Your wedding is a meaningful event that honors the love you and your partner feel for each other. That doesn’t mean, however, that you can’t honor your love for the environment too! In a world where carbon dioxide pollutes the atmosphere at astonishing levels and the United States wastes an exorbitant amount of food, you don’t want to feel guilty about your special day. Here are some tips to make sure your event is as eco-friendly as possible.
Use eco-friendly stationery
You will probably be using a lot of paper between your Save the Dates, invitations, cards, place cards, tip boxes, etc. Paper is a recyclable material, so encourage your guests to put their materials in the recycling bin when they’re done with them. You can also buy stationery made from recycled paper, so look online for green options.
If you want to recognize your serious commitment to nature, another option is planting paper. Botanical Paperworks, for example, produces stationery items containing seeds. This way you and your guests can bury the invitations and other paper materials in the dirt instead of the trash, and then expect flowers, vegetables, or herbs to grow in their place (and the paper composts). If you are having an outdoor wedding, maybe you and your guests could make it a point to bury your place cards together.
Serve sustainable food
Can you imagine how much the remaining food marriages throw away? Not only is it perfectly edible food that no one can eat, but you also paid for it too. Instead, consider donating your leftovers to a food bank or soup kitchen who would be more than happy to serve them to those in need.
When it comes to the food itself, go for local options to minimize travel time. Keep your menu seasonal so no one has to look far for products that are not naturally available in your area. Many caterers are also ready to offer organic dishes. Avoid junk food and opt for ethically sourced fruits, vegetables, and meats (or skip the meat if you’re vegan or vegetarian). If you find it difficult to stay local, find out if there was any forced labor in production (this happens more often than you might think).
Keep in mind that you also don’t have to serve a massive three-course meal to all of your guests. Movies often portray fancy dinners, but it may be best to accompany a small afternoon tea or dessert only. With a limited menu, you’ll spend less money and keep it greener.
Use recyclable materials
Ask your caterer to provide you with reusable dishes and silverware. Many weddings opt for disposable plastic products because it is more convenient to throw them away when the guests have finished eating, but these materials often end up in the ocean and pollute nature (nor are they really green to make, either). Make your decorations with durable materials and do your best to avoid out of season flowers full of pesticides.
Reuse what you can
Plus size wedding dresses and tuxedos are expensive, so there’s no reason you can’t rent one, buy a second-hand version, or keep wearing your outfits after the day. Single-use bridesmaid dresses are also unnecessary: ask your bridal party to wear things she already owns or buy matching outfits that she can wear for the rest of her life. If you don’t intend (or can’t) keep your dress, consider selling it online or donating it to a cause or a bride in need.
Your flowers are also reusable. Before you buy them, make sure they are in season and your wedding planner services provider can get them to you quickly (reducing refrigeration and the potential for preservative chemicals). Once you’re done with them, donate them to a community house or hospital that could use color. If the thought of cutting so many flowers bothers your eco-heart, that’s okay too. Instead, fill your room with other decorations and create an unconventional bouquet.
Note: Before you make agreement with any event planners in Maryland, make to be well-aware of how they work.
Another way to cut down on travel (and therefore costs and fuel) is to have your ceremony and reception in the same location. This way your guests don’t have to get in their car to get from place to place. Upon arrival, have some of your guests pick up other local guests and carpool before the ceremony begins.
There are so many components that make up a wedding, so each element is an opportunity to keep nature in mind. How are you going to make sure your wedding is environmentally friendly?