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Have a Great Eco Friendly Wedding

Have a Great Eco Friendly Wedding

Our collective image of the ideal wedding has changed a lot over the past few decades. What was once a massive affair in the ‘80s and ‘90s, a huge ceremony complete with every luxury that the couple could afford (and some that they could not), has been scaled back by economic realities and a shift in personal preferences. Today’s couples are looking for a more personal wedding with less of an impact on both their own lives and the environment.

Here are some tips for making your upcoming wedding a great event for your family and for the earth.

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Use Ethical Diamonds

The engagement ring is definitely the centerpiece of any modern wedding, but there are many so-called blood diamonds on the market. Blood diamonds are mined and then sold to finance some war effort; usually one engaged in by a warlord or some other unsavory sort of person. It goes without saying that these diamonds are acquired under morally reprehensible conditions and to purchase them is to aid a terrible cause.

For these reasons, the only morally correct choice for a diamond engagement ring is a conflict free diamond. These gemstones are sourced responsibly come from regions where they can’t be used to finance the ambitions of warlords or terrorists. This means that they are ethically mined and ethically sold, with a focus on the consumer rather than on the sinister going-ons behind the scenes. When you go for a conflict free diamond, you’re declaring to the world that war has no place in a ceremony dedicated to love.

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Source Green

Weddings, especially ones held outdoors, can end up using a lot of stuff. There’s a nice city park down by the Boise River, near my apartment. Whenever I walk or ride my bike through there I can always tell when a wedding has just taken place. In spite of anyone’s best efforts to clean up, there are always going to be a few disposable plates and utensils, scraps of invitations and programs, and floating bits of confetti. For this reason it’s important to stock up on eco friendly items as much as possible.

‘Green’ paper plates are hard to come by, but you should keep an open mind towards unconventional solutions like dining on large banana leaves. It’s a bit easier to be responsible with decorations, invitations, and programs, just be sure to source these things from environmentally responsible printing companies. You can even keep up the green attitude past the wedding by getting wedding photos and albums printed on recycled paper.

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Another way to “go green” actually involves going the opposite direction from finding things that are compostable or biodegradable. Instead of counting on things which can get left behind why not make them permanent and worth hanging onto after the wedding?

For example, rather than getting a handful of thin paper sheets to cover your tables, why not invest in a set of French tablecloths. Not only will their weight keep them from blowing loudly about in a slight breeze, but using more substantial artifacts like these is a great way to make sure that nothing goes into the trash and clogs up landfills.

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This same thinking can be applied to other wedding items. Instead of using chairs of dubious quality made with harmful plastics, why not bring out a set of wooden chairs? An eco friendly wedding can use things from the environment too! Think of it this way: you wouldn’t give your fiancé a disposable ring, so why treat the rest of your wedding like something that’s going to be thrown in the trash right after the event? Tell me your ideas for a green wedding in the comments!

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10 Harsh But True Illustrations that Show Our Changed Society

10 Harsh But True Illustrations that Show Our Changed Society

Let’s face it.  We are living in a digital age, and there is absolutely no turning back. One of the biggest influences on society these days is social media. It affects us both positively and negatively. Social media was originally designed for people to share interesting facets of their lives with their friends, but it has become so much more than what it intended to be. It is now a medium for information to pass around the globe. In many cases, people first learn about current events through Twitter or Facebook before hearing about them from conventional news sources.

We also rely on technology for nearly everything we do. People these days seem as if they can’t go anywhere or do anything without their smartphones, tablets, or laptops. They need to be in constant contact with others via electronic devices.

However, there is also a downside to be too connected to social media and electronic devices. We are too dependent on them, which make us oblivious to what we are doing to ourselves. Being too connected can have a negative effect on our lives and the society as a whole. Here are 10 true illustrations that show how our society is negatively impacted because of the use of technology.

1. Facebook is eating away at your time.

Facebook is eating away your time

    How much time do you usually spend each day on Facebook or other social networking sites? Is it hindering your productivity? Do you find yourself wasting time to a point where you don’t even know where it goes? If the answer is yes, Facebook might have eaten away at your time.

    2. We’ve become “Likeaholics.”

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    Likeaholic

      When you are posting something on Facebook, are you doing it just to see how many of your friends will give it the proverbial thumbs up? This illustration shows that some people are treating “Likes” on Facebook as if it was a drug they needed to inject into their bloodstreams.

      3. Our electronics have priority over our lives.

      priorities

        Given a choice between your dying phone battery or you dying, which will you choose? In this case, the man in this illustration chose to charge his phone over to sustain his own life. As a society, we need to be more careful of our priorities.

        4. Our devices are ruining intimacy.

        lack of intimacy

          Have you and your loved one ever spent time together where each of you is on your phone instead of communicating face-to-face with each other? Has society reached the point where we can’t even be intimate with each other without being on our phones at the same time?

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          5. Families aren’t spending quality time together.

          mother baking

            Here is a mother making holiday cookies, but what are the kids doing? They are not making cookies with their mother. Instead, every one of them has their faces buried in their own electronic devices. Television used to be what parents use to babysit their kids. Now, it’s a tablet, phone, laptop or video game that does the job.

            6.  We’d rather record someone than help them.

            drowning

              A lot is happening in this illustration. A black man is drowning and asking for help. One person has a gun pointed at him. The other person has their iPhone pointed at him and is recording the scene, but is not interested to help this man.

              7. Society is sleeping, it’s sleeping its life away.

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              sleeping your life away

                Time is money. After we have wasted the long period of time on social media, we are losing the most valuable currency we have – our time in this world.

                8.  Despite all the technology we have, we still want what someone else has.

                wanting what someone else is having

                  There’s an old saying that goes, “The grass is always greener on the other side.” This illustration shows that despite all that we have, we are still not satisfied with our lives.

                  9. Sensationalism still sells.

                  free expression

                    With the information overload that exists today, the media still looks for sensationalism. Here’s a woman who feels she has something important to say, but the media only cares about her because she is naked. Would the news media still have microphones in front of her if she wasn’t standing there topless?

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                    10. In the end, with all of this, we are still killing the planet.

                    gun to mother earth

                      This last illustration argues that despite all of our technological gains, we are still polluting the earth as if we have a virtual gun pointed at Mother Nature. As we build bigger cities and higher technology, how much more damages can we continue to do before putting our lives at risk?

                      Featured photo credit: Michael Summers via flickr.com

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