Planning a green wedding (and we’re not talking about the flowers and dresses)

Green, green…green, green, green.

As a recent TV commercial states, green is no longer just a color. Living in a rather liberal, eco-minded corner of the world, we can attest – Green is the new black.

Even if you’re not into constantly assessing your carbon footprint, there are four simple things you can do at your wedding to have your cake, and eat it in biodegradeable harmony with the planet:

1. Talk to your caterer about what will happen to surplus food.

At the Pavilion, we have a program in place to donate all of the surplus food from weddings (not the scrap from plates, mind you…the un-touched pans of pasta, chicken, salad and rolls) to a local food bank. The food bank then bags everything up individually and distributes it as a complete meal to those in need the next day.

This is a win-win-win-win. Hungry people get fed; our garbage disposal and drains aren’t taxed to the point of overflow; caterers don’t need to worry about carting out the excess; it spares dozens of bags of food waste from hitting the land fill.

If for someone reason you’re not hosting your wedding with us…leave the site now. (Kidding!) Talk to your venue and caterer. If they don’t have a food bank available to donate to, can they compost food waste instead of bagging it and tossing it in a dumpster?

2. Recycle.

Sounds simple, right? That’s what we like to think, too…But it can become complicated if waste bins aren’t clearly marked “Recycle Only” or some such thing. If you arrive and don’t see such containers out, ask the venue’s representative to take a trash can or two and mark them for recyclables.

3. Don’t offer water bottles.

To quench your guests’ thirst (and here at 9,000 feet we recommend LOTS of water), ask the venue to set up a water station that’s visible and easily accessible with pitchers of ice water and compostable cups manufactured from corn (aka “corn cups”). Ask bar tenders to point guests toward the water station if they request a bottle of water.

4. Choose your service goods wisely. 

Styrofoam = Bad

Compostable plastic and paper = Better

Real plates and flatware = Best

Choose appetizers that don’t require utensils…you’ll be amazed how many forks will be spared.

For general information about recycling, composting and other means of conservation, visit Summit County’s High Country Conservation Center online.

Right now these ideas are mostly for your own karma with Mother Earth. We’re considering offering a discount off our site fees for folks who commit to hosting a green event. Would you ban water bottles at your event in order to save on your site fee?

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