Saturday, December 27, 2008
Now That You’ve Had Your Green Wedding, What Next?
Okay, so you’ve held your green wedding and you’ve tried to make it as ecologically correct as possible. Then once you’ve returned from your green honeymoon to which you traveled in your hybrid car or aboard eco-friendly trains, now what? What Next?
How can you as newlyweds make your life together a reflection of the green values that your nuptials embodied? Well, a good place to start is with your wedding presents. If you’ve been given small appliances, check the boxes or look them up online before you open them. If they’re not energy efficient, then you should exchange them for similar products that are more energy efficient. Or, if you can’t find anything similar that is more energy efficient, exchange them for something that is more earth-friendly, like a bamboo steamer or a low energy consuming slow cooker. Of course, one way to avoid getting wedding gifts that are inappropriate to your green lifestyle is to put up a wish list on the wedding website that you’re using to disseminate information about the upcoming wedding to all of your friends and family well before the actual event. If you’d rather get a solar oven than a toaster oven, then don’t be shy about telling people. It’s not crass to be specific about what you’d like. Of course, if you’re not that materialistic and don’t want more stuff from your friends and family, then it’s okay to say that too. Why not suggest to your friends and family that they make donations to funds that preserve wetlands or rainforests or your favorite endangered land animal or marine mammals? Getting wedding gifts like that is actually good for the environment and will certainly help to offset the carbon footprint you and your spouse create.
Once you’ve set up housekeeping together, it’s important to forge good habits early on. If you have a home with a yard, be sure you recycle everything you can. Plant a vegetable garden to grow some of your own food. It’s delicious and guarantees that you’ll have a constant supply of fresh herbs, vegetables, tomatoes or whatever is your pleasure. Having a vegetarian diet is green in more ways than one. Cutting down on the amount of beef you buy and consume is not only good for your health, it’s good for the planet too. And don’t forget to compost your organic waste. Certain plants just love coffee grounds, and they help to hold the moisture in around the roots. Be sure to check your home’s insulation and windows. Fix or replace leaky windows. Insulate your attic if you have one, and install solar tubes in your roof for nice, carbon-free lighting during daylight hours. And be sure to install a rain butt or two in the ground so you can harvest as much rainwater as possible. It’s not easy being green, but it certainly is satisfying.