Green Up Your Wedding Registry
When it comes time to register for your wedding (or baby or house warming or asking for presents for any occasion really) you may look at what you think you “need”, what your parents/family/friends say you “need”, what Martha Stewart and Modern Bride magazines say you “need” or when you go to the store you may reference their recommended list of “needs.” But what too few of us do is really think about what we truly need. Because lets all be honest we don’t need a complete 10-12 person serving of fancy china, three sets of wineglasses, cast iron heart/pepper/apple shaped casserole dishes, silver serving utensils, a fondue set, etc etc etc.
And look I’m not saying all these things are bad, if you would really use the fondue set on a regular basis then ask for it. But at least think about your lifestyle and how that lifestyle affects the environment. While I propose that we could live without everything on those suggested registries I realize that we do have some needs and no matter how much you could use cash people aren’t going to just give you a check. So here are my suggestions to green the process up a bit and please keep in mind that less sometimes really is more.
- If you can register at small local businesses and bring some business to the “little guy.” If that isn’t an option look on Etsy and you will find a plethora of artisans trying to make a living at their craft. Supposedly Etsy has an online registry but I couldn’t figure it out. Instead I used The Things I Want because I could add items from any online merchant to that one list.
- If you do need to use big box stores look and see what greener options they have. Instead of registering for new sheets how about new organic sheets or organic towels? Pretty much all linen that you would want or need to register comes in organic cotton, hemp or bamboo. Depending on where you look the price is the same and you are doing yourself and the Earth a big favor.
- If you are going to get a big wooden salad bowl and serving utensil how about bamboo or at least sustainably harvest wood sources certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. The same goes for cutting boards and utensils. There are lots of bamboo/wood options for these and they are much better for the environment then plastic (they are also more visually appealing in your kitchen).
- If you want a rain fall shower head look at low flow options
- If you want cookbooks you can put them on a registry at Amazon but let people know that used copies are a great option and they can be found on Amazon or Half.com. The books are graded by condition and you can save more then 50%. While you are at it you can register for a cookbook on how to build a solar cooker.
- If you want candles ask for beeswax in glass containers. The glass can be reused or recycled should it break or you decide you don’t like it anymore. It’s also relatively easy to find glass candlesticks in thrift stores.
- Instead of teflon coated pans which can cause chemicals from the lining to eventually leach into your food register for cast iron which will naturally become non-stick through use. While new cast iron can be expensive, used options abound on places like Craigslist.
- Instead of plastic tupperware try pyrex. Again glass is a better option then plastic for the environment and it also doesn’t leach chemicals into your food. I’m sure most people have heard about BPAs but do you really think that’s the only bad plastic?
- Rather then registering for a new TV/IPOD/DVR etc etc you could register for a solar charger for your small electronic devices, or a solar powered lantern, or a smart power strip.
Now I’m not saying you need to register for everything you would need to live off the land because peak oil has arrived and the world is going end but the people that would make some compelling arguments that shouldn’t be ignored. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that we as a human race are living beyond are means and we are hurting the earth, animals, plants and ourselves in the process. Our lifestyle has been the impetus for the very chemicals that are slowly killing us through disease and reproductive issues.
So keep that in mind and maybe when you are registering think about adding some gardening paraphenalia and some heirloom seeds. Start your marraige off on a sustainable path and you will be happier for it.
And so will these guys: