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Green Lighting Options for Your Eco-Friendly Wedding

By Audrey Isaac, 100Candles.com
 
Awareness of wedding-related environmental issues is no longer just a passing trend; it is a reality of doing business in our industry. Clients and guests alike are acutely aware of concepts like carbon footprints and sustainability. This awareness has increased the pressure on wedding professionals to find innovative ways of going, and staying, “green.”
There are lots of opportunities to ensure that your events are environmentally responsible. You can use compostable flatware, purchase local foods that don't have to be trucked in from distant suppliers or send e-invites and communications instead of paper. However, those aren't the only ways to help! Improving your lighting practices gives you a whole new category of green event ideas from which to draw.
 
Natural Light
Using natural light is one great way to minimize your impact on the environment. Is your wedding during the day and in a space where the light can get through? Consider lowering or turning off the overhead lights, and saving uplights, accent lights, spotlights, and burning candles for evening hours.
 
Take Advantage of LED Technology
When you do need lighting, try to make heavy use of LED technology. It is available in everything from whole-room lighting to tiny individual tea lights. Some LED lights use batteries, but are very long-lasting, requiring few changes, and others are rechargeable. They are all reusable, so you can plan to take them from event to event without generating more trash for the landfills. The fact that they don't need to be replaced can even be beneficial to your bottom-line.
 
Use Clean-Burning Candles from Renewable Resources
 
If you prefer traditional candles, be selective when making your purchases. Use varieties made of clean burning and renewable materials like beeswax, soy or palm oil instead of traditional paraffin wax candles. Beeswax candles, in particular, are total environmental wonders – they actually release negative ions when burned, which cleans the air. Imagine your couple's delight when they learn that they are not only avoiding damaging the environment, but are actually contributing to its repair!
 
Also, look for candles that have wood or cotton wicks, which burn cleaner than other materials. Consider renting recyclable candles as well, which can be melted down after an event and used again – just beware of offering this service yourself unless you have established a process and realize exactly how time-intensive it can be.
 
When it comes to satisfying client demand for greener weddings, you don't have to look any further than your lighting design to find a multitude of options that make a big impact. Combine these with other great environmentally conscious initiatives, and you'll soon be the wedding pro to know when it comes to all things green!
 
Igal Sapir is the chief technology officer for 100 Candles, a wholesale market for candles and LED lights. Since 2002, thousands of wedding and event professionals have turned to 100 Candles for their wholesale candle accounts.