So, you’re planning a wedding … congratulations!
We understand how stressful this process has become, especially now that a global pandemic has caused so many couples to reschedule their big day! Planning a wedding is time-consuming as it is, so we're extra grateful when we hear of brides and grooms looking for ways to make their wedding day a little more eco-friendly!
After all, small acts can make a big impact on our planet. And, our planet gives us so much, especially when it comes to scenic wedding backdrops and outdoor venues. One of the best ways to make your wedding day stand out is by providing an eco-friendly and earth-first experience. You may not have thought about it from this perspective before, but in one day, weddings and all the activities surrounding them can generate an enormous amount of waste, especially if you’re relying on plastic silverware, straws and plastic water bottles. But weddings don't have to be wasteful or harmful to our planet.
Here are five ways you can make your wedding more sustainable and eco-friendly:
1. Send e-invites or use recycled paper for invitations
Mailing 100 save-the-date cards and then another 100 wedding invitations can cause more harm to the planet than you might think, especially if you’re using cards with a plastic cover.
Recycled paper or paper you can plant are both excellent options for your pre-wedding mailings as well as your day-of printed materials (like ceremony programs and cocktail hour signs). Even better, consider sending your invitations electronically. Have you heard of Greenvelope? You'll save money by eliminating the need for postage!
2. Replace plastic utensils with biodegradable utensils
Between the bridal shower(s), rehearsal dinner, and wedding reception, a lot of plastic waste is produced. Ditch the plasticware and opt for biodegradable forks, knives, and spoons. Have you heard of Eco Party Time? They've got an entire page dedicated to eco-friendly wedding tableware. Choose from cutlery made from wood, wheat fiber, sugarcane or other natural sources to keep plastic out of landfills and our oceans.
If you’re up for a bigger step, try a plastic-free wedding, which includes avoiding plastic cups, decor, and more. And, once the party is over don’t forget to recycle!
And don't forget to check out these awesome bamboo straws!
3. Reduce your carbon footprint and go local
Ordering frangipani flowers from Bali will look amazing, but the environmental impact of shipping flowers from across the world is something worth considering.
Instead, shop locally and strengthen your community. Set a 25-mile radius around your wedding venue and try to purchase as much as you can (from your attire to the wedding decor) within that distance.
Ardenwood Events, a wedding and events company located in the California Bay Area, partners with Repurposed Rose, a local florist to recycle gently-used floral arrangements from weddings and deliver them to hospitals and community centers for people to enjoy.
Not only is it better for the planet, but it’s also an opportunity to get creative. Try upcycling old wine barrels from a local winery for cocktail tables or accenting the tables with fresh flowers from a local farm.
4. Dance by candlelight
While beautiful vintage hanging bulbs or a wall of cascading, flickering lights are beautiful, they can consume a staggering amount of electricity in one night. Candles are a wonderful replacement for when the sun goes down. The soft, flickering light will also put everyone in a romantic mood – who needs a disco ball when you have hundreds of dancing candles?
5. Offer Boxed Water instead of plastic water bottles
Plastic water bottles are a go-to at weddings, but as we’ve mentioned before, weddings don't have to be wasteful. One plastic bottles takes around 700 years to break down and it never fully goes away. Boxed Water cartons are 92% plant-based, made from renewable resources and are 100% recyclable. That's better for the planet than plastic water bottles or canned water. Instead, we suggest using Boxed Water.
If you’re looking for party favors, Designer Lauren Conrad suggests giving Boxed Water in guests’ gift bags in her book Celebrate. And Lilli Kaye showed us how cute it looks as part of the table setting.
Honeymooning? Don't forget to check out our list of eco-friendly travel products - perfect for road trips!