More and more people today re-think their lives and try new methods of creating less trash and influencing the environment less. We sort waste, use more natural materials (which decompose quicker) instead of synthetic and artificial, find out new ways of reusing furniture, clothing, and household items, participate in numerous environmental projects, etc. So, what about eco-friendly weddings?! How can we make a wedding more environmental-friendly and less harmful to nature? Actually, there are so many things you can easily do, so many tricks and stuff you haven’t even thought about. We offer you quite a few here.
Reduce tip #1
Consider all your purchases
Before buying something for your wedding, think twice if you really need it. A lot of brides turn into bridezillas and begin to buy up everything they even distantly like, but later, they realize how many useless things they got and how much trash they produce. Ideally, have a plan, a list of things you need for your wedding and shop according to this list. This saves money as well as reduces the number of objects that go to waste.
Reduce tip #2
Optimize the amount of food and drinks
Try to calculate – with the help of your wedding venue coordinator or catering company or whoever is responsible for the food – the amount of food and beverages for your wedding guests. With drinks, it’s easier because you just take all unopened bottles home. With food, it’s more complicated but totally possible to find out how much food a certain number of people can digest.
And also, think about the leftovers in advance (and discuss it with your caterer) – you can take them with you or divide them between your guests rather than throw everything into the garbage.
Reduce tip #3
Minimize logistics issues
You can save a decent amount of money and help the environment if you organize the logistics of your wedding optimally. Think about having the wedding at only one location – you and your guests will spend less gasoline getting there, which means less CO2 emissions. It might seem not so important until you count how much gasoline is used to drive 100 or so cars (if your wedding is big) back and forth between different destinations. And if you have a destination wedding or elopement wedding, all those people would have to get to wherever the location is.
If you’re not having a church wedding ceremony, why not organize the ceremony at the wedding venue, followed by a wedding dinner and party. Everything in one place. And you won’t stress about parking and other logistics issues.
Also, shop locally. You will not only support your local small manufacturers but less fuel will be used to deliver the goods to your location.
Reduce tip #4
Reduce the number of paper info materials
Some couples prepare a wedding invitation suite and a wedding day info suite for their gusts that include paper invitations, reply cards, printed menu, place cards, escort cards, thank-you cards, schedule of the wedding, and so many more materials. While they look charming and add a chic vibe to your wedding, a lot of paper is used to make them. And people usually only just look through them and throw them away, so why do it? Of course, if you absolutely want to have these printed info materials, then sure. But for those people who don’t consider them so important, don’t spend money and paper (time, ink, human resources, etc) on it.
Recycle tip #1
Choose reusable tableware instead of disposable
It’s better to rent plates, cutlery, glasses, and other tableware instead of using plastic disposable items. It means less trash and it’s much more convenient for the guests. If you still want or need to use disposable pieces, there is a huge variety of organic options today – instead of plastic, buy paper or cardboard plates, wooden utensils, bamboo or palm leaf or betel nut tableware, etc. Research and choose the material you like and are available locally before you order a bunch of plastic utensils.
Recycle tip #2
Sort and recycle your wedding dinner trash
Meaning that if you serve beer, have recycle bins to throw the bottles and cans so that they are recycled after the party. Put separate trash bins for separate materials – most people are already used to sorting their garbage when throwing it away, so they will do it automatically. Especially if you’re having a backyard wedding with disposable dinnerware.
Recycle tip #3
Dispose of your wedding décor that can’t be reused smartly
Don’t just grab and throw it all away together. Think if you can divide these items by material and recycle at least some of them. There are always items left after the wedding that can’t be re-purposed or sold, so at least get rid of them properly.
Reuse tip #1
Reuse wedding flowers
What do we mean? Consult with your florist as to how you can reuse your floral arrangements. For example, floral wedding décor can be repurposed into wedding table centerpieces, the bridal bouquet and bridesmaids’ bouquets can be made into table centerpieces as well, and so on. There various options and good florists know about them.
Reuse tip #2
Don’t be afraid to buy used products
Plenty of couples today buy second hand items for their wedding. This trend is rather common these days. And why not? Wedding goods are used for just one night, so they’re usually in pretty nice condition and can be reused without any problems. We’re talking not only about antique pieces but a whole bunch of modern items: wedding dress and veil, jewelry, different wedding signs and boards, chairs and tables, a variety of décor items, candlesticks, different accessories for the bride, the groom, the bridesmaids and groomsmen, etc. There are many websites and communities in social media specializing in second hand wedding goods. So, you can buy some of the products you need, use them, and sell them after the wedding. This will save you money and reduce the amount of garbage significantly.
Sometimes, you don’t even have to buy these used pieces. You can borrow some of them from your family and friends. So, before buying décor items or other wedding stuff, ask around – maybe someone you know already has it and will be happy to share.
Bu the way, if you’re buying furniture or some other pieces for the wedding, consider using them afterward in your home. Because it’s great to buy things you can use not just for one night but for years. Think about it when doing your wedding shopping. Such smart shopping will save you money, will be an important step to overcome consumerism, and will add a sentimental value to your house furniture and décor.
Reuse tip #3
Confetti from leaves and petals
Some venues today don’t allow artificial confetti because this creates a ton of trash that is hard to clean afterwards, decomposes very slowly, and only pollutes our planet. You throw them and have fun for several seconds, but the consequences last for hundreds of years. So, instead, you can use natural confetti cut from leaves or flower petals, or dried leaves and florals (they look lovely if dried properly). They will look great and decompose quickly. You need just a small bunch of leaves to make a few handfuls of confetti. And your wedding guests will probably be surprised by such creative decor because it’s a rather new and interesting trend.
Reuse tip #4
Sell everything you don’t need anymore after the wedding
Don’t just put it in your attic or basement – sell it. Other couples will happily reuse it, while you get some of the money back.