green and charitable giving
sustainable and socially-conscious wedding vendors and ideas
Love and marriage fulfill their highest potentials when the material, emotional, and spiritual bounty they create is shared with others who need love and care. MarriageToGo donates monthly to local non-profits to help bring about a better, more peaceful world, and we encourage you to think about ways your newly-formed family can "share the love," starting with your wedding planning.
Instead of stacking up on stuff, you can contribute to a charity instead of buying favors or forming a gift registry. You could dedicate one of your pre-wedding events to fundraising, a food/book/supply drive, or bachelor/bachelorette volunteerism. Open your heart to the notion of wedding giving, and you'll certainly come up with lots of beautiful ideas.
This is just a short list of some local organizations worthy of your time, attention, and donations:
- L.A. Regional Food Bank
- Project Angel Food
- Under the Bridges and On the Streets
- Food on Foot
- My Friend's Place
- Step Up on Second
- Black Lives Matter L.A.
- Justice for Janitors L.A.
- New Directions for Veterans
- Veterans for Peace
- Fisher House
- Social Justice Learning Institute
- Equality Case Files
- Lambda Legal
- Public Counsel
- Bet Tzedek
- Library Foundation of Los Angeles
- Coach Art
- Shoes That Fit
- Heal the Bay
- Surfrider Foundation
Let's face it: most weddings are disasters, environmentally speaking. Pollution from guest air and car travel, wasted food, wedding rings created via destructive mining practices, flowers produced with pesticides, chemically bleached and non-recyclable invites and signs, high levels of non-renewable energy consumption to power all that nighttime lighting, djing, and streaming. Even the hairspray you use and coffee you serve have an impact. You can choose whether that impact is happy or sad for the world we all share.
It's also true that sometimes sustainable things are more expensive because they don't benefit from large-scale economics. They do benefit our world, though, so it's up to couples to decide how to allocate their budgets to do the most good--not just for themselves, but for the earth. Here are a few ideas and examples of alternatives for a more sustainable event:
- Hire an event planner dedicated to sustainability.
- Get people to your event with eco-vehicle rentals or sharing, or work off that wedding cake and choose a location you can walk or cycle to from home.
- Put guests up at a LEED or GreenSeal eco-friendly hotel or choose a solar powered wedding venue. Consider having your ceremony and celebration during the day to reduce power usage.
- Choose eco-friendly florists and floral design using organic local flowers, or choose a venue with lots of live trees and flowering shrubs to reduce the need for additional florals. Here's a tutorial on live succulent bouquets that can be planted later.
- Choose heirloom, estate, or responsibly-sourced rings with conflict-free stones, or no stones at all.
- Choose cosmetics without microbeads, propellants, or toxic ingredients, or trust your love to light you up and let your face go commando.
- Choose environmentally-friendly invites and response methods.
- Look for caterers dedicated to sustainability and donate leftovers to a local food rescue. Plant-based menus are kinder and cut down on carbon footprint.
- Did you know you can turn your wedding registry into a way to offset your wedding's carbon footprint?
- Honeymoon responsibly, please.
This is a new project of mine in 2020, based on Facebook. To grow the impact of anti-racist groups and services, I'm creating a cooperative of L.A. wedding vendors who support equality and social justice. More as this develops.