Green beginnings

Among my friends I’m concidered the “hippy chick”. I’ve been almost obsessive about the environment for as long as I can remember. A week doesn’t go by where you won’t catch me sneaking my recycling overflow into my neighbors bins, while my trash rarely is more than one bag for the week. We have a compost box. We use cloth diapers. And our electricity comes from 100% renewable energy sources. As far as our friends are concerned we belong on a commune in California somewhere!

The whole green living phenomenon is very exciting for me, because this is the way that I’ve always lived. I don’t consider myself a “hippy” however. My favorite food is a big fat steak, and I drive an SUV. Being “green” isn’t something that was engraved into my psyche from birth. I was just raised to protect your belongings, land included.

I grew up in small town Arkansas where I learned the importance of nature from my grandparents without even knowing it. They grew all their own meats and vegetables. Not because they were protesting conventional groceries, but because they loved to farm and garden and that was their livelyhood. Anyway, why would they go out and buy a steak or bacon when they had 500 head of cattle and a couple of hogs on their property at all times? They never used pesticides or toxic fertilizers on their gardens. Instead they planted flowers that attracted bees and ladybugs. Or if they would find a spider in the house they wouldn’t squash him, they would take him out to the garden and set him free on a corn stalk. I never thought twice about their farming practices, I just always assumed they were being frugal.

As an adult I find myself in the same situation. Being “green” isn’t something that I put a lot of thought into. It is just the lifestyle that I’m use to living. So back in January of 04 when I was in a planning meeting with a good friend for her wedding (one of my first weddings by the way!) I was accused of planning her a “hippy-chic” wedding. Then as she looked around my home office and noticed my stacks of paper to be reused, and my overflowing recycling bin, and the countless glass jars filled with craft scraps of fabric from old shirts, she became the first person to accuse me of being a “green” wedding planner. She was just trying to give me a hard time, but that moment really lit a spark in me to put more thought in the way that I run my business and plan weddings for my brides.

Now, four years later I’m still rocking and rolling in a new town, and living as “green” as possible. I’ll admit that I don’t always live up to the standard that I have set for myself, but I try as much as I can. And my husband takes a little more coaxing and reminding, but he’s getting there slowly.