‘Going green’ isn’t just a trend anymore – it’s become a social obligation.
People of all walks of life are realizing that if we don’t work together to reduce our carbon footprints and preserve the planet for the next generation, there won’t be much of a planet left to leave. Big events like wedding ceremonies and receptions that incorporate lots of food, drink, entertainment, or gift-wrap for instance, can easily produce big amounts of unnecessary waste.
Have a hard time believing a wedding could really create that much waste? According to the Green Bride Guide: each one of the 2.5 million weddings this year in the United States will produce an average of 62 tons of carbon dioxide and 400-600 lbs of garbage. That’s a lot of waste! If every engaged couple made just one small green choice that would be 2.5 million greener choices a year, and that is an amazing impact. Luckily, it’s actually not that difficult to ensure a guilt-free, low waste, green wedding – no matter how many friends and family members you invite.
We’ve collaborated with our friends over at the Green Bride Guide to compile this helpful check-list of ways that you can integrate environmentally-friendly tactics into your wedding planning. By following these 5 simple steps, you’re bound to influence and impress your environmentally-conscious guests, and keep the Earth a bit greener!
1. Use recycled paper for your wedding invitations
Throughout the wedding planning cycle, paper is used for save-the-dates, invitations, RSVP cards, seating programs, menu cards, seating cards, thank you cards, and more. Traditional papermaking is an energy-intensive process that creates a large amount of waste and uses harsh chemicals such as bleach. Recycled and post-consumer waste paper, tree-free paper, soy inks, and digital correspondence options all offer beautiful and elegant ways to reduce resource consumption. Many modern couples are finding ways to simply cut down the use of paper in their invitation suites. Instead of including separate papers for reception cards and maps and directions to the wedding, house all pertinent information on a wedding website. A number of chic invitation companies are now creating one-page invitations with a detachable response card. Most couples find the middle ground that best suits their style and their guests’ needs.
2. Encourage your guests to wrap gifts in recycled material
This is an easy one! More and more couples are encouraging their guests to donate money toward their honeymoon rather than giving physical gifts. In this case, you can request an e-mail money transfer to a cute marital email address. Or, if guests are giving physical gifts, encourage them to avoid buying new gift bags or wrapping paper and simply wrapping their gift in newspaper or other recycled materials.
3. Avoid disposable plates and utensils with dinner
It can be overwhelming to have to feed hundreds of guests and deal with the clean up afterward. It may seem easier just to use Styrofoam plates and plastic utensils, but keep in mind that many plastics are not recyclable and will eventually just end up in a landfill, non-biodegradable. By using plates and utensils that are reusable and simply washing them after the event, you’re reducing harmful waste significantly.
4. Serve local and fair-trade
A very big and important way to go green at your wedding is ensuring that the food and drinks you serve come from a local business in your community. This is often much cheaper than imported products, fresher and tastier, and more socially responsible as you can ensure that no worker was exploited in the process.
5. Do business with good business
The average wedding costs almost $40,000 and weddings are a $60+ billion industry. Having a green wedding is an opportunity to make a difference by supporting companies that actively incorporate social and environmental responsibility into the way they do business. When you start talking to vendors about green choices, and explain your choices to your guests, you support the green economy and change the way people in your community think. You can showcase how easy it is to be eco-chic and share your favorite eco-friendly products with your guests.
Give us a call and ensure that your dress is preserved using our exclusive environmentally-friendly process, certified by the Association of Wedding Gown Specialists! We can ensure that once the wedding ceremony is all said and done, your dress will remain flawless for a lifetime, without the use of harmful chemicals.