As brides make their way through the wedding planning process, they must decide on many different choices that ultimately pull their wedding together. No matter what they decide on their theme, color schemes or even reception menus, any bride can make their wedding unique to their personality.
Going green has become a popular trend in recent years, and weddings have joined in. Many brides look for ways to make their wedding more environmentally friendly.
If you’re interested in doing the same, check out these seven easy tips and ideas for an eco-friendly wedding. By thinking outside the box, you can have a wedding that’s as much fun for the earth as it will be for you and your guests.
1. Look for Biodegradable Supplies
For any party to be a success, the host must have an abundance of supplies ready. The same goes for weddings. Brides need to buy extras of everything their guests could need.
However, these supplies are not usually sustainable. Plastics, metals and styrofoam find their way into weddings all the time but avoiding them is possible.
Before your wedding, look around online and in stores for biodegradable supplies. You can find things like wooden utensils, cups and napkins made from recycled materials almost anywhere.
Wood utensils made from easily replenishable trees will match nearly any theme. You can even keep these popular wedding trends for your own kitchen after the reception.
2. Book a Local Venue
Some brides look forward to destination weddings, but brides looking for an eco-friendly wedding should book a local venue for their ceremony and reception.
When you and your guests must drive to the destination for an extended period, it releases more CO2 into the atmosphere than necessary.
For every mile that a person drives, their car emits 404 grams of CO2. Cut these emissions short by getting married close to where you and your guests live and arrange carpools if you can.
3. Buy Ethical Rings
It’s romantic to go out and look at wedding bands together, but have you thought about how those bands were made?
Have you also considered the environmental impact of other types of jewelry, such as stud earrings or diamond rings? It’s important to look into the sourcing and production of these items as well.
Mining any precious metal produces waste. An environmental study showed that for every ounce of gold, 20 tons of waste was created.
The best thing you can do is look into each jewelry company you’re interested in buying from. Research where they get their metals and how they mine and forge them. Companies that consider the environment in their business practices should have a page dedicated to this on their website.
4. Get Sustainable Furniture
It’s easy to find rental companies who will have furniture ready to go for your wedding. Brides usually rent tables and chairs to accommodate guests, but they often choose ones made with heavy plastic.
Instead, you can look for sustainable furniture by checking furniture or rental sites. They should have a certified green seal that backs up any green furniture claims.
Another way to use sustainable furniture in your wedding is in a photo booth. Photo booths are a popular way for guests to get their pictures taken and can be modeled to match any theme.
5. Go Digital or Use Recycled Paper
Many parts of life happen online now. Many brides choose to send bulk invitations by email to keep things simple and fast. However, you may want to go more old school and send out paper invitations. They can be made to look more beautiful than an e-vite and show a higher level of care.
Unfortunately, wedding invitations are also part of the waste problem. Most guests read them once or twice at most before throwing them in the garbage. It’s a waste of natural resources and clogs up landfills.
Go green by either sending all your wedding communication online or making invitations out of recycled paper. That way, you won’t be using up any natural resources or harming the environment.
6. Work with Green Floral Companies
Flowers and weddings go hand in hand. Even brides who don’t care about flowers end up using them in their wedding most of the time. But have you ever thought about the environmental impact floral companies have on the environment?
To grow all the gorgeous flowers they need to sell, floral companies often spray harmful pesticides and chemicals to ensure growth. These chemicals then become runoff waste after heavy rainstorms and ultimately pollute the water sources for nearby wildlife.
Avoid participating in this pollution by looking for a small, local flower shop you can buy from. Independent stores are more likely to have greener practices. See if any flower shops near you or your venue could supply the flowers you need and ask them how they grow those flowers to find out more about their carbon footprint.
7. Upcycle Wedding Features
One of the easiest ways people can be more environmentally friendly is by upcycling, and brides can do this too. Instead of shopping for an expensive gown, overpriced jewelry and wedding decor, ask around for friends to loan you theirs instead.
Hand-me-downs are already woven into wedding traditions, like when a mother passes her wedding dress down to her daughter. Asking for help could lead you to save a lot of money and environmental waste.
Commonly donated wedding items include clothing, accessories and decor. Think about what you want to be part of your wedding and then ask the people in your life if they have anything close to it that you could borrow for a day.
Think Outside the Box
Weddings are romantic, but they’re also a major business. When you start planning your wedding, companies will try to make it easy as possible to set everything up, but they don’t always practice green business strategies to do so.
Instead, think outside the box and figure out where you can go green with your wedding. Ask for temporary donations, investigate where you buy from and look for things like sustainable furniture to cover all your bases.
With a little bit of effort, you can create an eco-friendly wedding with ease.