Apparently, a traditional North American wedding will generate an average of 50 to 200 tons of CO2 and up to one-third metric tons of solid waste in the form of food and stuff. And gold and diamonds that aren’t humane can be responsible for the permanent loss of health and death of up to six individuals from a third world country. Yikes, right? The the Live Green, Live Smart Institute sure thinks so — they’ve introduced a green wedding self-certification program brides and grooms can use to be sure their weddings have less of a negative impact on Momma Earth.
You can’t argue with the fact that weddings can be very, very wasteful, and many couples don’t know where to start when they decide to plan a green (or greener) wedding.
According to the Live Green, Live Smart Institute® Executive Director and founder, Peter Lytle: “This is the first green or eco-wedding certification program introduced globally. For several years we have been looking at what motivates a couple to live a sustainable lifestyle and stay committed to it. Our initial research indicates that couples that start their relationship with low-impact, green weddings are making a social and moral commitment to stay green for the long-term. What was important to us is they appear to go on and remodel homes and apartments or build new green homes, further reducing their footprint. We also believe these couples are becoming mentors and peer leaders, fostering their friends to go green with their weddings.”
“The thing that was missing with green weddings was an agreed upon set of guidelines and a way to certify the wedding as green or eco-friendly. As an environmental research and certification organization we spent hundreds of hours focused on what makes a wedding green and what couples had done to green their weddings. The result is a comprehensive set of guidelines and a free certification program which we are letting any person or organization use or reproduce.”
Honestly? There are so many ways to be green — and a lot of disagreement about what exactly ‘green’ means — that brides and grooms should just go ahead and do whatever they can to make their weddings as environmentally friendly as possible. When it comes right down to it, the things you do at home to minimize your environmental impact are the same things you can do when planning your wedding, e.g., serve locally-sourced foods, keep trash and waste to a minimum, and so on. I think that taking the time to certify a wedding just adds more work to the bride-to-be’s otherwise full plate. Going green is great, after all… going overboard is a recipe for wedding stress!