You do what you can to make the world a little better: separate out your recycling, ride your bike to work, or maybe yell at your litterbug friend when they toss something out the car window. Hey, every little bit helps. But what about making your destination wedding a little more green? We both know it will be fabulous for you and your guests, but how about for Mother Earth? Read on for some eco-friendly activities and ideas to incorporate into your wedding abroad.
Tour the greenhouse: Some resorts let you go behind-the-scenes with your food, be it through a cooking class or Q&A with the chef to talk about local foods. El Dorado Royale puts a sustainable twist on this approach with tours through their onsite greenhouse. And we’re not talking about your mother’s garden either. This 70,000 sq. ft. hydroponic greenhouse produces organic tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, chilies, cucumbers and an assortment of herbs that are used in the resort’s cooking. As the region’s first greenhouse, the resort is able to produce a sizeable portion of their own produce, cutting fuel and food transportation costs. On the greenhouse tour, snag a sweet mint leaf from the stalk before it ends up in your mojito.
Go solar: Ready for a project that will put your Prius to shame? Sandos Caracol Eco Resort & Spa in Riviera Maya has developed a golf cart completely powered by solar energy. It was built specifically to transport guests around the resort and prevents 1,686 tons of carbon dioxide emissions a year. Outside of the carbon-saving cart, plenty of resorts offer solar water heaters in lieu of gas. Your entire suite might even be going green, like their chic bungalows with solar-panels on the roof and sustainable design.
Plant a tree: Tired of the same old symbolic sand ceremony? Start your marriage on a green foot by planting a tree at your resort instead. Not only will you help lower carbon emissions and make the land more beautiful, but you and your partner can also return for an anniversary trip to see how your tree has grown (kind of like your relationship). Some resorts will include a tree-planting ceremony in a wedding package, or you can inquire about it separately.
Consider a green wedding charity: Yes, you might miss the incredibly satisfying feeling of running down the china aisle in Macy’s with the scanner gun for your registry. But really, how many cream towels and soup bowls do you need? Charity wedding registries are simple to set up and let your guests donate to a worthy cause in your honor. When considered in light of your air travel (along with your guests’), an earth-preserving charity or organization can help to offset the environmental impact of your trip.
Save a towel: So basic, and so powerful. Many resorts have already cut their laundry bills and helped save water and energy with high efficiency washers and dryers. But you can do your part too by getting multiple uses out of wash cloths before “tossing in the towel,” so to speak. It’s a small gesture, but combined over multiple vacations among multiple guests, adds up to something big. And while you’re at it, will you get the lights behind you, too?