PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — June is peak time for weddings. Invitations, flowers and food are among the things that drive up the cost.  But they also can increase a celebration’s toll on the environment, and for many couples, that’s a big concern.

But there are ways to make the big day more green, without being too extreme.

There are more than 2 million weddings in the United States every year. That’s a lot of invitations, menus, dresses, flowers, cakes and more.

While many couples will spare no indulgence, the last decade or so, has brought a new focus on going green.

Katie Martin is a wedding planner and editor in chief of Eco-Beautiful Weddings magazine. She says keeping things close, is the first step.

“It’s all about going local. The more local you have your vendors, the better you are at being sustainable and having your wedding be less wasteful,” said Martin.

That includes local florals and flavors Pick something that’s seasonal and comes from local farms.

“So you’re being eco-friendly but you’re also going to get a better product from that,” said hotel catering director, Annee Gillett.

And items that are in season, often have a lower price tag.

While weddings are prime for keepsakes, couples can scale back on programs, and maybe just one menu per table, made of recycled, or seeded paper.

“It basically has seeds from wildflowers and herbs woven within it. So the guests can actually take that home and plant it and then have a little memory of your wedding of their own when their wildflowers grow,” said Gillett.

That same idea can translate to favors, like a packet of seeds that can be planted or something edible. Either way, there’s no waste.

If you want a more green wedding but don’t know where to start your best bet is to ask your wedding planner or the vendors you’re using.  Chances are you won’t be the first person to ask for more eco-friendly options.

 

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