The topic at this month’s Springfield Local Wedding Favorites meeting was green weddings and how brides incorporate environmental sensibilities into their wedding day. We haven’t really been asked by our clients about steps for greening our business, but figure this would be a good chance to overview some of the things we do.
Digital photography — probably the most green aspect is digital workflow. We don’t use all the film and chemistry of traditional photography. Plus, we offer our clients high resolution digital files of their wedding images to reduce the amount of prints and materials used.
Rechargeable batteries — we mostly use NiMH rechargeable batteries, not only are they reusable and reduce waste, but they give better performance on wedding days. When they die they can go to Radio Shack for recycling. Disposable batteries (when required) are recycled during our pilgrimages to Ikea. (Note a Maha recharger is a good investment, for its slow setting keeps batteries cooler so they can survive more charging cycles.)
Reduce, reuse — Keeping in line with the “reduce, reuse, recycle” mantra, we also reduce the amount of paper we use by using emails, calls or texts to communicate with brides instead of printing and mailing. For quick things we have to print we reuse paper, using the back side of paper (even paper scavenged from meetings and other organizations we volunteer with). We also close the loop by purchasing paper and other materials with recycled content from local suppliers.
Energy efficiency — Always a major consideration in our purchasing decisions. We use CFL/florescent lighting (and recycle old bulbs), LED bulbs and efficient halogen bulbs.
Electricity — At our home office we get our electricity through Power Smart Pricing, so the cost of electricity changes by the hour with higher prices during peak times, and lower prices during low demand hours. On a hot summer day when there’s a high use alert, we’ll even turn off all our computers and take a break. It’s a way to reduce the need for new power stations, reducing environmental impact and overall price of the electricity system.
Cleaning — We use green cleaners for office cleaning.
Transportation — We have high-milage cars, with the goal of a hybrid or even electric car when we replace our current vehicle. Steve is also on his bike (or scooter if pressed for time) for runs to the post office or other short trips.
Community — We’re involved with the Town Brook project, pushing to create a park along the creek through Jacksonville. A place to encourage healthy walking and bicycling incorporating native plants and other habitat for wildlife in town.
One thing to say is green is at our core, it’s not just something we are doing for marketing. From growing up with my dad flipping off lights and teaching a conservation ethic, to getting involved with environmental stewardship through Scouting and college volunteer organizations, to our trips to the farmer’s market and concern about health and the environment a part of our every day lives — this isn’t greenwashing or green marketing. This is an ethic and a consideration in al the things we do.
If you’re planning to use green wedding vendors for your special day, be sure to check us out and ask how we line up with your goals. Here’s an article from this month’s Audubon magazine with more ideas on the topic.
Tiffany has a skill that we probably don’t share that much, but it’s worth mentioning that before getting into photography Tiffany was a deaf education major at MacMurray College in Jacksonville.
It was during her student teaching days that she also interned as a photographer at the Jacksonville Journal-Courier, thus launching her photography career. Her four years of American Sign Language training at school still comes in to handy when we photograph events for the deaf or hard of hearing. Her ASL skills helps make deaf family members more comfortable during the hectic day.
So if you have a wedding or other event and have deaf family members, put Tiffany and her ASL skills to work for you.
“We don’t even know where to begin to say thank you for all you did. You both are truly amazing, talented people and I am so glad I went to Northfield that weekend and met you. We were so thankful to even find a photographer willing to do 12-31 and for it to be you, we will always be grateful! We honestly could not have dreamed of more.
“Thank you for working with our crazy schedules to arrange engagement photos . . . and for celebrating our special day with us. It turned out to be a beautiful day and we couldn’t have asked for more. Now we will always have the perfect photos to prive it. We were able to print pictures of people at our wedding and put them with each individual thank you.
“Everyone has been blown away by your work and excited you were able to get a picture of them from that night. We are looking forward to seeing our wedding album come together and know it will be wonderful just like everything else.”
Saw an article in The Source newspaper about delicious smoked meats from Jeff Hurrelbrink of rural Jacksonville. We used to work with his wife, Gina, at the Jacksonville Journal-Courier (where we were photographers for about a decade before concentrating on wedding photography). They’re great people, and now they are expanding their kitchen and their catering.
Jeff’s Country Smokehouse serves a variety of dishes, such as pulled pro, briskets, cheesy potatoes and the like. They are available for parties, like rehearsal dinners, and even can do wedding receptions. Located near Winchester out in rural Morgan/Scott Counties. Contact 217.473.5906 or email jeffhurrelbrink – at – irtc.net (foil spamers, put in @ sign). Jacksonville, Illinois 62650.