Greening your Simcha

Mazel tov – you are planning a simcha!

When entertaining, celebrating or organising a simcha/event there are plenty of ways to reduce the carbon footprint. Although celebrations can be lavish, and it is hard to make an event completely ‘green’, these general guidelines provide some practical suggestions for areas where you can make a difference.

Invitations

invitation for jsm

Rings

There are various options for more ethical wedding rings. Having visited a gold mine a few years ago, I realized there was no way I could wear something that reminded me of that environment for the rest of my life. A wedding ring should make you happy! Not fill you with dread and despair about the lack of fairmined gold… So here are some tips.

If you want to go traditional, there are a few very well respected jewellers that only use recycled platinum and fairmined gold. As with all gold and platinum, this can get pretty costly but remember - you will be wearing it for the rest of your life.

Cred Jewellery

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Ingle and Rhode

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Click HERE for more information and examples of ethical rings

 

 

 

 

Travel
If possible choose a central location where it is easily accessible on public transport.
Encourage people to share cars, particularly if some of the guests are from out of town.
If your venue is away from where people live, consider a coach or minibus so guests can travel in fewer cars.
If you have guests attending from overseas consider offsetting their carbon. Whilst carbon offsetting is controversial, it is better to offset the carbon emissions that are unavoidable, rather than ignoring them.

Food
Ask your caterer to use seasonal foods and fairtrade products.
In the menu include information about the various ingredients, where they were sourced and why.
Sticking to a meat free meal will reduce the carbon footprint of your event enormously.
If you serve fish ensure it is sourced sustainably.

Gifts
If you are receiving gifts at your simcha, ask guests not to use wrapping paper.

Consider asking your guests for unusual green gifts e.g. to pay for the loft insulation/energy efficient boiler you wouldn’t be able to afford yourself.
Rather then consuming more, why not give a gift that will help others and has a real long-term benefit. We recommend the Good Gifts website.

Crockery and tableware
Use non-disposable crockery wherever possible.

If choosing paper or plastic, choose compostable or made with recycled content. Vegware products, made from vegetables, can be ordered on-line. Green Gate Bio Packaging supplies a wide range of eco-friendly catering disposables, including biodegradable and compostable cups and fibre tableware, in an attempt to reduce the negative environmental impacts of the catering industry.

Decorating/waste
Try to use natural decorations such as small trees or plants in pots and freshly cut local flowers. These can be taken away at the end of the evening or given to guests. Cut flowers can be composted.

Consider centrepieces which can be donated or re-used.
Make sure everything that can be recycled is.
Compost leftover food.
Wasted food, depending on the type, can also be given to charity.
If using balloons, consider latex as these are more environmentally friendly; make sure balloons are responsibly discarded after use.

Getting Dressed
Consider vintage or upcycled fashion choices, or seek out designers working with sustainable natural or organic fabrics.

Consider heirloom, vintage or recycled jewellery. Ensure gemstones are ethically sourced. Or think of something completely different – wooden rings are a beautiful alternative.

http://www.greenandjust.org/index.html
http://www.jewishweddingnetwork.com/how-to-plan-an-eco-friendly-jewish-wedding

 

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