Co-ops Offer Tips for a Green Wedding

May 20, 2008

Planning your wedding? Don’t forget to incorporate something old, something new, something borrowed, and According to National Cooperative Grocers Association (NCGA), a business services cooperative representing 110 natural food co-ops nationwide, couples can make their weddings greener without increasing cost or hassle.

“Planning a green wedding can be accessible for any couple,” said Robynn Shrader, chief executive officer for NCGA. “With creative thinking, couples can greatly reduce their carbon footprint and oftentimes the cost of their wedding and reception.”

Green weddings are a unique way to express a lifelong commitment to marriage and the environment at the same time. With these tips, couples can think strategically about how to lessen their carbon imprint and create an event reflective of their personal values.


  • Consider an eco-friendly wedding location – think museums, gardens and orchards – and a reception location nearby
  • Choose a location with natural light during the day or use lanterns and candles in the evening to offset energy used to light the venue
  • Choose the city nearest to the majority of the guests – fewer flights translates to a smaller carbon footprint


  • Use web-based evites for computer savvy guests
  • Craft your own invitations for maximum personality
  • Use invitations made from 100 percent recycled materials
  • Recommend green hotels and transportation options to guests in advance


  • Use planted floral arrangements instead of cut flowers
  • Use biodegradable and recyclable decorations
  • Consider using edible centerpieces to reduce waste


  • Contact local vendors, artisans and caterers that use locally-sourced and organic foods and beverages
  • When reusable flatware is not possible, use biodegradable or 100 percent recycled disposable dishes


  • Suggest that guests wrap gifts in reusable cloth and ribbons
  • Ask for donations to an environmental cause in lieu of gifts
  • Choose wedding favors that are green and won’t be discarded – organic teas, chocolates, herbs, etc.