Reducing your carbon footprint (down the aisle)

earth-pleasing tips for the biggest party you’ll ever have

 
Consider nixing disposable cameras at your reception. Mother Nature will thank you.

Extreme Green: Exchange dull, luster-less rings made out of wood.  Or mud.
Reasonable Green: Buy an antique, heirloom, or vintage ring. Incorporating such an item into your ceremony will also take care of the “something old” required by that traditional rhyme. Williams Diamond Center, Inc in Eau Claire prides themselves on their selection of antique rings.

Extreme Green: Strut your bed-head down the aisle.
Reasonable Green: Brides usually need hairspray. But hairsprays and holding gels don’t have to be all aerosol and fumes. Organic lines of beauty products do exist, and if you use them, the earth will personally indirectly thank you. Spring Street Studios LLC in Chippewa Falls is one vendor that provides this option.

Extreme Green: Naked tables
Reasonable Green: Reuse centerpieces in your household after the wedding, or give them away as gifts. Swap cut flowers for potted plants, which last much longer. Or, consider organic/sustainable bouquets from Adalar Floral.

Extreme Green: Fashion a dress out of olive leaves, Eve-style.
Reasonable Green: Opt for “green” fabric. Dresses and suits made from hemp and organic cotton are sustainable and available at environmentally conscious online retailers.  
Also, the material itself is usually not too fancy—in other words, your attire may not be confined to one-time-wearability. Local dress shop Something New, LLC focuses on wedding dresses that are made primarily from sustainable fabrics.

Extreme Green: Wilderness wedding party camp-out.
Reasonable Green: Host your ceremony and/or reception at a local park pavilion to show your alliance with nature and conservation. The City of Eau Claire Parks and Recreation Department suggests the following areas for weddings: Braun’s Bay in Carson Park, Mt. Simon Dell’s, Mt. Simon Hillside, Owen Park Bandshell, Phoenix Park Pavilion, Phoenix Park Labyrinth, Riverview Island, and Rod & Gun.

Extreme Green: Take mental pictures; display in mental photo album.
Reasonable Green: Consider nixing disposable cameras at your reception. Instead of leaving these free-for-all cameras on tables, select a few key friends (who know their lenses) to bring their own digital cameras. After the wedding, gather to compare photos and get prints of the best ones.

Extreme Green: Rely on word-of-mouth to invite your guests: it leaves no trace. (Though may ensure no lasting details).
Reasonable Green: Choose 100% post-consumer recycled papers for your invitations or save-the-date cards. Lots of texture and color options exist as these choices are becoming more popular.

Extreme Green: Expect your guests to walk. (Pull Granny in a wagon?)
Reasonable Green: Suggest carpools for guests—-from the ceremony to the reception venue, reception venue to the hotel, etc. If the wedding is in a big city, it may be smart to plan routes through public transportation. Or, embrace the old-fashioned and take a horse-drawn wagon, available through Cabin Ridge Rides in Cadott.

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