When planning a green wedding, it’s easy to think of the big day and how to cut back on your environmental impact. But taking steps toward a green wedding can begin before the wedding day actually arrives. There are more options for a fun bachelorette party than a long weekend in Vegas. Consider eco-friendly options closer to where you live that still create a valued experience.
Having a relaxing spa day, a party at a local venue, or even a slumber party all provide that close bonding time but also reduces the impact (not to mention cost!) of traveling to a far away city.
If a night out on the town is still the preference, consider road tripping to a big city close to you (whether it is Boston, NYC, Houston, etc.) and head to some neighboring bars. You can also choose a hotel centrally located where there is plenty of nightlife within walking distance. If the bride is more low-key, throwing a party at a friend’s house, in a backyard, or at a park can also be a low-impact venue with a down-to-earth touch.
Just like picking a greener venue, there are also great ideas for activities that don’t require much transportation or high consumption of goods. Grab your girlfriends and take a new class together, go to a sports game, throw a picnic in the park, host a tea party, hit an amusement park for a day, or try something seasonal (such as ice skating or a day at the pool).
No activity is ever going to have zero impact on the environment, but a lot of these require low waste, a single location, and minimal driving. Keep the green party going and eliminate party favors – opt for a personal thank you email instead. You can also use phone apps, such as Flock, that allow photo sharing among friends so there is no need to print out photos as favors. If you want to give gifts, choose eco-friendly options like an organic spa tote.
If the bride wants to go to dinner beforehand, there are several options that can coincide with the venue. Many bars will offer a dinner menu before 10pm, so be sure to contact them ahead of time to see if they will offer a dinner/drink discount for your group and start the party there!
Or try a farm-to-table cuisine that provides meals that are supplied by local farmers and sellers, usually with a high variety of organic and vegetarian options. This can significantly cut down on the carbon emissions and pesticides that would otherwise be used to produce a similar meal. When it comes to alcohol, there are even bars or breweries that offer local liquor options.
These are beers that are brewed locally that have more seasonal flavors and don’t require extensive shipping. Alternatively if a sit-down dinner isn’t the vibe you’re going for, having h’ordeurves at one of the bars or a close by restaurant is also a low impact way to start the night. It cuts down on travel emissions and excess food waste.
If a low-key party is more your bride’s style then nothing can beat a home cooked meal. Not a chef? Not a problem. Organize a group pot-lock instead and have everyone pitch in! And if that still doesn’t meet your fancy, consider a home caterer for the night. This cuts down on transportation for everyone and allows you to request organic, vegetarian, or locally sourced caterers.
As for getting to the party, renting a limo or a driver is a popular way to go – and actually can significantly cut down on emissions. Having all your friends carpool with you eliminates the need for additional vehicles to be taken to the same location.
Consider having everyone drive to a central location (the hotel, the bride’s house, or the restaurant) and have one person drive to the party. If you are celebrating in a city, utilize the public transportation system. This provides a much lower impact than individually driving or even carpooling, as public transportation will still run on a set schedule regardless of the number of passengers.
Finally, while flights are usually the fastest and most direct option, consider a long road trip instead if a far away destination is still the plan. It can allow more bonding time with friends and cut emissions by more than half of flying. It’s easy to forget about greening your bachelorette party, but with some thoughtful choices it’s still possible to have a full-out, fun night with a low-impact.
Lisa is a special needs teacher and a hugger. She always makes time for everyone and lightens up everybody’s lives with her presence. When she is not chasing her students around the yard, she finds time to write about what she truly loves, and you guessed it, its people and relationships.