You must teach your children that the ground beneath their feet is the ashes of your grandfathers. So that they will respect the land, tell your children that the earth is rich with the lives of our kin. Teach your children: that the earth is our mother. Whatever befalls the earth befalls the son of the earth. If men spit upon the ground, they spit upon themselves. –Native American Wisdom
I was reading an article about the “Philosophy of Green” – an advocacy that is environmentally sensitive that can be also applied in weddings. To have a verdant or green wedding then, doesn’t mean a green motif or a green key color for a wedding. Green Wedding holds importance in details and in diverse ways. It is all about reducing the carbon footprint during the celebration, protecting or conserving energy, and somehow educating your guests about protection and saving the Mother Earth.
Here are some tips in having a green wedding.
· Expose the beauty of nature and exhibit things that showcase protection and saving the environment through prenuptial photography. Pose for environment.(eg.tree planting, nature appreciation, picking up garbage, and other pro-environment activities)
· For an intimate wedding of 100 guests, try having it in a small capacity venue or venue such as lush garden or beach to reduce energy consumption due to air-conditioning and complex lighting.
· Indoor venues with state-of-the art natural lighting and ventilation for a large number of guests.
· Pick a unique local spot such as gallery that holds environmental exhibits, farm, organic restaurants, green hotel or university garden, or places with natural wonders wherein your guests will appreciate the beauty of nature.
· For the church ceremony, you can support UNESCO supported churches (eg.San Agustin Church, Manila & Sto.Tomas Church,Miag-ao,Ilo-ilo City) to expose your guest to the beauty of these historical churches and also give financial support for its maintenance.
· Have the ceremony venue closer to the reception venue, or have them in the same area if possible.
· Use a low-carbon mover such as calesa and rickshaw.
· Plan out a carpool to reduce the fuel costs for the transportation
· Recycle wedding gown. Have the wedding gown of your mother or grandmother reworked. Vintage is the in-thing nowadays.
· Make sure the gowns of your entourage can be used again for other functions.
· Use sustainable materials such as hemp, bamboo, organic cotton, and pina cloth.
· Expose your guest to the sounds and music of environment advocates (eg.Rey Ayala & Grace Nono)
· Use natural and locally grown flowers.
· Use baskets and decors out of dried weeds and sub-materials of local produce.
· Use decors that are available without purchase. Have reworked decors.
· Try endemic products for the food. Consider vegetarian dishes or cruelty-free viands and fat-free foods.
· Introduce an educative AVP’s (eg.growing-up slideshows,3D Montage) that gives clear understanding about environmental issues- its protection and preservation. Having it animated will further entice the guests especially children.
· Make invitations, menu and thank you cards, thank tags, guest seat card a D-I-Y job for the couple or use recycled papers for your stationery (eg.home-made fossilized paper,or papers out of processed durian shell).Be creative in making gewgaws using recycled materials like dried leaves with names on it as guest seat card.
· Seedlings or ornamental plants or flowers in recycled containers as centerpieces for the tables. It also serves as souvenir.(eg.potted orchids)
· Seedlings of fruit-bearing trees wherein they can plant it, or fruit seeds in special packaging.
· Processed seasonal produce as souvenir.(eg.pickles,atchara,guava jelly)
· Reading materials that talk about environmental issues as giveaways and souvenir for your guests. Environmental story book for the children that advocates ecology and sustainability.
· Show environmental documentary during dinner.
· Include environmental issues to the program script and thank-you message of couple and other presentations.
· Have fun-games that has environmental approach (eg.quizz bee about environmental issues)
· Do away firework displays.
· Ask donations for different charities in lieu of tangible gifts like appliances. Donations that supports green projects like tree planting, seedling production, fingerling dispersal and rehabilitation of a river or a creek.
What you reap is what you sow. Going green in your own little way and contributing to the survival of the earth will make your future married life much brighter.
TRIVIA : PHILOSOPHY OF GREEN. The concept has been around since 1980s, as the translation of the German Grun, coined by die Gruenen, which was the successful green organization. The movement was never exactly born, but rather, a product of several movements that advocate ecology and sustainability. In general, sustainability pertains to meeting the needs of the present, while keeping in mind the emerging needs of the future generation. We all need water, but we must harvest it in such a way that our children’s children will also be able to access water in the years to come. While it would not be difficult to embrace the movement, the greater challenge lies in proper implementation.
Right now the movement for green is gaining momentum, with the increased interest in global warming, and talks about carbon footprint, which measures the environmental impact of human activities in terms of the amount of greenhouse gases produced. Companies now claim to have-carbon reduced products, a far cry from the “100% recycled” and “organic” come-ons a decade ago. With people a more comprehensive concept of green, the movement not rest only in the fields such as design transportation, manufacturing, and even fashion.(For the Beauty of the Earth. An Introduction to Green Weddings. Text by Geolette Esguerra. Wedding Essentials Volume 5 Issue 1 January 2009-June 2009)