Thursday, May 14, 2009

Mireya Navarro Author 'Green Wedding' Planning Your Eco-Friendly Celebration.

New York Times reporter Mireya Navarro will sign her book

Engaged couples planning a wedding may consider buying invitations made of recycled paper, choosing a venue close to where their guests live to limit long-distance travel, and serving food that is seasonal, organic and local.

  These are just a few ways couples can host a more ecologically friendly wedding, according to Mireya Navarro, a New York Times journalist who recently published the book 'Green Wedding: Planning Your Eco-Friendly Celebration.' Navarro will sign and discuss her new book at Village Books, located at 1049 Swarthmore Ave., today at 7:30 p.m.

  Navarro, 51, who divides her time between Pacific Palisades and Washington Heights in Manhattan, decided to write the book after receiving positive responses from an article she wrote in 2007 for the New York Times called 'How Green Was My Wedding.'

  'It turned out to be a great story,' Navarro said. 'It's pretty novel what these couples are doing.'

  For the book, she spent one year interviewing couples and conducting research, while working full-time as the West Coast Style correspondent for the New York Times in the Los Angeles bureau. She is now the Times' environmental reporter in New York.

A native of Puerto Rico, Navarro moved to the United States to attend college. She earned her bachelor's degree in journalism from George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and her master's degree in journalism from Columbia University in New York.

She has worked at the New York Times since 1989, winning the Pulitzer Prize with a team of journalists in 2001 for the series, 'How Race is Lived in America.'

Navarro married her husband, James Sterngold, a Palisades resident and reporter for Bloomberg News, in 2005 before she discovered the trend of green weddings. She has two step-children: Marina, a senior at Palisades Charter High School, and Sammy, a sophomore at New Roads School in Santa Monica. She and James have a bicoastal marriage, traveling from coast to coast to see one another.

'Green Weddings' serves as a typical how-to-guide for wedding planning, providing tips on how to chose a venue, dress, invitations, caterer and flowers, but through the lens of an environmentalist.

'Couples reported that it doesn't take longer to plan for a green wedding,' Navarro said. In fact, many vendors, such as caterers, do not offer organic food, so there are fewer options.

The goal of a green wedding is to avoid excess and waste, Navarro said. For example, party favors are optional and invitations with layers of paper are unnecessary.

Navarro suggests that brides buy their wedding gown second-hand or borrow one. If they want to buy brand new, they should choose a dress made of eco fabrics that they can wear again, sell or donate after the wedding. 'Do something, don't let it sit in the closet,' she said.

A major way couples can help the environment is to conserve electricity and minimize transportation, Navarro said. Couples should choose a venue that can accommodate a ceremony and reception to avoid shuttling and marry at a time that doesn't require air conditioning or heat.

In the end, 'I hope they look at wedding planning in a different way,' Navarro said. 'But remember it's a party and a celebration; I wouldn't want [couples] to go crazy ' they should do what they can to have the wedding of their dreams.'

Navarro hopes this emerging trend of green weddings will shift the bridal industry toward better practices but believes it will take time.

'The couples I interviewed are in the minority,' Navarro said. 'I call them pioneers.'

Article By,
Danielle Gillespie , Staff Writer Pacific Palisades Post, Pacific Palisades

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