have a large family and who want to bring along the pets too! With standard hotel features such as Wi-Fi, swimming pools and a spa, you could arrange to have your wedding as part of the 14 acres of spectacular gardens.

Tipi Village Retreat

Head over to the Mohawk Valley near Eugene, this is perfect for those who want a wedding with a difference. You can have your wedding here and stay in one of the tipis, a cabin or studio. The tipis come complete with stone floors, comfortable beds and plenty of blankets to fend off the cold of the evening. It is the perfect place to get back to nature and facilities include shared bathrooms, organic locally-produced foods and excursions to explore the local area. It is the ideal place for a rustic wedding without all the modern trappings that can send your carbon footprint soaring.

Hornings Hideout

For a large wedding, Hornings Hideout at North Plains could be just what you need. With the ability to accommodate more than 500 guests, you could have the prefect outdoor wedding to make the most of the beautiful surroundings. The venue can arrange aspects of your day such as the catering or you can organize your own. For a rustic wedding this is a great option and the venue has put a number of sustainable practices into place to keep the impact on the environment to a minimum.

Ecotrust

Located right in the heart of the city of Portland, you can have a rooftop wedding that will not compromise your eco-friendly principles. The rooftop terrace of the Ecotrust building is perfect for both the ceremony and the reception and the venue only uses sustainable caterers to provide the perfect feast for the day. The streetcar in the city goes right to the front door of the buildings so guests can help to bring down the carbon footprint of the day by opting for public transport. The building dates back to the 19th century and when it was renovated to become the home of Ecotrust 98% of the original materials were reused.

Your wedding does not have to make a huge impact on the environment and with the help of venues like these you can keep the impact to a minimum. Talk to the event planners at the venues to find out just how easy your big day is to arrange!

 

 

What Difference Can Eco-Friendly Jewelry Make?

For those who want to do a little more to help the environment there are many ways to make the necessary changes to their lifestyle, but how many people consider the eco-friendly credentials of their jewelry? The truth is that most commercially produced jewelry has quite a substantial carbon footprint, so choosing eco-friendly pieces can make a difference. Eco-friendly jewelry is manufactured using methods that are much more responsible, both socially and environmentally.

Precious metals

classic ecoura ringWhen it comes to fair working practices and conditions the gold mining industry does not have the best reputation. The actual work to extract the gold is damaging for the earth and with issues such as safety standards, respect for the indigenous peoples and the use of toxic substances like mercury and cyanide in the process of mining, an eco-friendly alternative is essential. Renewed gold is the alternative that could ensure that no further damage is done. Renewed gold is the precious metal that has already been mined and previously used. It is simply recycled to create new pieces. Ecoura uses renewed gold to create unique and beautiful pieces of jewelry that will not have a negative impact upon the planet.

Precious stones

Did you ever hear the phrase ‘conflict diamonds’? Many of the world’s diamonds are mined and sold in order to fund wars and other violent acts in Africa. Lives are lost and there are human rights abuses during the mining process. Again, the methods used for mining are very damaging to the environment. Getting diamonds that are conflict-free is not easy because there is not really any way to guarantee that they have been mined ethically but there are some sources of diamonds that are much more environmentally-friendly such as Canada.

Environmentally friendly pearls

You may think that pearls are much more eco-friendly than diamonds and gold – after all, they are produced by oysters. However, the methods used to harvest them are not eco-friendly. There is ecological damage in the form of the depletion of the species. Ecosystems are damaged when the high-powered hoses are used to clean the oysters. Mussel populations are also affected by the cultivation of pearls by using mussel nuclei. Some pearl farms are using natural methods for cleaning pearls that do not destroy the environment for the native fish populations.

When you are buying a piece of jewelry it is always a good idea to ask where and how the piece was manufactured. Most jewelers will be able to tell you where it has come from, but it will always help if you look for a jeweler that specializes in eco-friendly jewelry. Ecoura uses renewed gold and it is estimated that for every gold ring manufactured this way, between 5 and 20 tons of environmental waste and damage can be saved. And the piece you purchase will still be just as beautiful as those that have left a negative stamp on the environment.

 

Greener Drinks for the Big Day

Portrait and new menu items

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.

Champagne

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.

Wines

 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.

Eco-friendly spirits

 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?

What about an eco-friendly honeymoon down under?

If you want to head to the Antipodes (Australia or New Zealand) for your honeymoon then you don’t have to worry that you will be compromising your eco-friendly principles to do it. There are plenty of destinations there where you can relax and enjoy your first vacation together as a married couple while not vastly inflating your carbon footprint.

Aro Ha

 This retreat can be found in New Zealand, in the heart of the Southern Alps. The accommodation is eco-friendly and all the food served at the resort is self-sufficient as it is produced on-site and it is organic. This is widely considered to be a great place for an adventure honeymoon as well as the ideal location in which to recharge your batteries. There are spa areas and therapy suites as well as yoga and meditation, but you can also take the time to go hiking and kayaking if you prefer.

Bloomfield Lodge

bloomfield eco friendlyOver in Australia head to North Queensland near Cairns and you will find the Bloomfield Lodge. A remote resort, it has 17 rooms of natural timber that give amazing views of the rainforests. Its eco-friendly credentials come from the solar energy that powers the telephone system and keeps the swimming pool warm. The resort also has a very strong policy of using recycled materials and products. All vessels belonging to the resort also have low emission outboards, so you can explore the area knowing that the environment isn’t suffering as a result.

Silky Oaks Lodge

This resort is a reminder that you don’t have to forgo luxury in order to enjoy an eco-friendly honeymoon in Australia. This resort offers tree house accommodations close to the Mossman Gorge River and each room has been fitted with a marble bathroom and a walk in shower. Each also has a private balcony with views of the Daintree National Park. Relax in luxury too by making the most of the on-site spa. The tree house restaurant is a very popular place and included in the cost of your honeymoon would be guided walks through the rainforest and the use of mountain bikes.

Daintree Eco Lodge

Queensland eco friendlyAlso in Queensland is the Daintree Eco Lodge. This resort claims to be the ‘most pampering ecolodge in the world’. You would get the seclusion you crave here as there are only 15 bayans and you can avoid the crowds that you would get at larger resorts. Located in the beautiful rainforest, the resort has a luxurious spa and you are guaranteed locally produced cuisine. During your stay why not take part in one of the rainforest walks or go jungle surfing? There are plenty of adventure tours on offer so that you can make the most of your time here.

Australia has so much potential for those who want to be green – why not consider it for your environmentally friendly honeymoon?

What makes your wedding venue eco-friendly?

eco friendly wedding venueThere are a number of different factors that you should be looking for when you are trying to figure out if your wedding venue is eco-friendly. The first thing you should do is ask the venue what action they take in terms of sustainability – most places that consider it to be important will be very proud of the work they have done and will not hesitate to tell you. However, some are definitely more eco-friendly than others!

Energy usage

 Any venue can look at their energy usage and make it a little greener. Even ensuring that their energy supplier has green policies can make a difference, but if you want to be sure of your venue ask them if they’re using alternative forms of energy generation such as solar power or wind turbines. Ask if they take measures such as switching to energy saving lightbulbs – even simple steps like this can bring the carbon footprint down significantly.

Recycling

 Whatever you do in life there is always the potential to recycle and hotels and other wedding venues are no exception. Some have intricate systems that recycle grey water so it can be used in gardens, some will simply ensure that all of their paper is collected and recycled. Others will ask for guests to separate out the things that they use so that bottles, cans and paper can all be recycled. What about recycling of rainwater? Collecting rainwater for use in the hotel is a great water of cutting back on water consumption, which is another key factor in the eco-friendly world.

Local suppliers

 This is quite important. There is not much point choosing a venue that has all of its energy supplied by solar power if you find out that they import all of the flowers for their arrangements from another country. Local suppliers are essential to any company that wants to be greener. Florists, for example, could be using only seasonal flowers and foliage that they can source within a few miles. The venue’s kitchens could ensure that they are sourcing meat, fish and vegetables locally too. Again, imported food – even from another state – can add to a carbon footprint significantly

Don’t forget to ask!

 There is no point dismissing a venue just because they do not do things the way that you want. Ask if they can do it for your day! For example, if they do import flowers for their venue, ask if it is okay to use your own local supplier for that one day. While it would be good to have a venue that is environmentally friendly all the time, some are not, but you can make it so for your wedding day.

Most venues are happy to accommodate you if you have specific requirements. Why not take a look at their websites first – if they have green credentials they will normally publicize this. Many venues have been given green awards from TripAdvisor so why not start your search there? As always, we hope you join us at Ecoura in our commitment to preserving and protecting our Earth.

Eco-friendly Wedding Venues in Arizona

The beautiful state of Arizona is home to many amazing wedding venues that have the potential to make your big day one that you will never forget. However, what if you’re looking for a venue that has eco-friendly credentials? The good news is that there is more than one to choose from, so no matter what your tastes are, you’re sure to find a great match.

Loews Ventana CanyonLoews Ventana Canyon

This is a resort located in Tucson close to the Santa Catalina Mountains. The venue has been awarded a bronze level in the GreenLeader category from TripAdvisor because the management has taken a number of steps to make this a much more environmentally-friendly location. Greener features include energy-efficient lighting, a number of fixtures that are designed to save water, a composting system and a garden filled only with native plants. On the property you’ll find the only natural waterfall in the city – a great backdrop for your photos! – amazing gardens, mountain views and views of the desert. Activities offered by the resort include golf, tennis, swimming and a luxury spa. If you’re looking for an all-inclusive destination then this could be the one for you!

Westin La Paloma Resort and Spa

This is also ideally located in the Tucson area and in the foothills of the Catalina mountains. This venue has also been given a Bronze Level award by Trip Advisor and no matter what the size of your wedding, this venue has something for you. Whether you’re inviting 10 guests or 500, there are facilities that will be perfect. There are both indoor and outdoor event spaces and you can even take the family pet along. If you’re looking for a place to have both the wedding and the honeymoon, this could be it.

JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort & SpaJW Marriott Starr Pass Resort & Spa

 Joining the ranks of the Bronze Level award holders is the JW Marriott Starr Pass venue. This can be found to the west of Tucson close to the mountain park. When you choose to hold your wedding here you get two nights free and there are plenty of other extras to enjoy. With the eco-friendly features such as energy and water saving measures in place, you can enjoy your wedding without worrying about the impact that you’re having on the environment. Facilities include a pool, luxury spa and a golf course where the grounds maintenance is completed chemical-free.

This is just a few that you could consider but if you’re looking for an eco-friendly venue then ask your coordinator about the sustainability measures that your venue is taking. It could be that they have a policy of using only local suppliers, or that they grow their own fruit and vegetables for the restaurant. Every little measure can have a positive long-term impact and can help to give you the greener wedding that you are hoping for.

What is the most eco-friendly season for your wedding?

eco friendly weddingsIf you want an eco-friendly wedding then it is a good idea to work out which is the most eco-friendly season to hold your wedding. There are different eco-friendly advantages to each season and you have to choose the ones that will best complement your wishes and theme of the day.

Spring

Spring flowers are always popular at weddings and to have them at any other time of the year means that you are supporting commercial growers from other areas, adding to your carbon footprint. Floral crowns are an eco-friendly alternative to tiaras for both the bride and the bridesmaids, or simpler real flower hair accessories. Spring is also a good time to sow seeds and the popularity of wild flower seed packs as wedding favors means that your guests can attend your wedding and transform the look of their garden just in time for summer!

Summer

 A summer wedding allows you far more choice of venues, particularly if you want to keep the natural feel and have your wedding outside. Receptions can be held in marquees and there will be no need to create a background for your photographs – nature does all of that work for you! Remember that a wedding held indoors will use a lot more electricity and other forms of energy to keep it going. An outdoor wedding means that you can make use of the extended daylight hours and keep your energy use to a minimum.

Autumn

 A rustic theme is great for an autumn wedding and the good news is that it is also an eco-friendly one. A barn wedding (if you have a barn for hire nearby!) is always a good choice. Why not provide your guests with an edible place card? At this time of the year apples are plentiful (although it helps if you know somebody who has an orchard!) and all you have to do is write names on a small piece of card and tie it to the stalk of the apple. Burlap bags also look great at a rustic wedding and they are perfect for the wedding favors. It is a natural material and the bags will serve as a lasting reminder of the day.

Winter

 Eco-friendly weddings in winter are a little harder to pull off. Weddings and the reception generally have to be held indoors, depending upon which part of the country you are in, and this means that you need to do a little hunting for your eco-friendly venue. Wedding accessories can also be an issue. Flowers for example, can be a problem. If you want specific flowers then you are usually be using imported flowers or getting them from a supplier that has force-grown them in a greenhouse. These options are not eco-friendly. Opt for what nature already has. Holly, ivy and mistletoe can help to bring nature indoors for you and you can often find these in your own back yard.

No matter what time of the year you want to have your wedding there will be an option that will help you to keep it eco-friendly, but remember that sometimes, what works during one season will not necessarily work during another!

 

 

 

Tips for Eco-Friendly Wedding Planning

eco friendly weddingThose who want to live a greener lifestyle may pay a lot of attention to the finer details of their big day, ensuring that it is as green as possible. However, you might want to consider how to make your planning process greener too. It might sound strange but everything we do has an impact on our planet in one way or another. Remember that there is a lot of moving about to do when you are planning a wedding and this will add to your carbon footprint, so why not try a couple of these tips to keep it to a minimum?

At-home research

 The internet is a great way for you to limit the damage you are doing to the planet because you can use it to find out more about things like venues and suppliers. You can take a look at the websites for the various places and suppliers that you are interested in and then create a shortlist that way. It could be that you need to know if a specific hotel has certain facilities available and their website should be able to tell you that. You will only need to arrange a visit if you are sure that you want to consider it for your wedding. It is great to visit places but it is also a very easy way to increase your carbon footprint.

Careful visits

 When you do want to arrange visits prior to the wedding, try to visit venues that are close to each other around the same time. For example if you want to visit a couple of venues that are 10 miles away from your home, try to visit them on the same morning or afternoon in order to limit the amount of travelling that you are doing.

The same thing applies to meetings with suppliers. If you are planning an eco-friendly wedding the chances are you are using local suppliers for your big day anyway but it can still help to make the planning process greener if you meet with them all around the same time and in the same area.

Are your suppliers green?

 You should be able to answer this question from the initial stage of your research. If you take a look at your supplier’s website it should say if they have been working sustainably or not, or tell you what your eco-friendly options are. If there is no information on this then make a phone call and ask the question. Don’t wait until you have travelled to meet the supplier to ask because that could just be a wasted journey if they are not able to meet your criteria. Those who do work to eco-friendly standards are usually very proud of this and will post it on their website for all to see!

Starting the planning process for your wedding is a very exciting time and it is very easy to get caught up in the excitement but if you want to have the greenest wedding that you can then a little bit of research will help you in the early stages.