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Set the theme for an environmentally friendly wedding by first throwing a green bridal shower for an earth-minded bride. (Metro Creative Services)

Throw a green bridal shower

Going green is infiltrating all aspects of daily life. The trend is also carrying over to the ways people celebrate special occasions. For the bride-to-be who is environmentally conscious, a "green" bridal shower can be meaningful and environmentally aware.

Planning an earth-friendly shower is relatively easy, provided how many people have similar views on the environment. Here's how to begin.

* Seek out venues that follow green initiatives. Eco-friendly day spas, gardens, parks, are all viable options.

* Make sure vendors use environmentally responsible materials. Free-trade coffee and chocolate and organic, locally grown foods are just a few options.

* Get creative with invitations. If you don't want to send out electronic invites, be sure the materials you use for invitations are recyclable or earth-friendly. For an outdoor occasion, write party information on tree leaves. Later the invites can be incorporated into compost or flattened in a book and preserved.

* Use real linens, napkins and table settings. Skip the disposable items that can end up in the trash.

* Ask guests to bring gifts that are not wrapped. Not only will this save time at the party, it will reduce the amount of waste as well.

* Ask guests to wear sustainable fabrics in their wardrobe, such as linen, organic cotton or hemp.

* Set the mood with soy candles. They produce virtually no soot, making them better for the environment. Soy also burns longer than other candles, such as those made from paraffin wax.

* Make party favors something that are earth-minded as well. Packets of flower seeds or small potted plants are options. Gift baskets of locally grown fruit and vegetables and jarred, fresh-produced preserves make for great gifts. You can also give away some of the same soy candles you used at the party, decorated with a ribbon indicating the party date.

With a little planning you can throw a green bridal shower for that special bride-to-be. Then help her host a green wedding as well.