I knew when I went into this industry that the hardest part for me would be seeing all of the waste. Whether its food, one time use items or décor- I see it being thrown into the garbage, like its garbage- it’s not garbage! This article is intended for you to realize that your one wedding, amongst the millions each year in our country, can make a difference and give you tips on how you can make that difference. Please keep Mother Nature in mind while planning your event. In the wise words of Chief Seattle, “We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children.”
Here are some tips for an environmentally friendly wedding:
· Bring to go containers for food (either compostable or reusable)
· Putting food away at proper time to ensure it is still safe and doesn’t need thrown away “just in case”
· Don’t buy too much of anything
· Recycle, donate or sell any décor leftover from your wedding
· Use biodegradable plates, utensils and glasses or rent real dishes, glasses and cutlery
· Consider local vendors (who use local products- food, flowers, etc.)
· Support vendors who do care about the environment
· Have recycling bins clearly visible
· Skip balloons (and do not release them into the sky-ever)
· Don’t use any plastic
· Choose your registry wisely, consider products made with the environment in mind, products made to last a lifetime and only register for items you really need
· Use recycled materials or sustainably sourced paper for items like invitations, name cards, etc.
· Utilize electronics- you can send your invitations and receive your RSVPs via email
· Purchase ethical and conflict- free wedding rings
· Get a keg instead of bottled or canned beer
· If you are going to have favors, make sure they are quality products that won’t be tossed out. Edible favors are usually a huge hit, make sure the vessel to take the favor home in is environmentally friendly
· Rent or buy used wedding attire. There are wedding dress consignment stores for brides and bridesmaids (then they will rebuy your dresses back after). Men can rent their tuxes at many places
· Resist big chain store sales, just because it’s low priced doesn’t mean you need it. Utilize your venues décor and consider booking a venue that doesn’t need much decorating done to it. Remember, less is more in the right space
· Utilize nature for décor- branches can be used as décor, make confetti punches from leaves, and use small wood rounds for name cards. For the sendoff consider lavender, rosemary and eucalyptus. Look online, there are tons of ideas out there
· Just say no to bottles of water and glitter
· Have guests use the same reusable glass all night for their beverages. Check with your caterer, they may provide these
· Consider a vegetarian or vegan menu
Even if you incorporate a few eco-friendly things into your wedding you will be making a difference.
If you can think of any other tips please share!
Remember, always and forever should be applied to your marriage, not garbage in a landfill from your wedding.