Weddings have the potential to be incredibly beautiful occasions, but they can also leave a large footprint on the environment. Unfortunately, when most people think of their wedding day, the last thing that comes to mind is making it an eco-friendly affair. Nowadays weddings tend to have large carbon footprints due to their use of disposable items, non-recyclable materials, excessive energy consumption and high usage of water.
Every year there are approximately 2.5 million weddings in the United States alone and it’s estimated that each one contributes around 400 pounds of waste to landfills. Of this 400-pound-footprint, an average of 68% comes from decorations, flowers, centerpieces and other non-durable goods that are used only once and then discarded. Floral arrangements account for around 47%, with nearly four out of five bouquets being thrown away after the ceremony. Sparklers generate upwards of 815 metric tons of waste every year due to their single-use nature, and food waste is also a major contributor, with an estimated 15-20% of wedding catering going straight into the trash.
The good news is that there are plenty of ways to make your special day more sustainable! By making conscious decisions throughout your wedding planning process, you can reduce your carbon footprint while still having an unforgettable wedding experience.
One of the most important ways to reduce a wedding’s environmental impact is to choose an eco-friendly venue. Many venues today offer packages specifically designed for green weddings that use renewable energy sources.
Ask your vendors about what sustainable practices and actions they take to help the environment and reduce their footprint. Ex: ask your photographer if they follow leave no trace procedures and follow best practices for conserving the environment by staying on trails and geotagging responsibly.
Investing in a green caterer who practices sustainability wherever possible. When it comes to food and drinks, consider hiring a caterer uses locally sourced ingredients and products for their meals.
Designate an area or a table where guests can compost or recycle plastic cups, cans and bottles during the reception. You could even make a fun game out of it by awarding points for how many items are recycled!
Offer organic food choices whenever you can. Organic ingredients are better for both people and the planet – plus, they’re delicious!
Some caterers offer guests the option of taking home leftovers instead of throwing everything out at the end of the night. Doing this will significantly reduce the waste from your wedding and allow that food to be enjoyed beyond just your wedding day.
Choose sustainable materials for your decor and stationery such as recycled paper or plantable seed paper for invites. No matter where you purchase your items from, look for products made with recyclable or renewable materials whenever possible.
Opt for organic fabrics, dried flowers or potted plants instead of cut flower arrangements.
Make use of durable decorations and floral arrangements that can be reused multiple times. Donate any extra flowers or decorations to a local charity, hospital, funeral home, or school after the wedding.
Consider renting items (e.g., tables, chairs, linens) from a rental company instead of buying them – this can save you money and lessen your environmental impact. Reuse glassware and china from thrift stores or second-hand shops; and avoid plastic decorations.
Instead opt for paper lanterns or table decorations made from recycled materials or plants that can be planted afterwards instead of thrown away.
Use LED lights instead of incandescent bulbs to light up your venue, as they use less energy and last longer.
There are countless ways that couples can make their weddings more eco-friendly without sacrificing style or quality. By making even small changes, you can have a huge positive impact on our planet while still having an unforgettable wedding experience. So don’t be afraid to think outside the box when it comes.
Post Written by Halle Heather from Lulle Photo & Film: https://lullephoto.com/