Your wedding flowers can be a place where you can make conscientious decisions that can have big eco consequences. If you are determined to plan a green wedding and want flowers to be a part of your earth-friendly plan, here are some options to consider.
People often don't give thought to the environmental effects of flower delivery. But the trucks and vans that transport flowers can guzzle gallons of gasoline, polluting the air and environment. Many flowers sold are imported from developing countries where pesticide use is very high and labor conditions and wages are very low. Buying locally and seasonally can reduce emissions from transportation, not to mention cutting costs and, I would say, is one of the most important things you can do to green your wedding. Check out your local farmers markets and nurseries for wonderful choices.
Going with organic flowers can also help to avoid using flowers grown overseas that rely on harmful pesticides. If you can't find a local florist who can track down organic flowers, check out OrganicBouquet.com for a wide array of sustainably grown blooms. Remember that using cut flowers always results in a lot of floral waste. Think of ways you can conserve: maybe you could share the blooms with another bride whose wedding is close to yours. If possible, reuse your flowers that day by turning ceremony flowers into decorations at the reception. If your not sharing the flowers, donate them to a local hospital or senior citizen center after the party, or send them home with your guests as favors.
While this could be every bride’s nightmare, going without flowers at your wedding is the most environmentally friendly option of all. Have your bridesmaids carry elegant fans, small boxes or purses. Bamboo is one of the most sustainable materials on earth -- it can grow up to two feet a day. Use tall stalks of curly bamboo in centerpieces, or choose bamboo chargers for your reception tables. Look into using silk flowers too. Though sometimes expensive, the arrangement will last forever and can make a great keepsake for you. They are often cheaper when rented through a wedding planner; and then they can be used for future events.
If you’re set on fresh flowers (I understand), consider using potted plants and flowers that are native to your area for your wedding decoration. This can be a fantastic way of helping the environment as well as ensuring your flowers can be enjoyed for weeks or months to come. After the event, guests can take them as gifts or you can take them home with you as a reminder of the occasion. You can even plant them when the reception is over—wedding décor and landscaping in one.
Just a few tips to help you plan a socially responsible, yet stylish celebration. Next time on Green Weddings: Eco-friendly jewelry