Lookout Mountain Wedding Venue Earns green|light Certification, Offers Zero Waste

  • Tuesday, September 28, 2021

If you’ve ever seen the aftermath of a wedding, you know there’s usually a lot to clean up. But one local wedding venue is taking their zero waste goal and passion for beautiful, natural spaces to the next level with green|light sustainability certification.

At the end of a wedding at Oakleaf Cottage, the amount of waste can typically fit into a single trash bag.

The Lookout Mountain venue, a 20-minute drive from downtown Chattanooga, began working toward green|spaces’ green|light certification in 2019, prior to the pandemic.

Now, Oakleaf is the 29th business to complete the program’s step-by-step process.

Twenty-six other area businesses are also currently working on certification.

“We have truly enjoyed working with green|spaces toward a more sustainable future for our events,” said Cris Angsten, co-owner of Oakleaf Cottage. “Weddings and events can produce an enormous amount of waste, which has always been our main reduction focus, but green|spaces has helped us cut our footprint even further in a measurable way.”

The biggest challenge and visible marker of success, Ms. Angsten said, was reducing each event’s waste from two truckloads down to a single bag of trash. Focusing on native plants and eliminating invasives within their mountain-side oasis, a more sustainable irrigation system, composting, complementary reusable plates, glasses and cutlery along with other instrumental initiatives all helped achieve this goal.

As an independently verified corporate sustainability program through green|spaces, green|light is tailored to the needs and goals of the business, with an emphasis on sustainable practices, as well as community and environmental stewardship, it was stated.

“We are absolutely thrilled to certify Oakleaf Cottage as the next green|light business,” said program director Kelley Cureton. “As our first certified event venue, Cris and her team exemplify how attention to environmental impacts can cross over into every aspect of life – even celebrations. The hope is more people realize there are sustainable options for events right in our own backyard and that they support businesses like Oakleaf who are further encouraging a culture shift in Chattanooga.”

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