If you are an eco-conscious individual, you’re probably always looking for ways to reduce your carbon footprint. You recycle, ride your bike or walk whenever you can, and try to limit consumption to help reduce waste. All these efforts are great… but have you thought about the effects of your wedding?
According to the Green Bride, the average wedding produces 400 lbs of garbage and 63 tons of CO2! These figures are enough to make anyone take pause, but don’t think you need to skip that trip down the aisle just yet. There are some things you can do to make your wedding more sustainable — and here are a few of our favorites.
Buy Ethical Rings
From the proposal to the vows, it’s clear that rings play a big role in your wedding. However, your ring might have had a pretty awful journey to get to your finger; the mining industry (especially for diamonds and precious metals) is rife with harmful practices that affect both the earth and the people doing the mining.
Make sure you only purchase rings from a reputable, ethical jeweler. Consider options like lab-grown diamonds or gemstones. You can even re-set a stone from an heirloom ring for a ring that’s both sustainable and sentimental!
Use Real Dishes and Linens (and Rent Them)
Single-use plastic and paper products are a massive contributor to the heaps of garbage filling our landfills — and every 300-person wedding only makes the problem worse! Sure, they might be cheaper than fine china, but they can do real harm to the environment in the long run!
If you want to make your wedding more sustainable, avoid using paper or plastic dinnerware and tablecloths. You can rent these items to save money (and avoid purchasing anything new). Of course, if you absolutely must use paper products, that’s ok — just make sure you use a recyclable or compostable brand!
Let’s talk about that 400 lbs of trash the average wedding produces. A lot of that trash is simply leftovers — namely, uneaten food and unclaimed flowers. Often, these items end up rotting in a landfill (and releasing gasses into the atmosphere in the process), but they can have a more ethical, sustainable second act.
Instead of throwing away leftover food and flowers, consider donating or composting them! Food banks or shelters might benefit from your uneaten food (but make sure you talk to the organization ahead of time), and composting your leftovers can be hugely beneficial for the earth!
Digitize Your Planning
If there’s one thing you can guarantee from your wedding, it’s that it’ll involve A LOT of paper. During your wedding planning process, you’ll collect vendor contracts, invitations, even to-do lists. Over time, that adds up to a lot of paper waste! Obviously, all this paper isn’t very eco-friendly… so, why not digitize the planning process?
You can use our platform to build a wedding website, sending paperless stationery, keep track of vendor contracts and payments, manage your guest list, and a whole lot more — all on one digital platform that produces no paper waste! This can help make your wedding more sustainable from the moment you accept the proposal to the big day itself!