Throwing a sustainable, zero-waste, and ethical wedding does not have to feel impossible. I created this guide as a way to help put all the options in one place. I am currently planning my own wedding and I am so excited to share the eco-friendly an zero-waste options you have at your disposal, hah, you see what I did there?
If you are here as a new bride, congrats! If your here because you want to get your research done before the ring is on your finger, awesome! Take a moment and give yourself a pat on the back for caring enough about the earth to learn how to go about a green wedding.
I want to preface this guide by saying I worked as a wedding photographer for a decade in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Illinois. I’ve photographed over 100 couples and thus have seen a lot of different types of weddings, and in turn, have seen first-hand the amount of waste that is produced from the average wedding day. Even then, when I wasn’t the conscious consumer I am today, it raised a red flag in my mind.
A 130 person wedding on average produces 62 tons of carbon dioxide and 400-600 lbs of waste. These numbers include everything from the wedding invitations to the flowers to the wedding dress.
An opposition arises when you try to have an earth-friendly wedding within the confines of modern wedding culture. We are constantly bombarded by pictures and ideas on Pinterest of perfect personalized weddings with all the trimmings. Then you have the concept of zero waste, which can feel so minimal and bare, making a bride feel like there’s very little wiggle room to make it feel special for herself and her guests.
The good news is that there are so many options for making your day feel special while still achieving an earth-conscious wedding. Once you understand the basics of having a green wedding then you can choose your own adventure from there.
In this guide, we will go over the options you have from finding an ethical engagement ring to where you can buy an eco-friendly wedding dress. While we talk over these options, I’ll provide you with what I’m choosing for my low to no-waste wedding so that you have some experience to fall back on and you know you are not alone as you plan your own big day.
The Green Wedding Guide covers:
Happy green wedding planning!
For those of us who deal with dysmenorrhea, aka periods from the seventh circle of hell, I’ve got a good line up of zero-waste and holistic period pain management options for you. When PMS rears its ugly head for many of us ladies, the conventional options are all we feel we have at our disposal to help manage the pain.
Thanks to my endometriosis, I’ve tweaked and tested so many snake oil remedies out there and have weeded out the ludicrous. I know every lady is different, but I hope some of these suggestions can bring you relief as you journey towards a more sustainable and zero-waste lifestyle.
In my first post we talked about why it's important to have a toxin-free and eco-friendly menstruation cycle, in my second post we chatted about what zero-waste options you have for menstruation, and this final post covers all things period pain management. Enjoy!
In this episode, Becca and Kelsey discuss the top five body products you should swap now. Our skin is our biggest organ, and what we put on it definitely affects our health. Finding non-toxic products that are both effective and trustworthy can be difficult. That's why Kelsey and Becca share their tried and true favorites with you.
In today's episode of The Positively Green Podcast we are talking all about how to get started with composting. Starting to compost can feel like such an insurmountable task, that's why we wanted to break it down for you step by step in this episode.
If you are wondering how to use diatomaceous earth for a parasite cleanse, you are in the right place! I can tell you that it has safely helped not only me and Paul, but our three cats, and all 90+ chickens on our farm.
I tried diatomaceous earth as a last ditch effort to find out why I suddenly couldn’t eat eggs anymore. TMI, I had been dealing with constant diarrhea for nearly a month that would worsen with eating eggs. I was so frustrated and at the end of my rope. After doing exhaustive research, I felt that I was dealing with a parasite. Enter diatomaceous earth.
In this post, we will discuss exactly what diatomaceous earth is, how it works to kill pests and parasites, and how exactly you can use it for your health and your pets and livestock. Let’s dive in!
Let me begin by saying I was where you are once. In 2008, I watched Forks Over Knives and was utterly appalled. So impassioned by my realization of what factory farms have done to animals, the environment, and public health - I launched into four years of veganism, even bringing my immediate family along with me. I was a healthy vegan too, no Oreos and french fries here. I cooked with organic vegetables, tofu, and brown rice. I stayed away from processed vegan cheeses and franken-meats. I steamed everything and shunned saturated fats from animal sources. Hear me when I say I read all the vegan books, plant-based blogs, and worked hard to understand the problems with factory farming.
So the reason you are here is that you left a comment on one of my posts, sent me a DM, or emailed me and said something related to veganism. I am writing this so that I don’t have to exhaust myself every single time I am met with a vegan and their opinion. Please read all of this before you respond, that way we start on the same intellectual page if you still choose to interact with me.
If you are here as an omnivore in hopes of diving into my perspective more, welcome! I hope you read to the end as well.
I’ve been met by a number of statements and arguments by vegans that I want to flush out so you don’t jump to conclusions about me, our farm, and sustainability as a whole.
After taking the time to share what we learned in 2018, I figured we should also share what we have planned for 2019 at Green Willow Homestead, from farming to living sustainably. I’m a firm believer in setting big goals every year (like publishing a book!!). So without further ado, here’s what we have up our sleeves for the next year…
JOIN THE MOVEMENT BELOW!
It is incredibly frustrating to be shopping for your favorite products, from food to clothing, and find that the packaging is non-recyclable.
This happens to me all the time, and I see it more and more as I learn about the recyclability of certain plastics. A company may be non-GMO, organic, fair-trade, etc. and yet their product comes shipped or wrapped in plastic wrap, packing peanuts, or other single-use plastics, all of which has to go right in the garbage. Groan!
I've taken this frustration and decided to reframe it. Instead of phasing out that product, I asked myself: why not send a friendly email to customer service and ask if they would consider more earth-friendly packaging options - either fully recyclable or compostable?
Then I thought, why not get a bunch of other earth-lovers on board? Then we all could send in an email on the same day and together we could put gentle pressure on the companies we love to do better.
That's what #PackagingForThePlanet is all about. Woo!
How does #PackagingForThePlanet work?
The way #PackagingForThePlanet works is:
I love this because it requires only a few minutes of your time twice a month and together we have the potential to make a massive change for our planet.
What's the goal of #PackagingForThePlanet
My hope is that by putting well-meaning pressure on our favorite companies, we can nudge them to explore, and ultimately choose, better packaging products that are either universally recyclable (including #2 plastic, cardboard, paper, glass, and metal) or are fully compostable.
When companies are receptive and open to change, we will ask them to take a #PackagingPledge where they openly share their plan and timeline to phase out non-recyclable items and what they hope to replace them with. As consumers, we will publicly hold them to that promise.
In the face of climate change, it's heartbreaking that our government is not taking action and making necessary changes. I've stopped counting on them and realized we have other options - ones that act faster and are much more willing to change. Let's look to the companies we love and ourselves to be the solution.
Are you ready to make some sustainable waves in the name of our planet in 2019?
With the UN climate report slating our point-of-no-return for global warming at 2040 and the US climate report coming in at 2030, we’ve got to work to make 2019 our most earth-friendly, sustainable year yet.
Unfortunately, both of these reports have led to some proposed solutions that are downright scary, like spraying sulfur dioxide into the atmosphere to dampen the heating capacity of the sun. The scientists behind this ludicrous idea call it geoengineering. The potential environmental fallout from this solution is so catastrophic that, to be frank, our planet being wiped out by climate change is a much more merciful end.
Why is it we don’t see more calls to action for the general public? Our climate change issues are driven by industry led by consumption. Consumers run the show. The sooner we can get to work on ourselves and our own habits, the sooner we can see mass shifts for the health of our planet.
So before we dive in, serious gold stars for you because you are taking the time to understand how you can be a part of the solution (and a positive not-scary solution at that). Before we continue, be sure to give yourself a mental (or physical!) pat on the back for caring and wanting to do better. Earth lovers rock!
Alright, here are the top six ways you can make 2019 your most earth-friendly and sustainable year yet.
Here at Green Willow Homestead, it’s important for us to take the time to look back on the year. There were so many gains and pains we experienced on our farm and in life during 2018. I want to share them with you in hopes that you can learn from our mistakes and take joy in our successes. Living sustainably, farming regeneratively, and being a crazy chicken momma takes a village - so don’t hesitate to reach out if any of these reflections hit home for you.
Thanks for stopping by Green Willow Homestead! From chicken rearing to composting, we've got our hands full and we love sharing what we've learned along the way. Follow along as we strive to live sustainably and turn these five acres from just property to a fully functioning small-scale homestead.
Grab the Ebook
1. Joe Salatin
2. Rachel Carson
3. Wendell Berry
4. Temple Grandin
5. Diana Rodgers
6. Bea Johnson
7. Allan Savory
Favorite Books of 2018
2. Bringing it to the Table
3. Holistic Management
4. The Small Scale Poultry Flock
5. Deep Work