Thursday, January 24, 2008

TskTsk Post Express! Vintage is the Greenest Green of All!

I was riding the metro yesterday from the Bethesda Green Launch Event, exhausted as I had not had time to eat lunch, bored as I had not brought reading material, when I was fortunate enough to spot a discarded - and unmistakably stepped on - Post Express a few seats away. A few shoe marks don't trouble me, though, no sir! (Many a friend has witnessed me declare the “5-second rule!” and scramble under a table after a errant M&M.)

In any case, as I weakly started to skim the publication, my droopy eyes landed on an article on having an “earth-friendly” wedding. “Must read article,” I thought. “Must read article and blog about it.” “No, brain tired. Must rest. Must read comics.” “No, must read article . . . “

Anyway, I dug out a few M&Ms from the bottom of my bag, which gave me enough chocolate energy to get through the article (which I reread this morning, just to make sure it wasn't a hallucination). The Express has been increasing its “green” coverage recently – most notably, putting together a “green gift guide” for the Holidays a few months back (which I felt didn’t focus enough on local businesses).

I think the Express did a good job coming up with interesting, small changes that people could consider when planning their event. The article provided guidance on what the “green”, “greener” and “greenest” choices were to make when making wedding decisions. But there are just a few things I want to correct for those of you who may have read the article:

First, Vintage is the Greenest! In the section “Dress,” the Express says that buying a dress made from sustainable materials is greener than buying a vintage dress. Not true. If you have been reading this blog for a while, you know my stand on this. Buying vintage is the greenest green of all. If you buy something new, even if it is made from sustainable materials, you are still using all that extra energy and raw materials to manufacture that new thing that would not be needed if you bought vintage (or secondhand).

Hemp is Better than Cotton. In the section: “Invitations”, the article suggests using cotton invitations. Well, my last post touched on that subject. Cotton growing is very toxic. Unless the paper is organic, do not use cotton paper. Use is Hemp paper instead. Hemp paper rocks. Hemp doesn’t require all those chemicals to grow – it’s hardy. Find a great selection of hemp and other recycled handmade invitation paper (like invites your guests can plant to get wild flowers) at Greenfield Paper co.

And what about the “Gifts”, or “Registry” section? Um, there wasn’t one. I think this is one of the more important aspects of the wedding planning that should be considered when thinking about ways to “ecofy” the event. How about: Don’t give us things we already have? How many people do you know that have a set of super expensive China that has never seen the light of day even after four years of marriage (or worse yet, has not even been unwrapped yet?) Since most people are now getting married in their late 20s, they often already have everything they need for a home together. What’s the point? Instead, have guests make donations to a good cause (check out Justgive.org for a list of charities) Or, have guests make donations toward a new home. Have guests help you finance your honeymoon. Or your graduate degree. Or a new (hybrid) car. Or pay off your credit card debt. Personally, and many etiquette leaders agree, expecting gifts at all (i.e., having a registry) is not good form. So, a simple note (never on the invite!!) in response to a gift inquiry that says, “All we request is your wonderful company. However, if you would like to provide us with a gift, funds for a down payment is on top of our wish lists.”

In closing, I would like to end with this: Excess is Tacky. Repeat after me, “Paris Hilton is a twit.” Creative approaches to your wedding will stand out in your guests’ minds much more than all that sh*t that will end up in the dumpster, anyway.

One last comment on the Post article: Not all environmentalists know the words to “Kumbaya.” (Although I can’t help but fondly remember the South Park episode "Something Wall-Mart This Way Comes", where the townspeople sing "Kumbaya" in an expression of solidarity and well-being after burning down the local Wal-Mart.) And, what the hell does “recycling your grandma” mean? That’s just sick.

For more green wedding ideas, look here. Or here.

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