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.
- Recycling — we recycle paper, cardboard and other materials at our office. Some waste paper with client info even gets shredded and added to our compost pile. Electronic waste gets donated to Pathway Services Unlimited, which as a bonus brings in money for their programs.
- 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.
Posted by Steve. Warmowski Photography, husband-wife photojournalist team available to tell the story of your wedding day. Follow us on Facebook. Wedding photography for Springfield, Quincy and all of Central Illinois. Member of Springfield Local Favorites, a group of the top wedding vendors in Central Illinois (on Facebook). Meetings hosted at Northfield Inn & Suites. Studio located at 301 E Court St. Suite B, Jacksonville, IL 62650 in the Hamilton’s 110 North East building.