Aimee Dominic, an event planner, Jay Premack, a photographer and I have had many conversations about events, waste and our individual commitments to conducting our lives and businesses in the most sustainable manner possible. We have discussed how conscious decisions in entertaining usually result in a more luxurious event- think just picked local peonies and a menu designed around produce in season from small local farms. For me the pleasure of the party is enhanced by incorporating the best elements available combined with the knowledge that you are working in concert with our earth.
Aimee, Jay and I work individually in this manner every day. In my case with flower arrangements I use local flowers, many grown in my own city garden, whenever possible. When I cannot use local flowers I find sources that grow exceptional flowers sustainably and have outstanding labor practices. With food I focus on both origin and taste of ingredients.
Recently Aimee, Jay and I had the opportunity to work with a couple on their wedding who felt as strongly as we do about having a celebration that was as environmentally conscious as possible.
Care was taken to reduce consumption and waste that is usually synonymous with traditional entertaining- some of the details included……
-electronic save the dates to reduce paper use
-invites printed on recycled paper with soy based ink saving --trees saved and reduction of ink toxins used
-no escort cards or favors were used and the couple used the saved money to donate to organizations supporting reforestation and conservation
-flowers were local many were home grown and native reducing transportation miles and supporting biodiversity
-all flower vases were returned to be reused
-buses were used to transport guests which cut down on emissions
-the bride and groom traveled in via Eco-Limo, a company that uses both hybrid and bio diesel vehicles
-local products such as beeswax candles, locally brewed beer, local cheese, Sticky Fingers vegan wedding cake were used which cuts down on transportation costs and supports local businesses
-3Citron, catered using locally grown and organic produce with a menu that was primarily vegetarian, care was taken to recycle after the event
-music was provided by MyDeejay a locally based DJ service with environmentally conscious practices
-lighting by Frost Lighting, a company that operates in an environmentally conscious manner
-carbon credits were purchased through the Carbon Fund to offset guests transportation and hotel stays
Similar small conscious steps can be taken daily in different aspects of our lives.