Register for Art + Experiences!

One of the green things my husband and I did that we loved was to register for art and and experiences instead of just things. You can use a honeymoon registry company like Honeyluna or The Big Day honeymoon registry and add non-honeymoon items to list.

HoneyLuna - The premiere honeymoon registry site

Using this service, guests gave us a night at the first green hotel in New York (Greenhouse 26), art classes, salsa lessons and a piece of work by Kevin Kutz, among other things. We also set up a registry with the I Do Foundation, so that when guests did buy us tangible gifts a portion went to support the causes of our choice.


Recycled Schedule of Events

Our wedding took place over the course of several days and involved three different properties (a few miles apart). We wanted to let our guests know about all of the events we had planned and give them directions between the locations, but did not want to use a lot of paper. To solve the problem, my brother designed this folding brochure, which we were able to print out on two sides at home on recycled paper. To make our program, my brother used Apple’s “Pages,” which he describes as a hybrid of Microsoft office and Adobe Indesign - an intuitive program designed specifically for brochure and flyer layout. Instead of printing out one per person we only printed out a handful and left them next to a chalkboard which we updated with the day's events.


Local Honeymoon

When you stay close to home you keep money in the community and decrease your carbon footprint. After our wedding, my husband and I took few days and drove up to Vermont with our dog Reuben to unwind. It was a wonderful "mini-moon." We stayed at a small bed & breakfast, hiked about, got massages, went wine tasting and tried our hand at falconry. After our wedding we were exhausted - so it was the perfect way to decompress. If you are interested in taking your dog on your honeymoon click here for tips on where to stay and how to travel safely. For more pictures of our border collie Reuben click here.

It is also possible to set up a honeymoon registry, so guests contribute to your adventures. Click here to read more about honeymoon registries.


Potted Orchids + Recycled Chargers

H Alex and Jason set potted orchids amid recycled chargers for a simple but elegant decor. After the wedding, friends and relatives were invited to take the orchids home as mementos of the event. For other tree and seed favor ideas click here.

Recycled Paper Seating Cards

When Jason and H Alex got married, they used recycled paper to make their seating cards. The colors corresponded to the guests' entree choices:

Purple = Eggplant Rollatini
Pink = Salmon
Pale Yellow = Alfredo Pasta
Bright Yellow = Kids Pasta

Adorable, delicious and good for the environment!


Donate Your Bridesmaid Dresses Now!

After my wedding I donated my dress to Brides Against Breast Cancer. (For more places to donate your bridal gown click here). However, there are also a number of places do donate bridesmaid dresses. The two most common options are The Cinderella Project and the The Glass Slipper Project. However, a friend of mine just e-mailed about another wonderful opportunity: *HELP*NOT ENOUGH DRESSES*MAY HAVE TO CANCEL* 100 Dresses needed by Monday * Hello Everyone We all remember how important prom was. Unfortunately many of the girls on my friend Spring's reservation, the Cheyenne River Sioux Indian Reservation in South Dakota, do not have resources for Prom. So the Teen Center on the reservation started "Passion for Fashion" where they collect dresses, then the girls get to "shop" for Prom. Unfortunately there have not been enough donations this year, and they may have to cancel. They need to know by the end of this week if they can collect 100 more dresses. So if you can help, please RSVP with specifics. Please forward to others (especially college and high school gals who may have some goodies from last year.) NEEDED: *formal dresses (new or gently used. all sizes, up to 24) *formal shoes *make up *accessories *shoes *evening bags DEADLINES: *MAILED BY: MONDAY MARCH 24 *PROM "SHOPPING": Week of March 31 MAILING ADDRESS: Cheyenne River Youth Project "Passion for Fashion" P.O. Box 410 E Lincoln Street Eagle Butte, SD 57625 Phone: 1-605-964-8200 Fax: 1-605-964-8201 Email: info@lakotayouth.org www.lakotayouth.org

If you are reading this post after the deadline - it is still worth calling the above number - perhaps they can get a jump on next year!

Edible Elements

To share the news about the "bookend" events for our wedding - a dessert reception and Monday brunch - my husband and I decided to tuck edible elements into the invitation. For the reception, we added words to the label of a piece of Green & Black's organic chocolate and put a personalized label on one side of a Choice Organic English Breakfast Tea Bag. We chose Choice because the back of the bag says "organic" in big letters so even though we covered the entire front of the bag with our label, our guests still knew they were trying organic tea. This was a fun and tasty way to spread the news - and less expensive than printing additional cards! We printed our labels out at home, but you can also buy pre-made labels in a variety of shapes and sizes. I have included a few links on the DIY page of the look book. I have also added a link to Choice organic teas on the coffee + tea page and to chocolates in the favors section of the look book.


Take the Train!

According to the EPA, cars, trucks and buses are the leading producers of air pollution in the form of smog and carbon dioxide. To combat this problem, Joshua Houdek and Kristi Papenfuss used the train to get around on their honeymoon. Whether on your wedding day, your honeymoon, or just moving about through life, it is best to take public transportation whenever possible. For more green transportation ideas click here. You can also offset the carbon emissions from your trip. *It is worth noting that Kristi is on the Board of the Global Citizens Network - a non-profit that organizes short term volunteer opportunities abroad - what a great idea for an alternative adventure!


Compostable Dishes

Another thing Joshua Houdek and Kristi Papenfuss did was to cater their meal with compostable dishes, like the ones available from Stalkmarket which are made from bagasse - a sugar cane processing "leftover" - making them a compostable, biodegradable and recycled product. Because bagasse is so durable, the plates do not have to be coated in polyethlene (common with wood-pulp paper products), which is an added benefit. The fewer chemicals the better! (Click here to see MSNBC coverage of this and other aspects of their green wedding).

It's Electric- The Solar Powered Wedding

Joshua Houdek, an organizer for the Sierra Club,  and Kristi Papenfus powered their wedding (ceremony and live band) with a portable solar array: "We rented a 'power cart' for $30. The power cart basically consists of a big battery that is pre-charged by a small solar panel. I’m no electrician, but I’m told the thing puts out 1500W, or amp hours." Joshua noted that if you live in Minnesota you can rent a solar trailer large enough to "power a rock concert" from the Minnesota Renewable Energy Society. To calculate the emissions from their event Joshua and Kristi used NativeEnergy, a carbon calculator that is endorsed by the Sierra Club. They also helped offset the carbon emissions generated from the event by giving their guests energy efficient compact fluorescent light bulbs. Read more about their wedding in the New York Times and in Waste News.

Make a difference -- join Sierra Club today! May 6, 2008: Kristi + Joshua were just featured in a segment on green wedding on Kare 11.