At Sweetwater Branch Inn we take a number of steps to be environmentally responsible. We implement differentiated recycling for all items that are accepted by our city. If at all possible we try to avoid using products that will pollute our environment such as plastic and styrofoam. When needed, we opt for sustainable packaging such as biodegradable corn-based containers. We try to reduce the amount of waste by using ceramic plates instead of paper and plastic. Most of our light bulbs have been replaced with energy efficient ones and since we believe that nothing that’s reusable should go to waste, we bring the leftovers from our events to the local homeless shelters.
Upon request our chef can prepare your menu using locally grown food and hormone-free meats. We are proud and ready to support all those who choose to have a wedding that is environmentally friendly.
Please make sure to specify your preference for a Green Wedding when making your wedding arrangements.
Below is a list wedding tips from the World Wildlife Fund:
When choosing a caterer, consider an organic company that uses locally sourced ingredients and certifies that any fish served comes from sustainable fishing sources and is MSC certified. You will be supporting local farmers and will reduce the carbon emissions generated in transporting the food long distances and when you’re done, donate any unused food to shelters or food banks.
Flowers & Decorations
Use flowers from your ceremony and from the bridal party to decorate the reception area. Or, instead of flowers, consider using other items as the focal point of your table centerpieces, like candles, stones, or shells. Please be sure that all items chosen, in particular, shells, are sourced from vendors that assure they were harvested responsibly.
Set up a vanpool from the hotel for out of town guests to ride to the ceremony and the reception. Use recycled paper for your invitations and thank you notes, and when possible, paper that is certified that it comes from sustainable forestry programs.
When planning your ceremony, consider a wedding and reception outdoors or at venues that maximize the use of natural lighting, reducing the need for electrical lighting. If you decide on an evening event, discuss options such as candlelight for the cocktail hour or ‘mood’ lighting.
While it isn’t possible to have all your photos done digitally (we know mom needs that print for her wallet to show off), when working with your photographer, try to have all the proofs done digitally. This will minimize the use of toxic chemicals and paper in developing and you can be sure that the only prints made are the ones you want.
When choosing your dress and the attire for the groom and bridal party, consider clothes made from natural materials.
One of the elements of the wedding that is most stressful on the environment is carbon emissions from your travels. Typically honeymoon travel involves long flights and out of town guests fly or drive long distances to celebrate with the couple. Consider purchasing carbon offset credits to mitigate this. You can purchase them yourself for your honeymoon or ask for the credits as a gift. You can also ask guests to purchase these to offset their own travel.
When booking your honeymoon, consider tour operators that offer eco-travel options. For example, Natural Habitat Adventures, WWF’s Conservation Travel provider, offers itineraries to exotic locations, many of them customizable; offsets carbon emissions for the trip; and an estimated 5 to 10 percent of the retail price comes back to World Wildlife Fund. Integral to Natural Habitat Adventures’ mission is the understanding that a complete travel experience includes recognizing the critical need of protecting and preserving the places visited. Find out more about Natural Habitat Adventures.
When working with your florist, consider locally sourced flowers and organically grown if possible. You’ll not only be supporting local growers, you will also be reducing emissions generated in transporting the flowers.
Communicating with your Wedding party and Vendors
The internet can help you communicate all aspects of your wedding experience. There will be lots of information that needs to be disseminated so reduce the number of mailings and phone calls by setting up a wedding website and using email notifications.
When shopping for gifts for each other, the bridal party or those special friends and family members, be sure to choose products that use the minimal amount of packaging possible. Email your engagement and wedding announcements to your local newspaper for publication instead of mailing them. It will reduce the use of toxic chemicals used in the photo developing, save paper and reduce carbon emissions in mail delivery.
Use your WWF registry to notify as many of your guests as possible about your traditional wedding registries to avoid having to add an insert to your shower and wedding invitations. It may save you postage and will also save paper.
Your New Home
In addition to planning a wedding, many couples are also planning their new home. When making decisions about your new home, try to make as many green choices as possible. For example, all major appliances should have the Energy Star label.