Sierra Club
Jump to
Search Ventana Chapter All Sierra Club
Ventana Chapter  
Explore, Enjoy and Protect the Planet  
Home
Home
Politics and Issues
Schedule
Chapter Organization
Join
Resources
Contact Us
National Sierra Club
California Sierra Club
Old Baldy, Canada | photo by Cameron Schaus

Sierra Club
   Conservation Issues of the Ventana Chapter | monterey county

Michael and Emily choose a green wedding
August 2007

 

Green Wedding


Photo by Leah McCormick

by Bob Hagopian
More than 2.2 million couples tie the knot each year in the United States, spending an average of $26,000. According to Sierra magazine, the average U.S. wedding and honeymoon generate 9 to 16 tons of carbon dioxide emissions.

San Francisco residents Michael Heacock and Emily Hagopian wanted their April 2007 wedding to reflect their values. Michael is an architect who specializes in environmentally sustainable buildings. Emily is an architectural photographer whose various projects often emphasize green designs. Their wedding planner, Mary Lou Sanders, a UC Santa Cruz environmental studies graduate, helped guide Michael and Emily's sustainability theme.

To minimize paper use, their 150 guests received email invitations, and the couple provided family members and friends wedding information on the website they designed.

Their desire for a wedding site which would provide a natural backdrop combined with social and ecological advocacy led them to choose the Mill Valley Outdoor Art Club. This private non-profit's Mission Statement is "To preserve the natural scenery of Mill Valley and the surrounding country, to beautify the grounds around public buildings, to work against the wanton destruction of birds and game, to encourage the development of outdoor art and to engage in other civic, literary and charitable work." The setting provided spring flowers and towering redwoods.

Mill Valley also was centrally located for Emily and Michael's wedding guests, thereby minimizing travel and fuel consumption. Much lodging was within walking distance, and the couple arranged a biodiesel shuttle for guests staying in hotels beyond walking distance.

To offset the carbon emissions from their guests' travel, Michael and Emily purchased 12 "green tags" from the Bonneville Environmental Foundation. In total, they offset approximately 16,800 pounds of carbon dioxide-the equivalent of planting roughly 2.3 acres of trees in a year or not driving a car for 17,192 miles.

The wedding reception used washable dishes and glasses and featured mostly organic and local foods including fair trade coffee and tea. All food waste was composted and left over food was donated to a local homeless shelter.

The flowers were organic and local, and all photography was digital. Additional information about treading lightly on the environment was provided at a table in the back of the reception along with Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch consumer guides.

The wedding programs were printed with soy inks on biodegradable seed paper. The newlyweds gave each guest small cartons containing redwood saplings from Emily's late grandfather Lem Hagopian's backyard redwood grove, which he started from Humboldt County saplings 50 years ago.

Emily's remarks at the dinner summed up the couple's feelings: "We wanted to bring it to the front of your minds that we can make decisions that will lessen our impact on the environment. I think it's important for our future and for our children's future to know that we have options; it doesn't have to be the way it has been in the past. Every little bit counts, and we as individuals can do things that have a true effect on making positive changes in the way we live."

 

 


< back to all issues

In This Section

Current
Humpback whale visit poses eco-ethics questions
December 2011

California leads in fighting oil addiction
October 2011

Plastic bag ban gaining momentum
October 2011

WTO rules dolphin-safe tuna a trade violation
August 2011

WTO may cut US meat labeling
October 2011

Club's Beyond Coal Campaign awarded $50 million
August 2011

Whales store carbon
August 2011

Watershed Dippers
August 2011

Richardson Grove redwoods get reprieve
August 2011

Richardson Grove redwoods threatened by highway widening
June 2011

Resilient Habitats Campaign will address effects of sea level rise
April 2011

Enviros defeat Bohemian Grove logging plan
April 2011

Sierra Club works to phase out coal
April 2011

Protect CEQA and Environmental Laws in the State Budget Process
March 2011

FDA ponders genetically engineered salmon
December 2010

State of the air
December 2010

Antibacterial soap affects fish reproductive behavior
December 2010

State bill would ban single-use plastic bags
August 2010

Atrazine affects fish reproduction
August 2010

New law will protect Americans from formaldehyde
August 2010

Opt out of unwanted phone books
August 2010

You might not be planning for climate change, but the State is
June 2010

Club report explores ending oil dependence
June 2010

American pika
June 2010

Will Commercial Whaling Resume?
May 2010

Our national parks: a vision for the second century
February 2010

Former Yosemite Supervisors call for restoring Hetch Hetchy
December 2009

Assembly resolution puts pressure on Feds to enforce Marine Mammal Act
October 2009

Report proposes sustainable water solutions for California
October 2009

Free online course on Clean Water Act
October 2009

Only 11 states have bottle laws
October 2009

UCSC makes list of “Coolest” Schools
Sierra’s top 20 coolest schools of 2009
October 2009

Farr seeks upgrade of Pinnacles to National Park
October 2009

Fishing rods donated to youth programs
October 2009

State releases climate change adaptation plan
October 2009

State still considering new logging rules
August 2009

Old Growth Redwoods
August 2009

Protected land database now available
August 2009

How much would you save by ditching your gas guzzler?
August 2009

NOAA website provides resources for coastal cities dealing with climate change
August 2009

Stimulus funds to benefit national forests
August 2009

New report shows birds in decline
June 2009

700,000 acres of new wilderness designated in California
June 2009

Researchers map West Coast ocean threats
June 2009

Sierra Club successfully challenges Stockton’s General Plan Update
June 2009

Say NO to bottled water
June 2009

Local residents propose environmental laws
June 2009

Traffic pollution linked to new cases of asthma
June 2009

County Supervisors support net metering
June 2009

Labor and enviros join forces
April 2009

Restore Hetch Hetchy moves HQ to San Francisco
April 2009

Carl Pope to step down
January 2009

Border wall harming wildlife
January 2009

Learning bird behavior turns kids into scientists
January 2009

Air Board warns consumers about air purifiers
January 2009

Green Streets improve water quality
January 2009

State body proposes plastic bag fees
January 2009

Clean coal is a myth
January 2009

Cutting their carbon footprints
January 2009

Carl Pope to step down as Executive Director of Sierra Club
January 2009

Legislation needed to increase amount of renewable energy
December 2008

Recycling alone is not the answer
December 2008

Patented seeds violate farmer's rights
December 2008

Sierra Club organizer mobilizing volunteers against clearcutting
October 2008

PG&E invests in gas, nuclear and hot air
August 2008

Help prepare Sierra Club huts for winter
August 2008

Air Board develops draft plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions
August 2008

Eating for a Healthy Planet
May 2008


Global Warming rekindles nuclear power debate
May 2008


Volunteers needed for LeConte Lodge
March 2008


Action Alert!
Tell the Governor to support Zero Emission Vehicles
March 2008


A gift for the Corrizo Plain pronghorn
January 2008


SB 375 would link land use planning and transportation
January 2008


Governor proposes closing state parks & cutting lifeguards
January 2008


Track green-ness of your electricity
December 2007


UC named 4th in Sierra's list of cool schools
December 2007


Clair Tappaan Warming Hut property protected by conservation easement
October 2007


Cutting back on meat can help global warming
October 2007


Disappearing polar bear habitat
October 2007


International trade
August 2007


Green wedding
August 2007


New roles for our National Parks
August 2007


How we reduced our carbon footprint
April 2007


Joyce Stevens turns 80!
February 2007


Sierra Club launches weekly radio show
February 2007


Co-op America's 12-Step Plan for Climate Action
February 2007


A visit with the great California condors
June 2006


Bush administration abandons long-standing protections for critical wildlife habitat on Alaska’s North Slope

Chapter opposes water management scheme for Seaside Aquifer

Chapter and Group events to highlight marine sanctuary

End of an era: Ventana Chapter Bookstore closes

California has opportunities to reduce mercury poisoning

A biting issue

Sanctuary Draft Management Plan due out this summer

Nature Conservancy acquires gateway to Pinnacles National Monument

Elkhorn Slough threatened by subdivisions

Open space preserved on San Mateo County Coast

Greased lightning - Peregrine falcons in California

It’s time to restore Hetch Hetchy

Appeal to deny subdivision near Elkhorn Slough successful

Chapter revises Los Padres National Forest map

Forest geneticists visit Point Lobos

Methyl bromide poisoning devastates farm workers’ health

Resurrect those old Sierra Club cups?

Transit - highway rules unfair

California's oak woodlands need your help!