Wedding planning is a lot of work. There’s the guest list, the venue, and of course, the dress. You have a lot on your plate trying to make your dream wedding come to life, so the last thing on your mind is how eco-friendly your wedding will be.
Weddings can be really wasteful. According to Kate Harrison’s book The Green Bride Guide, the average wedding produces 400 pounds of garbage and 63 tons of carbon dioxide. There’s also all the family and friends who are traveling to and from the wedding, which results in even more carbon emissions.
But your wedding doesn’t have to be wasteful. If you’re looking to make your special day more sustainable, we’ve got you covered. Check out these 10 tips for keeping your wedding eco-friendly (and budget-friendly, too!).
10 Ways to Make Your Wedding More Eco-Friendly
1. Use Biodegradable Confetti
Confetti—which is typically made of plastic—can be harmful to the environment because it takes more than 1,000 years to break down and wildlife can mistake it for food.
Instead of throwing traditional confetti, opt for a biodegradable option at your wedding. Go for a DIY approach and make all-natural confetti: All you’ll need is a hole punch and some dried leaves or flower petals.
2. Consider Plantable Paper Wedding Invitations
Seed-infused paper is a great way to add an eco-friendly touch to a traditional wedding invitation. Once your guests are done with the invite, they can bury the paper in soil and water. Soon enough, they’ll have beautiful flowers to admire!
3. Choose Seasonal Flowers
If you want fresh-cut flowers at your wedding, opt for in-season, locally-grown options. Because many flowers are grown overseas, transporting them results in a higher carbon footprint.
Also, be on the lookout for flower certifications like Fair Trade Certified and Rainforest Alliance Certified to ensure the flowers you’re buying are more ethical and sustainable.
4. Make Potted Plant Centerpieces
Fresh-cut flowers make gorgeous bouquets, but they don’t last forever. Instead of having fresh flowers as table centerpieces, consider potted plants.
Even small ones, like succulents, can add a unique touch to the table. Plus, it’s a fun way to gift your guests at the end of the night.
5. Rent or Borrow What You Can
It may be quick and easy to purchase brand-new items for your wedding, but buying or renting secondhand options is much better for the planet.
Facebook Marketplace can make it easy to find items from people in your area. You can also rent sets, like tableware, for a low cost. Do some research and you’re bound to find nearly everything on your list.
6. Choose Sustainably Sourced, Local Food
When it comes to catering, see if your city has a catering company that specializes in local, sustainably sourced foods. This includes meat from a nearby farm, ethically-caught seafood, or in-season produce.
Local food is a great way to support independent businesses. And because the food doesn’t have to travel as far, fewer carbon emissions are created.
7. Choose a Sustainable Dress
Most of us don’t think about wedding dresses when we think of a carbon footprint. But dresses are often made with unsustainable materials and without fair labor practices.
Take a look at some incredible sustainable wedding dress brands, or buy your dress secondhand to decrease the carbon footprint of your gown. You can even spread the word to your bridesmaids or guests so they can buy sustainably made or secondhand dresses, too.
8. Opt for Eco-Friendly Wedding Bands
Or, if you’re buying from a retailer, do your research to ensure your purchase doesn’t come at a cost to the planet. Aether’s jewelry, for example, is made with certified positive-impact diamonds made from air (yes, really!) and handsets them in responsibly-sourced metals.
9. Donate the Leftovers
Buying secondhand and renting decor is great, but you still might end up with leftover materials that can go to waste. Instead of letting your leftover decor collect dust in storage, donate it!
Posting on social media to spread the word about your extra wedding materials can help someone else who might be struggling to afford what they need. You can also donate extra items to secondhand shops or women’s consignment boutiques.
10. Have a Microwedding
Lastly, host a microwedding! They’re an intimate, sustainable way to celebrate your special day with your loved ones.
Microweddings are small and prioritize ethical celebrations, while also lowering the cost of a typical wedding that has more guests. Plus, they’re just as fun and memorable as any other wedding.
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