Eco-Friendly Wedding Ideas
Having a more eco-friendly wedding helps reduce our carbon footprint.

Using used goods, having an outdoor ceremony, and using recyclables are a good way to have a more eco-friendly wedding.

One environmentally friendly philosophy has entered the wedding industry. If you want to reduce your carbon footprint during your special day, you don’t have to give up the vision you have for your wedding. Here are some tips to help you find ways to turn your ceremony and reception into an eco-friendly wedding.

  1. Choose an outdoor venue where the sun can provide the lighting. Many outdoor venues have the modern conveniences of toilets and sinks, making a more comfortable atmosphere for your guests.
  2. If an outdoor venue is not an option, hold the ceremony and reception during the day in a venue that offers natural lighting. Host all the festivities during the day to avoid having to use electricity.
  3. Also, hold your ceremony and reception in the same place. This will reduce the fuel emissions from guests.
  4. Look for a venue that is environmentally friendly.
  5. Print up wedding invitations on recycled paper, but instead of multiple inserts in the envelope, send your guests to your wedding website for more information. Go paperless with save-the-date notices.
  6. Buy seasonal flowers from local vendors. Use potted plants or topiaries as centerpieces. You could also use silk flowers for your bouquet and decorate with items that can be reused later. There are also many options for decorations that can be found in your garden, such as twigs, moss and ivy.
  7. Rent hybrid vehicles or use a horse and carriage to arrive and leave the wedding venue, if you must have a special moment.
  8. Rent linen napkins instead of paper. Ask for glass tabletops and forego tablecloths.
  9. Choose caterers that source from local farms and dairies. You can also serve local wines, champagnes and beers. Ask your caterer about its green philosophy. Does the company use eco-friendly cleaning products and is it careful with its paper consumption? Your cake baker should also use organic products and source locally as much as possible.
  10. Avoid sturgeon caviar or Chilean sea bass and other threatened species.
  11. Choose a honeymoon location that keeps your green vision in mind. Travel in eco-friendly methods and look for a hotel that is designed to be environmentally friendly.

What to Wear for an Eco-Friendly Wedding

For the bridal party’s attire, go eco-friendly by reusing garments. Many brides wear a gown from their mom or grandma, but if that is not an option, shop at a vintage clothing or consignment store. You can also rent gowns, much like you rent tuxedoes. If you want your own dress, look for one made of sustainable fabrics, such as silk, hemp or organic cotton.

Instead of choosing specific bridal party dresses, allow the bridesmaids to wear dresses they already own or give just a few guidelines to allow them to choose a dress that can be worn again. Your bridal party can show off their own style while finding dresses they love.

For the groom, instead of wearing a tux that might never come out of the closet again, invest in a good suit that can be used for other special occasions. Allow the groom’s attendants to wear nice pants, button-down shirts and matching vests instead of jackets.

Reduce, Reuse and Recycle

You might have to ask your vendors what they are doing to reduce their carbon footprint. Find ways to reuse items from your eco-friendly wedding. Shop at flea markets or antique stores for decorations. Ask your decorator or designer about what he or she already has in inventory. Talk to your friends about reusing wedding decorations. It might take a little more effort on your part to be environmentally conscious, but it can also make for a beautiful wedding that matches your philosophy.

Deforestation and How the Church Is Helping
Deforestation in action.

Deforestation makes a bigger impact on the planet than people care to believe.

Canada is no stranger to deforestation, in which trees are cleared to make land available for non-forest use. The deforestation rate in Canada is 0.02 percent, making Canada a leader in sustainable forest management. Most people believe that deforestation occurs through harvesting trees or forest fires, but the reality is that deforestation only occurs when forests are permanently removed. The government regulates forests on public lands, about 94 percent of the forests in the country. When trees on public land are harvested, the land must be reforested, typically through planting. And it’s not urban development that is the biggest contributor to deforestation. It’s actually converting forested land to agricultural land.

The Unfortunate Truth about Deforestation

The rest of the world isn’t quite as fortunate. Experts report that over 13 million hectares of forest around the world have been cleared to make room for alternative uses. Trees are cut down for many reasons:

  • Agriculture – farmers need more land for crops and livestock.
  • Logging – trees are cut down for wood and paper requirements.
  • Biofuels – palm oil is becoming more popular, and many forests in Malaysia and Indonesia are being harvested to produce this biofuel.
  • Fuel – trees are harvested for firewood to heat homes and for cooking.
  • Roads and highways – forests are being cut down to make roads.
  • Mining – forested areas have a lot of minerals, making them vulnerable to mining operations.

How to Fight Back

The loss of forests contributes to a loss of habitat and an increase in global warming, as well as more erosion and flooding because the trees do not hold the soil down. As a global society, we must do our part to prevent deforestation around the world. We have to:

  • Plant more trees
  • Put pressure on companies that are destroying forests to manufacture products by not buying from brands that are not eco-friendly
  • Reduce, reuse and recycle
  • Support non-profit organizations that are fighting deforestation
  • Take a stand on political issues
  • Look for green products that reduce your use of natural raw materials

The Anglican Church Steps Up in Burundi

Burundi, a small country in Africa, has lost about 22.1 percent of its forest habitats through deforestation from 1990 to 2005. The government has decreed that people should act more responsibly toward the environment, and to that end, it has a goal of planting 10 million trees over the next five years.

The campaign is called “One Person, One Tree.” The Green Anglicans have been promoting tree planting for a number of years in the area, but now, the church and government are working together to improve the environment. Episcopal Relief & Development, the US-based arm of the Anglican Church, has set up nurseries in the country. The goal for the first year is to plant one million trees on both public and private land. Many ceremonies have already taken place, with civil organizations joining the church leaders and government officials to kick off the campaign. It’s a good way to start the new year.


Joyce Kilmer

I think that I shall never see

A poem lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest

Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast;

A tree that looks at God all day,

And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in Summer wear

A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain;

Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me,

But only God can make a tree.