Friday, May 4, 2012

"Greening" your celebration

For many Pagans I know, caring for the earth is not only a life style choice, it is part of their religious practice.  Being green is an everyday choice, so their celebrations should reflect that, too.

Here's a few simple and somewhat straightforward ideas for having a greener wedding, handfasting, or commitment celebration.  The list is by no means exhaustive, but they can serve as a starting point for planning.


  • Less travel= less CO2 emissions
  • Local flowers not only require less travelling, they are less likely to spread nuisance pests and non-native seeds into new areas.


  • Living plants can not only make your celebration lush and beautiful, they can double as gifts and favors, and they live on long after the day is over. You can also try reselling potted trees and shrubs locally to another couple celebrating or plant them at your home.
  • Cloth napkins and real dishes can be rented from party suppliers, and they are used hundreds of times by the time they meet the end of their life.
  • Look for decorations that might be put to use for other celebrations: buntings can be rehung at barbecues, candle holders can be incorporated into your home decor or holiday decorations.
  • Tulle, burlap or muslin can be used to fill in center pieces, spruce up chairs, decorate tables, and hide unsightly areas.  They also can be reused for craft projects later.


  • If you must have non-reusable tableware for your event (no, I'm not judging, I'm just pointing out that it does happen), think about recyclable and/or compostable products.  You can find them at party supply stores, or get customized versions through etsy. Also look for the Forest Stewardship Council stamp for items manufactured without harming old growth forests.
  • Wedding stationary is notorious for not being recyclable.  When you're looking, look for items that don't include plastic coatings or foil.  Many stationary suppliers now offer recyclable and eco-friendly papers.


  • Seasonal foods and flowers require less travel, and therefore, less fuel.
  • Seasonal foods are also less hard on the climate than items that have to be forced to grow in greenhouses or factory farms. These methods also contribute significantly to global warming.
  • Seasonal often means more abundant, which also tends to equal savings.  
Also, I put together an etsy treasury for some "green" wedding ideas.  Take a look: