Do you know your ecological footprint?
A wedding involves anywhere from tens to hundreds of people. Think about how much trash you produce in one day, and multiply it by your guest list. Crazy, right?
Good news! You have a golden opportunity to make some earth-friendly choices and minimize the environmental impact of your event. A little planning (which you’re doing anyway) will go a long way!
Here are five really easy ways to keep your celebration clean and green.
Transportation & Venue
Greenhouse gases are emitted by fuel-burning vehicles, so minimize how much carbon dioxide you pump into the atmosphere with smart decisions. If possible, select a venue that is close to friends and family, and organize carpooling options. Choose to have the reception at the same place or near the ceremony location to decrease travel on the big day. Some brides and grooms even hire buses to chauffeur their guests!
Materials & Décor
Most weddings consume a lot of resources. Minimize your impact by using recycled and eco-friendly materials as much as possible. You can design electronic save-the-dates, print your invitations on recycled paper, use biodegradable plates and utensils, choose eco-friendly or used linens, and select seasonal, local flowers. Recycle or repurpose as much as possible afterwards. Re-sell items to other brides, so they don’t have to buy new.
Food & Desserts
Support positive, responsible methods of farming and raising food. Choose local suppliers to support business in your community. Choose vegan to avoid harming animals. If you want meat at your wedding, make sure it is Kosher certified or free range/cage-free. Select organic veggies to avoid pesticides and chemicals. A great way to know your food is legit is by hiring a caterer who specializes in a certain type of cuisine, or by doing it yourself.
Going Away & Favors
Going away favors can cause a mess. If your venue allows confetti, get a biodegradable variety. If you want bubbles, find some that are non-toxic. Avoid rice, because it can be bad for birds and wildlife. Guests can instead ring bells or wave ribbons. Sparklers cannot be recycled; a good alternative is to use candles, which double as a nice gift for your guests. Other eco-friendly gift ideas include seeds, potted plants, or reusable water bottles.
Wardrobe & Beauty
Gowns made from organic fabrics are becoming more available. If you choose a used dress or wear something borrowed, you’re not only getting good luck, but reducing the number of new items manufactured for your wedding. Select makeup from cruelty-free brands (there will be a bunny on the label or it will say it was not animal-tested). Reduce waste by choosing accessories you already own or will use again.
Whether you make one eco-friendly choice or a dozen, know that your wedding will make a positive difference. And who knows? Your event may even inspire guests to incorporate changes into their daily lives—be it trying a vegan recipe or switching cosmetic brands. Every little bit counts!
Have more ideas about how to throw an earth-friendly wedding? Let us know!