Hey y’all! Happy Earth Day! If you haven’t already, carve out a few minutes to bask in the sun, take a walk, enjoy a view or breathe in a big ol’ breath of fresh air – not just today, but every day!
As beautiful as a wedding day can be, it has the potential to be one of the most wasteful. Here’s 10 simple, but impactful ways you can plan with the Earth in mind.
1. Use recycled paper or go digital.
From save the dates to invites to thank you cards, weddings are full of paper. Consider going digital for your pre-wedding festivities such as your shower and bachelorette party. For your save the dates and actual wedding invites, opt for a recycled paper. Use less pieces in your wedding suite by directing guests to your wedding website to RSVP and for additional information. Don’t forget to say thank you! Go with a postcard option to avoid the envelope.
2. Make plans for leftover food.
Plated meals are the best option to limit waste, but is often the more expensive option. Whether you go plated, buffet or food truck, ask your vendor what their plan is for leftovers. Is providing recycled to-go boxes for guests an option? How about donating to a local charity? Do they compost?
3. Donate your flowers and opt for local, in-season blooms.
I always thought choosing local, in-season blooms was only for cost saving, but it’s also better for the environment. Out-of-season and exotic flowers typically have to be flown or shipped in, making quite the carbon footprint. If you’re able, also opt for flowers that are not treated with harmful pesticides. And at the end of the night, don’t throw it all away! Find a hospital, senior center or willing guests to pass the joy of fresh flowers on to.
4. Strategically place recycle bins at the reception.
If you aren’t able to completely avoid paper and plastics, encourage guests to recycle by placing and labeling bins near the trash cans. You can also have your DJ make a couple of announcements to remind guests. If your venue doesn’t already provide them, ask if they could or bring your own! I’m sure there’s a friend or family member with a truck that’d be more than willing to take them at the end of the night.
5. Rent and repurpose.
Be sure to rent or borrow linens if your venue doesn’t provide them. Not only do linens class up an event, they’re more eco-friendly than single-use tablecloths and napkins. Renting goes for decor as well. What are you going to do with 100 vases or candles? Rent or choose to decorate with items that you can use in your home afterwards, donate or repurpose.
6. Have a BYOG wedding.
Cut down on single-use plasticware at the bar. If glassware isn’t provided, have your guests bring their own glass! They’ll know which one is theirs all night and will reuse it instead of getting a new one each trip to the bar. It will also add an eclectic vibe to your tables.
7. Give eco-friendly favors or none at all.
Favors aren’t a must. However, if you do decide to give your guests a little somethin’, make sure that somethin’ is eco-friendly. Opt for something that’s edible with little packaging or a potted plant or succulent. The succulent pictured above is from an October 2017 wedding! Thanks to my green-thumbed husband, it’s still thriving! Plant favors can also be used as place cards or centerpiece decor.
8. Research before your register.
One of the biggest differences we can make is through our purchasing decisions. Yes, it will take some time, but research the items you’re placing on your registry and go with the eco-friendly options and brands. Already have what you need? Consider asking for donations to your favorite charities or for non-traditional gifts such as a camping supplies instead. After all, it’s your wedding!
9. Be mindful of toss items.
If you’re having your flower girl toss petals at an outdoor ceremony or your grand exit consists of a petal toss, make sure they’re real petals! The last thing you want to do is litter on your wedding day, so make sure you do your homework on whatever items are being tossed.
10. Commit to doing your part, as a new couple, to keep our planet awesome!
As you begin a new journey with your spouse, make sure it’s one that honors the Earth. Start the conversation now! But don’t just talk about it, go be about it! Whether it’s switching to reusable grocery bags, adding a recycle bin to the kitchen, carpooling to work, buying a reusable straw or being the person to bend down to pick up the trash instead of walk by it, there are plenty small but mighty ways to be kind to Mother Nature.
Dotted & Crossed,