by Yaakov Lehman 
Environmentally friendly weddings are becoming an increasingly popular option across the globe. Ecologically sound weddings are taking place from the serene East Australian countryside, to the green hills of Great Britain, and the fragrant orchards New England. A spawning cottage industry of services and products is helping people create a sustainable wedding. Planning a chassanah (wedding)? Here are some tips to help you make your special wedding with a consciousness of the precious resources Hashem has granted us.
A number of resources are available to help you. Organizations like Greenweddings.net offer a variety of consultation and contracting services in the realms of green transportation, decorations, gowns, photographers, invitations, wedding rings, and a host of others. If you have enough material items to get started with, at Weddinglistgiving.com, couples can register to request charitable donations to ethical/environmental organizations; these types of gifts now total around $39,000 a month, according to the website. (You can also request charitable donations to Canfei Nesharim – one couple has already chosen us as a Torah-based environmental cause.) Portovert, “the first and only magazine for eco-savy brides and grooms,” released its first issue last February. Marriot International recently announced a partnership with Organic Bouquet (www.organicbouquet.com), a source for environmentally-friendly flowers.
While some exceptionally dedicated couples may scrupulously analyze every aspect of their wedding, one does not have a “green themed” wedding to make a difference. There are many simple steps that prospective brides and grooms can take to reduce the ecological footprint of their wedding that do not require much extra work. Here are some simple things that you can do:
1. Print wedding invitations on 100% PCW chlorine free recycled paper.

2. Use RSVP postcards to save paper on envelopes.

3. Purchase sustainable wedding garments, or a dress/suit that is practical to wear on other occasions.

4. Suggest donations to your favorite environmental organization for gifts.

5. Host your ceremony and reception at the same location.

6. Purchase local and organic produce for your reception.

7. Use reusable dishware, or purchase biodegradable/compostable dishes and cutlery made from cornstarch.

8. Educate your guests about your eco-friendly choices, though your wedding booklet, bentchers, and other gifts!!!
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Originally posted in “One Eagles’ Wings” May 16th 2007.