The 2015 Earth-Friendly, Made in America Wedding Registry

by - Friday, October 16, 2015

If you have just gotten engaged, Congrats! Now, you may be trying to figure out all the adult things you need on top of planning a big super-expensive party. The last thing you need is one more thing to worry about, right? Well let me suggest a new worry. A wedding is a joyous occasion to think about the future, and it does a lot of good to everyone around you to share your happiness and feel grateful about their own blessings. That's awesome. You have an opportunity to do even more good in how you approach your wedding.

Rather than just choosing your sheets or your place setting on what you sort of like the best and seems fine, think about having a registry that does good for the world and for the future. No big thing, right? 

I know it sounds like an epically huge responsibility, but I have already done the hard work for you. I researched so many great products and companies that still manufacture in the US or with recycled materials. While each of us can't save the world on our own, if we all do a little bit, it can have a huge effect. You get to tell everyone what to buy you only a few times in your life, so you can encourage lots of great decisions that do good just by switching out some of the objects on your registry for ones on this list. 

Recycled materials makes a lot of sense, right? An average human makes 60 times their body weight in plastic waste in their lifetime. Now multiply that by both of you. Oy. If a broom is a broom is a broom, getting one out of recycled materials has saved that much plastic from a landfill. The same is true for a cutting board or a garden hose. You don't just produce less waste, you tell companies to consider seriously using more recycled materials. It's a positive loop that benefits everyone. 

Buying Made in the US may not seem related to taking care of the Earth, and globalization isn't an all bad thing, but you can do a ton of good by buying (or registering for) American products. Not to mention, they will be well-made by companies who are still accountable to their customers, so they will last through more anniversaries (and you won't have to make more garbage by buying the same junkier version again). You can also count on the labor behind them to be ethical. You can buy lots of imported things with good labor policies as well, but I would look for Fair Trade items or do your research (or ask me, and I will do it!). Lastly, you know how moving people costs lots of money and fuel? That's true for stuff as well. The farther your stuff has traveled, the more fuel it has used (and if it is cheap, it's because someone isn't being paid or treated fairly. That's the bottom line). So the more you can buy from our continent, from this country, or best of all, from your state, the more fuel you are saving and Americans you are employing, because you vote with your money, and you are voting to do good instead of to do cheap and easy. Yay! Woot!

So, this may be a change of pace, but trust me, it will be worth it to feel like you are doing that much more good for the world just by getting hitched. Before you start on your registry (and this is on every list, but I will repeat it here), follow these Three Steps to making your list:

1. Fall in Love with What you Already Have- Yes, your toaster is ugly, but does it still make toast? Yes a registry can be a great time to replace things that are ready for retirement, but the best way to have a registry that really works is to focus on what you actually need. Not to mention, being happy with life in general is all about being happy with what you already have. If you can keep making something work, do that! Feel empowered to keep what still works, even if the Matrimonial Gods seem to be saying otherwise.

2. Get Things Used- There are some things on every pinterest "you need this on your registry" list that you can easily get through community gifting like a Buy Nothing group or in any good-sized consignment store. Checking out what used options are out there can cut your list down even more, so you can focus on quality and not quantity. If you can get the same wastebasket for 2 dollars, wouldn't you rather receive something else as a gift?

3. Buy Recycled, Buy American- I have compiled a huge list here, so feel free to poke around. I used Amazon for as many links as I could, to simplify (but know some of the coolest stuff isn't on there).

Another way to use this list if you aren't getting hitched is to find the housewares you are just shopping for in your regular life. 

So, if you want to read through the list, you can find all the parts here: 

You can do this! And if you want some simple browsing, I put all of the Amazon products on a mega registry you can browse through here (just remember to send it to yourself if you try to buy things). This isn't about doing every little thing right, or we would all be Swiss Family Granola, but the more you can switch things out, the more little positive changes you can make in the world. 

If you aren't in a wedding mood but are looking for more Green Shopping Lists, we have those too! Check Out:

Baby Registry Part 1

And the most important one so far: Greening the Basics

I will be back next week with cool Halloween costumes and decorations you can get this year! Thanks for reading, and if you have suggestions, send them along!

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