Tips for Eco-friendly Weddings

I’m a big greenie, thanks to being influenced positively by Don and Mylene.
I love conservation and yes, I am a member of MNS (that’s Malaysian Nature Society) whereby I am privy to interesting emails about conservation and ecology, particularly on the Yahoo Group that I am on. For a minimum of RM60 per year, I get updates from MNS about the state of our country in the form of gorgeous journals. (What is RM60 to you? It’s probably a night out in the city and probably not even enough to buy a pair of stilettoes but imagine, your RM60 for MNS can help protect those who cannot protect themselves.)
Sometime ago, MNS members started giving ideas about how to organise a green wedding successfully.
Did you know that weddings often leave huge carbon footprints? With everyone flying in from almost everywhere for the big day, and all the gifts and wedding decor, I should think it’s a mammoth print.
With permission from the thread originator, Ee Lynn, below are some tips to go green and have an eco-friendly wedding (hey, even birds are considered!).
Ee Lynn has these ideas:
1. Limit the size of your guest list. Instead of obligating the attendance of family members and friends from out of town, create a wedding website they can visit and leave comments in.
2. If you have many members of the family in a particular state, say, Penang, instead of having 12 of them drive down to KL for your wedding, host a delayed family-only wedding dinner there the next time you go to Penang.
3. Don’t have organic flowers or chocolates airflown from some distant country just so you could have a pesticide-free wedding. Always choose local.
4. Help plan your guests’ transport arrangements. Have them carpool by designating meeting areas and pick-up points.
Non-travel related tips:
1. Have lots of vegan dishes, not just for the vegetarians. Go for spring rolls, sauteed vegetables and salads. It’s sad that most of us celebrate a happy occasion by taking the lives of small animals :o( We should try to limit the number of animal lives taken.
2. Practice the 3Rs: Rent, don’t buy, your outfits, the chocolate fountain, and anything that you probably will not be using again.
3. Inform the caterers/restaurateurs that you don’t want a polystyrene arch or backdrop!
4. Get your guests involved. Ask if they could bring their own homegrown flowers to contribute to the arrangements. If you have a colour theme already, do let them know. Best to encourage potted plants e.g. orchids, otherwise they’d just go out to the nearest florist, buy a big bouquet and defeat the whole purpose.
5. Or have a blank scrapbook ready with stacks of photos. Each guest brings enough scrapbooking material to decorate a page, pen a personal note and choose a photo to go with his or her dedication. Let guests know in advance via text message, e-mail or direct communication, so they can compose their poems and congratulatory notes ahead of the wedding. Each contributor can be given a token of appreciation later.
6. Instead of throwing rice and confetti, use birdseed to make a big heart-shaped pattern on the ground in front of the church or wherever the daytime ceremony is to be held. Apparently rice can swell in birds’ stomachs and kill them, but birdseed can’t.
7. You could either choose to do without wedding favours, or go for things like potted 4-leaf clovers, magic message bean plants, organic spa soap and natural potpurri in cotton muslin pouches.
8. Communicate your message: Let others know what you believe in. There’s nothing worse than taking the noble step of opting for a green wedding and then having duhhh-case friends accuse you of being mean or stingy. Remind them of the theme throughout the wedding by playing songs with a green message (“Big Yellow Taxi”, anyone?), leaving environmental literature on the reception table for their perusal or displaying No Sharks Fin Soup campaign cards on the table.
What do you think? Many of my friends have already gotten married but it’s not only for weddings. Consider these tips too whenever you organise a party or a family celebration or birthday dinner.
Reduce your carbon footprint, whatever you do. Live wisely!

5 Easy Ways to Green Your Lifestyle

This is my 250th post since 2005. 😉
And today is also World Environment Day.
On reflection, I think I am a good environmentalist. Nic and I have made the environment one of those causes that we support heartily.
Starting last year, I became an MNS member so that I could channel some money towards Mother Nature especially to safekeep what we currently have. I’ve also learnt so much from the monthly MNS newsletters.
This morning, I read about bats in the June MNS newsletter (I have a tendency to read while having breakfast). Pahang is one of the best places on earth to see a variety of bats (which are mammals by the way). We have about 65 species of bats. The other place which comes close with some 50 species is the French Guyana. See the things you learn about Malaysia when you support a local cause? I encourage you to join as an MNS member – if only to know that your money is going towards saving endangered animals. Do good for only RM6 a day. I am sure your latte costs much more than that.

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