How to Make Green Choices for Your WeddingEvery day, you do your best for the environmen. Perhaps you've sworn off paper towels in favor of rags which can be washed and re-used. You might carpool to work to save some of the Earth's oil resources , or perhaps you take the train. And we'll bet you've been watching out for the word "organic" on your foods for years now. Yet even the most eco-conscious couple may not be aware that it is possible to be Earth-friendly on their wedding day. We have good news for you: it's easy to organize a green wedding , and probably much less pricey than you're thinking. We've gathered all the info you'll need to have a wedding that's, well, naturally beautiful…and easy on the earth.
An Earth-Friendly VenueSince it all starts with a great locale, start your search by locating a venue that practices environmental responsibility -- and has the certification to prove it. Green Seal , a non-profit organization has strict standards, and best of all, it does all the work for you. In fact, the site has a retail locator retail locator to help you find green vendors in your area with just the click of a button. The site also offers information about their standards and how a vendor becomes certified so you can know whether their philosophy matches your own. Check the Lodging section for hotels that are both gorgeous and green.
Including Fresh Ingredients in Your Reception MenuSome of the best produce can be found close to home, and can easily be turned into fabulously fashionable wedding reception fare. Depending upon the caterer you choose (this is easier, of course, if relatives and friends are prepping your reception menu), you may be able to choose the source of the food: a local farm or rancher. Ask your caterer whether you can order the ingredients yourself from the farm of your choice, and if not (or if you're on a time constraint), whether she can guarantee you that she will use ingredients only from certain farms or markets. You'll be supporting your local economy and guaranteeing great quality. Tip: Consider offering to put a sign near the serving table advertising the grower/rancher for a discount.
Is it Organic?A word of caution on choosing foods: "organically grown" doesn't mean additives weren't sprayed on before shipping to improve the color or extend the food's shelf life -- and that's just one example of how some food vendors fly in under the radar and sell you food you wouldn't otherwise eat.
Be absolutely certain the produce you're choosing or inspecting has the USDA Organic seal USDA Organic seal (a circle stating "USDA" above and "organic" below, often in green but sometimes in black, with the lower half a visual of a farm). Though this certification isn't 100% foolproof, it's a fairly close bet.