Continued (page 2 of 2)
According to Danielle Venokur, a New York City-based green-wedding planner, both Kate and Rich and Jill and Peter exemplify the trend of combining eco and standard registries. “Most of my clients go for a mix,” she says. But while these couples selected at least one green and one traditional store each, others find they are able to build an eco-friendly registry within the confines of a single traditional store. Alisa Leonard and Scott Hansen, who married in San Diego in March of this year, chose trendy, all-purpose store Target not only because it maintains a corporate commitment to the environment, but also because it sells a host of green items, including bamboo-fiber bedsheets and cutting boards. Upscale retailers like Bloomingdale's are also stepping up their green offerings; this summer the department store will begin featuring organically grown-cotton bedding from DKNY and Calvin Klein.
Those who know where to look are forging increasingly alternative registry paths. Tara Prigge and Edwin Wang, who exchanged vows last March in Washington, DC, happily found the Alternative Gift Registry, a year-old site that encourages “nonmaterial, second-hand, homemade and environmentally friendly gifts,” including everything from carbon offsets to zero-cost ideas like recipes and wedding playlists. For Tara and Edwin, this meant registering for a recycle-friendly newspaper rack from the Museum of Modern Art store as well as unorthodox items like inexpensive 1950s cookware that they suggested guests search for on the Internet. (“Tara's also in love with vintage Dansk, which is readily available for under $50 on eBay. Turquoise matches our kitchen goods, but red, yellow, white—it's all good!” read the item, next to a photo of an example.) A mix of laid-back requests and earth-friendly ideas, it's the kind of registry that is intended to suit not only the couple but their guests and the planet as well. And it gives “gifts that give back” a whole new meaning.
Consider these sites to build a top-notch earth-friendly registry:
A growing number of retailers are offering well-designed green goods, but the best of all may be Branch, which sells both the practical, like sustainably made towels by Bonjour, to the decorative, such as a sleek hanging planter from Perch.
A favorite destination for those who are committed to the eco lifestyle in ways big and small, Gaiam offers a range of necessities, from manual lawn mowers to stainless steel water bottles.
Couples can use this new umbrella site to register for both tried-and-true home accessories (such as flatware from Target) and nontraditional items, like donations to favorite charities, carbon offsets and even trees from local nurseries.
From left: “Pure Comfort” pillows, $115 each, from Pure DKNY, Bloomingdales.com. Bowls, $17 each; salad bowl, $24, both from Bambu; “Off Pitcher,” $158, from Esque, all at branchhome.com. “Daily Aesthetics” glass bottle, $39, from The Conran Shop, conranusa.com. Vintage dish towels, $39 each, from GRDN, grdnbklyn.com. Goblet, $65 for set of four, from The Green Glass Company, greenglass.com. “Plantorb,” $104, from Perch!, perchdesign.net