Your wedding can be the most wonderful day of your life, but it can also be extremely wasteful if you're not conscious of your choices. On any given day, the average person generates four pounds of trash, and that won't stop just because it's your wedding day. To ensure that the day celebrating your love is not a day that creates a negative environmental impact, keep the tips and trick outlined below in your mind during your planning process.
The first thing you'll send out for your wedding will be save-the-dates and invites. Set the tone for your entire wedding by making sure that your invites are eco-friendly. Look for paper made of recycled materials, or look for paper that can be composted. A popular trend right now is to use seed paper for any invitations you send out -- your guests can plant the paper after they get the information from it and grow whatever plant you choose to use in the paper.
In this day and age, you can also skip out on physical invitations entirely and use digital invitations that link to your wedding website. This is the option that creates the least amount of waste but may be difficult if you have guests that are less tech-friendly than others.
Avoid Single-Use Dining Materials
If you're using single-use dining materials, like paper or plastic plates, plastic utensils, disposable table cloths, and plastic straws, you're creating unnecessary waste. It can be tempting to use these materials, especially if you're throwing your wedding at home, but this can easily be avoided by renting these materials instead. Renting these items means you won't have to outright purchase any of them, and you can avoid the waste of single-use with all the convenience of it.
Consider Your Caterer
Not all caterers are created equally. Some caterers make a conscious effort to be more environmentally friendly, so when you're deciding between different caterers, make sure to take this into account. Some caterers will offer services such as composting food scraps and sourcing their food from local farmers and vendors. Food crops already have to combat 3,000 species of nematodes, 30,000 species of weeds, and 10,000 species of plant-eating insects, so choosing to use a caterer that sources their produce locally takes away at least one barrier to getting those fresh foods on your plate.
Think About Your Venue
Your venue can easily help make your wedding more eco-friendly. Choosing to use a national park or another environmental reserve means that you're putting money into the park, allowing the agency to keep the park maintained for future visitors.
In addition, if you choose a venue that has decor pieces that you love already in place, you won't have to worry about renting, recycling, or donating any of the decorations after your wedding.
When it comes to your reception, one small way you can reduce your waste is to use kegs instead of bottles or cans of beer. If you know that your guests will be drinking a lot of beer, choosing to use kegs instead of individual bottles can really help to cut down on what needs to be recycled at the end of the night. Plus, beer from a keg can taste better than bottled beer, so it really is a win-win.
Reuse or Recycle Wedding Decor
If you're looking into buying decor pieces for your wedding, make sure you're not buying things that you'll just throw out at the end of the night. Choose pieces that you can use as interior decor in your home after your big day is over. For example, if you want to use mirrors in your decor, you can plan where to use them in your home afterward. A mirrored wall can make your room appear twice as deep, so this is a decor piece that can be easily reused in your home.
Consider also renting decor pieces that you know you won't be able to reuse, and if there are no rental options, turn to donations.
Donate Your Dress
After your wedding, you will probably never have a reason to reuse your dress again, so why not donate it? There are many different charities that take wedding dresses and put them to good use so that they can have a second life. Reusing is the most eco-friendly form of recycling, so you'll be reducing your waste and helping out someone who may not have as large of a budget as you do for your dress.
Following your reception, your flowers don't have to sit around your home to wilt. There are charities that will take your flowers to different health care facilities for those that may not be receiving flowers from others. If you don't live in an area where one of these charities functions, you can also contact a senior living facility, hospital, or other location yourself to donate the flowers.
Your wedding is a beautiful day symbolizing your everlasting love, but you can avoid creating everlasting waste with these tips. Reducing the wastefulness of your wedding day can help start your marriage off on a beautiful and environmentally friendly note without sacrificing style or beauty.