Say ‘I do’ to saving the planet!
The average wedding produces 400-600 pounds of garbage and 66 tons of CO2 (carbon dioxide). Based on an estimate of 2.3 million weddings in the U.S. per year, that is more than a billion tons of trash that gets sent to our landfills and oceans. And in just one day, a single wedding produces the equivalent emissions 4-5 people would produce in an entire year. Let these numbers sink in and think about how your wedding can make a huge difference in the way it affects our planet. Although we might not be able to save the planet overnight, it’s important to educate ourselves with the most basic ways we can do differently on our special day. Let us not only celebrate love by tying the knot, but send our love to the planet we live in.
From catering to florists, choosing to support local business not only does well for your community’s economy but locally grown goods and produce are a lot fresher and better tasting. Hiring your vendors, entertainment, and other additional resources locally reduces less travel that would prevent extra emissions.
Save material for invitations and save the dates by doing it digitally. Sending invites not only allows you to be creative but it’s easier to get RSVP responses as well. But if material needs to be used for menus, programs, place cards, or other decor materials make sure they’re biodegradable, recycled, or seed paper. Reduce printing and packaging as much as you can!
Knock out two birds with one stone by choosing to have your wedding ceremony and reception in the same area or venue to reduce additional travel for you and your guests. Plus this will make the program a breeze. Hire a venue that conserves energy and reduce waste. Make sure they use sustainable materials, use low energy, heating and/or electricity, have energy efficient windows or solar panels, and use certified organic materials for bedding and towels. Be sure they have designated bins for compost, recycle, and garbage bins available for your guests to do their part.
There are many ways to reuse items with or without a renting option. Maybe the can bride choose to upcycle her mother’s dress or the bridesmaids bouquets could be used as centerpieces, the list goes on. Reduce paper and plastic as much as possible! Rent your silverware and linens/napkins, as well as your tables and chairs. You could even take a trip to the thrift store to find some unique antiques for cheap decor.
Eliminate all cans and bottles by switching your paper and plastic goods to glass that could easily to used again. Choose to store beverages in kegs, water jugs, or even pitchers you could leave on your guests tables.
Candles not only can leave a romantic touch and vibrant smell, but it could reduce a lot more electricity if you’re having a nighttime celebration.
The huge mistake we can make while wedding planning is making more food than we need. Although it’s better safe than sorry, consider a donation to pick up after the wedding for any leftovers that can easily fed the homeless. Wasting food is just as bad as the process it took to slaughter any animals that was killed in the making.
Don’t let those pretty flowers go to waste! Save them for additional decor for your home or incorporate them in your favors so your guests could enjoy them at home. If not, think about sending them to your local hospitals, charities, nursing homes, or leave them on graves of your beloved ones who passed to enjoy them.
Set up a registry that encourages eco-friendly materials and organic experiences. Do your research on brands and companies that support the green movement from repurposed, renewable, recycled, natural and organic materials. You could also give your guests the option to donate to your favorite charities, pay for an organic spa day or organic landscaping service at your home, and even contribute to your ecologically-safe honeymoon.
All in all, think about your numbers and think about the numbers presented at the start of this article. Remember, the more people at your wedding the more you likely to spend on waste. Choosing to have fewer guests will encourage the wedding to consume less and use less fossil fuel. Having a small guest list also opens up a variety of venues to accommodate your special day.