Here's some easy ways to reduce your wedding's carbon footprint.
You don’t have to be hurtling toward your wedding day to have heard the old wedding saying 'something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue'. But what about we chuck another one into the mix in the form of something green. That but how’s right, we’re talking about adding a sustainable-edge to your big day.
Whether you’ve seen the pandemic change the way you wield your purchasing power, been a big fan of Greta Thunberg for as long as you can remember or just want to do a bit more for the planet (you know, since it’s the only one we have), one of the biggest and best trends sweeping the world of weddings is the want to be more eco-friendly in as many ways as possible.
We know, it’s a big step, especially given weddings are meant to be all about you and your S.O. But you can still live your best life without discarding tossed goods, throwing away unused food and covering the church grounds in tiny bits of non-biodegradable confetti. And to help you out, we’ve pulled together a list of easy ways to be a bit more eco-conscious on your big day – small changes that will have a huge impact and, who knows, may even start a trend amongst your yet-to-be-married friends and family.
Read on for ideas on ideas that will 100% spark your creativity.
Keep Things Local
One of the easiest and dreamiest ways to reduce your carbon footprint is to celebrate the best of what your local area has to offer. From tying the knot in a not-too-faraway wedding venue to working with local suppliers to champion local produce, you won’t just be supporting the local community, you’ll be reducing food miles, fuel miles and so much more. So start thinking outside the box and see what magic you can create: speak to the bakery down the road about producing a donut wall, your nearest brewery about supplying the beer and that little supplier at your favourite farmer’s market about creating some wedding favours for your guests.
Focus on Your Flowers
Believe it or not, over 90% of cut flowers in the UK are actually imported from overseas. No matter which way you look at that fact, it’s not great news for the planet. But there is something super-special you can do differently on your wedding day and that’s choosing seasonal flowers. Sure, this might mean sacrificing your dream flowers, but you’ll be getting something even more gorgeous, unique and meaningful instead; not to mention a bouquet that hasn’t flown halfway around the world in the air-conditioned basement of an aeroplane.
And then, when your wedding day is over and you’re wondering what to do with your beautiful flowers, instead of throwing them away, what could be more precious than donating them to a local hospital, nursing home or school (except for your flower crown because that can be dried and kept as a memento forever).
Steer Clear of Single Use Plastics
We’ve always been slightly ashamed of this, but weddings have the potential to create a pretty big pile of wasted plastics, paper and goodness knows what else. Plastic cutlery, plastic cups, paper plates, burst balloons, disposable tablecloths, takeaway boxes from your midnight snack van, confetti – it all adds up, and the bits that don’t make it to landfill are left to litter the local area. Basically, it’s not ideal. But there are a few solutions: rent your table linens, hire your cutlery and crockery, opt for biodegradable confetti and make sure your balloons are as eco-happy as possible. That’s all it takes to be that much better.
Vintage Finds For The Win
There is nothing more magical, special or sentimental than finding your perfect wedding outfit. The gown, the wedding ring, the shoes and jacket and crown and everything else. But there’s a couple of hiccups to think about: the price of your wedding outfit and the environmental side of things. Enter vintage.
Forget moth-eaten dresses and armpit stains and out-of-date designs – the world of vintage wedding finds is the complete opposite. From wearing a family heirloom on your ring finger to finding a piece that has the most romantic backstory, to refreshing a beautiful dress into your dream gown, there are so many ways to go vintage (translation: totally unique) on your wedding day.
Reduce Your Food Waste
Are you ready for a quick fact: 25% of married couples said they felt guilty about the amount of food that was wasted at their wedding. 25%. That’s every 1 in 4 couples. The question is: what can you realistically do to reduce this issue on your big day? Well, one thing you could do is speak with your caterer about portion sizes, pick a menu that can be served again as a snack when the clocks strike midnight, or even have a local food bank-slash-shelter in mind that you can then donate your leftovers to so that nothing is actually wasted. Not only will you be helping people who could really use this kind of good deed, but you’ll also swap that guilty feeling for one of pride and that is priceless.
The Little Extras Making A Big Difference
It really is the little things in life that make a massive difference; details such as your wedding favours, the confetti thrown outside the church, the sparkler exit you have secretly planned and even the gifts you gave your bridal party. And it’s simple too. Swap your standard confetti and glitter (which won’t biodegrade, probably ever) for dried petals, give your guests something edible to enjoy like a delicious donut with your monogram on it, and the same goes for the other little details you’re considering. It only takes a moment’s research to see if there’s a more eco-conscious option out there.
We get it though. Planning a wedding is no easy feat, but even making one sustainable choice will have a bigger difference than you might realise. You might even find your sustainable choices have a ripple effect that encourages others to be more environmentally friendly with their decisions down the line. That’s how these movements happen. The more each of us considers the planet in our decisions, the more this caring mentality will naturally spread to other areas of our lives, and into the lives of those around us. Now go and have the most amazing wedding ever.