As my lovely new wife and I celebrate our one year anniversary, it is important to reflect back on the year and remember the strength and commitment that I vowed on that day. Though Maria and I declared our everlasting love and dedication to support each other as equal partners, we also confirmed our devotion to a lifelong experiment, living within the constraints of the environment around us. Sustainability is not just a term we learned in college, but a lifestyle we work to support everyday. I am sure Maria and I will continue to contribute to Darshan's blog related to our work at the University of Michigan and the efforts we put forth at our home in Ypsilanti, but this first post serves primarily as a "Thank You" to Darshan.
Darshan presided over our wedding (the photograph bellow was taken of our chuppah during the ceremony). He has continually served as an inspiration and source of zen throughout the year. We have been friends for many years and it is part of the strength of this friendship that we have each made great steps towards sustainability. Long before Darshan declared his zero waste campaign we had been considering the many ways we could decrease the environmental footprint in our lives. Our wedding proved to be one way in which we could practice our environmentalist beliefs as well as impact more than 100 people during the event. Some of the many ways in which we reduced the impact of our wedding include: sending biodegradable wedding invitations with wildflower seeds embedded in the paper, hosting the event at Gallup Park outdoors, decorating our chuppah with ivy and goldenrod from the site, purchasing a seasonal arrangement of flowers from the Ann Arbor Farmers Market, and providing guests with a primarily local and organic meal of spinach and goat cheese cake, breaded chicken breast, and steamed vegetables on compostable dinnerware.
With confidence, I can say Darshan contributed zero waste to my wedding (though he will contest compost is a trash item). I am forever grateful for our friendship and the camaraderie shared throughout our struggle for a widespread sustainable initiative. Good luck in your quest for a minimum waste year.
~Zachary Brym (on his way to a wonderful PhD at Utah State)