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4 Ideas for an Efficient Green Wedding



wedding by Timothy Marsee via Flickr

Your wedding will be one of the most important and exciting days of your life, but it could also be expensive, stressful, or even burdensome to plan. Not only do you have to coordinate all the logistics and meet your needs and wants at the same time, you’ll pay out the nose for even the most basic amenities.

However, if you opt to “go green” with your wedding, you’ll be able to save some money, you’ll end up with more unique ideas and aesthetics for your celebration, and you’ll have less impact on the environment.

Green Wedding Tips for Brides and Grooms

Going green at your wedding isn’t as challenging as you may think. With just a few simple tweaks and clever applications, you can ensure your wedding is one that everyone will remember for years to come.

1. Use Recycled Paper for Invitations

If you’re having a large wedding, you’re probably sending out a lot of mail. From engagement announcements to save-the-dates, you could end up sending out thousands of pieces of mail. That’s a lot of wasted paper!

Instead of relying on traditional paper invitations, opt for one of the many environmentally-friendly alternatives. This could include invitations made from tree-free papers like cotton, bamboo, linen, or hemp. There are also options for post-consumer and recycled waste paper. Some printers will even give you the choice of plant-based inks, such as soy.

Finally, forget about the envelope for the RSVP card. Instead, opt for a postcard or ask guests to send an email or text to the wedding planner. This can cut back on a lot of superfluous paper waste.

2. Opt for Local Vendors

When it comes to selecting vendors for your wedding – such as a florist, catering company, and band – it’s always better to go with local options. This cuts down on travel and ensures you’re pouring back into the local economy.

For example, let’s say you’re having your wedding in Austin, Texas. The Grooves are a top band, STEMS is a top florist, and Royal Fig is consistently ranked as one of the top catering companies. All it took was a quick Google search and few minutes of research to find these. You can find local vendors in your city, too.

3. Choose a Natural Environment

Location is obviously important. While outdoor weddings are inherently risky, they are also much more eco-friendly. If you can find an outdoor spot, consider the time of year and weather patterns, and make it happen. Something as simple as a friend’s beautiful backyard could work.

In terms of throwing a green wedding, the best piece of advice is to keep the ceremony and reception in the same location. This cuts down on unnecessary commuting and ensures everyone is safe and happy.

4. Use Upcycled Decorations

Wedding decorating is usually the most fun aspect of the wedding planning process for the bride. But who says you have to go out and purchase or rent a bunch of traditional accessories? Here are a handful of cute ideas that you can use to piece together a wedding that fits your style.

Throw a Green Wedding

White may be the color of choice at your wedding, but don’t forget about going green. Your wedding day will be one of the single most important days of your life and it’s important that you do everything possible to make it enjoyable for everyone involved.

By going green, you can not only save money, but you’ll also rest easy at night knowing you successfully minimized your impact on the environment. That’s what we like to call a win-win situation.



Want to Connect With Nature? Start by Disconnecting From Busyness



Connect With Nature

Have you ever found yourself staring at one of your (many) devices and feeling slightly disgusted with how much time you waste on technology? If so, you aren’t alone. We all have moments like these and it’s important that we use them as motivation to change – especially if we want to be more connected with nature.

How Busyness Impacts Your Connection With Nature

Whether you realize it or not, you live an ultra connected life. Between smart phones, tablets, computers, and wearable devices, you’re never very far from some sort of technology that can connect you to the internet or put you in touch with other people. That’s just the world we live in.

While it could be argued that this sort of omnipresent connectivity is a positive thing, it’s also pretty clear that being permanently tethered to technology impacts our ability to strip away distractions and connect with nature.

When you’re always within arm’s reach of a device, you feel a sense of busyness.  Whether it’s browsing your social media feed, uploading a picture, reading the news, or responding to an email, there’s always something to do. As someone who wants to spend more time in nature, this is problematic.

4 Practical Ways to Disconnect

If you want to truly connect with nature and live a greener lifestyle, you have to be proactive about finding ways to disconnect. Here are a few practical suggestions:

1. Switch to a New Phone Plan

It’s not always practical to totally unplug from the world. Family and work responsibilities mean you can’t go off the grid and continue to fulfill your responsibilities. Having said that, there are some ways to scale back.

One suggestion is to switch to a prepaid phone plan. When you have a prepaid phone plan, you’re far less likely to spend hours and hours of your time making phone calls, sending texts, and surfing the web. It forces you to be more conscious of what you’re doing.

2. Get Rid of Social Media

Social media is one of the biggest time wasters for most people. Whether you realize it or not, it’s also a huge stressor. You’re constantly being exposed to the best snapshots of everyone else’s lives, which makes you feel like you’re missing out on something (even when you aren’t).

If you want to feel a sense of relief and free yourself up to spend more time in nature, get rid of social media. Don’t just delete the apps off your phone – actually disable your accounts. It’s a bold, yet necessary step.

3. Create Quiet Hours

If you aren’t able to get rid of social media and disable various online accounts, the next best thing you can do is establish quiet hours each day where you totally detach from technology. You should do this for a minimum of three hours per day for best results.

4. Build Community

Do you know why we’re drawn to social media and our devices? Whether consciously or subconsciously, it’s because we all want to be connected to other people. But do you know what’s better than connecting with people online? Connecting with them in person.

As you build real life, person-to-person relationships, you’ll feel less of a need to constantly have your eyes glued to a screen. Connect with other people who have an appreciation for nature and bond over your mutual interests.

Untether Your Life

If you find yourself constantly connected to a device, then this is probably a clear indicator that you aren’t living your best life. You certainly aren’t enjoying any sort of meaningful connection with nature. Now’s as good a time as any to untether your life and explore what a world free from cords, screens, and batteries is really like.

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6 Tips for an Eco-Friendly Move



Moving can be a stressful and challenging time. No matter how many times you’ve done it in the past, the process of packing up, transporting, and unpacking isn’t very fun. It’s also not very eco-friendly. As you prepare for your next move, there are things you can do to ensure you leave less of a footprint behind.

6 Tips for a Greener Move

Because of the stress and pressure felt when moving, it’s pretty common for people to rush through the process and focus on getting it done. In fact, a lot of people take an “at all costs” approach; they’ll do whatever it takes to make the process as cheap and fast as possible. Don’t be one of those people. It doesn’t take much effort to turn a standard move into an eco-friendly move.

1. Maximize Each Trip

When moving across town, it’s imperative that you make as few trips as possible. Each trip requires more gas, more emissions, and more waste, and more time.

If you’re taking your personal vehicle, consider pulling a trailer behind it. You’d be surprised how much stuff you can fit into a small trailer. Not only will it make your move greener, but it’ll also save you a lot of time.

2. Donate Things You Don’t Want to Keep

The longer you live somewhere, the more junk you accumulate. This isn’t always obvious until you start packing for a big move. Instead of bringing all of these things with you to your next home, get rid of the stuff you don’t need! If the items are useful, donate them. If the items don’t have much value, toss them.

3. Reuse Moving Boxes

Not only are moving boxes expensive, but they’re also wasteful. If you need a bunch of cardboard boxes, consider looking around on Craigslist, asking friends, or checking the dumpsters behind stores. You can usually find a bunch of recycled boxes of all different shapes and sizes. Here are 12 places you can get them for free.

4. Get Creative With Packing

Who says you need moving boxes? You may find that it’s possible to do most of your move without all that cardboard. Things like storage containers, trashcans, filing cabinets, buckets, and dressers can all store items. Blankets and sheets can be used in lieu of bubble wrap to prevent your items from getting damaged.

5. Use Green Cleaning Supplies

Once you arrive at your new place, resist the urge to pull out a bunch of harsh chemicals to clean the place. You can do yourself (and the planet) a favor by using green cleaning supplies instead. Ingredients like vinegar, baking soda, and ammonia are great to start with.

6. Forward Your Mail ASAP

Don’t delay in forwarding your mail from your previous address to your new one. Not only is it wasteful for the Postal Service to route your mail to a place where you don’t live, but the next owner is probably just going to toss your letters in the trash.

Moving Doesn’t Have to be Wasteful

Most people only move once every few years. Some people will go a decade or more without a move. As a result, the process of moving often feels strange and new. The less experience you have with it, the less likely it is that you’ll be as efficient as you should. But instead of just diving into the process blind, take some time to learn about what an eco-friendly move looks like. That way, you can leave behind the smallest footprint possible.

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