If reducing waste and fighting climate change is important to you, you might be wondering how to lessen your wedding’s carbon footprint. Luckily, there are lots of little ways to reduce waste at your wedding through avoiding single-use items, recycling what you can, and sourcing things locally. Every little thing counts!
1. Be ethical when buying your ring.
For an industry so focused on love, diamonds certainly have an ugly side to them as well. Do your research to make sure you’re not purchasing a blood diamond. One way to avoid this is by using a jeweler who also values ethically sourcing stones. Other great alternatives are lab-grown diamonds, or using family heirlooms.
2. Avoid single-use anything (linens, napkins, dinnerware, cups, straws, etc).
Eliminating single use items from your wedding is probably one of the biggest things you can do! Opt to rent linen napkins instead of having paper ones. Rent dinnerware from the caterer instead of having plastic plates that will get thrown out. Get glass drink ware and go with paper straws instead of plastic ones.
3. Reduce the food waste.
Talk to your caterer about what to do with the leftovers (donate, compost).
Food waste is the other thing that weddings tend to create a LOT of. Talk to your caterer and see if either donating leftover food would be an option, or if they would be willing to compost the food trash.
4. Shop local.
Instead of purchasing flowers grown in other parts of the world that are being shipped to the US, ask your florist for local options. Not only could it save you money (the transportation cost not being a factor), but you reduce your carbon footprint and support your local economy.
5. Rethink the exit.
Metal sparklers end up with so many chemicals on them, they usually can’t be recycled. If you have your heart set on a sparkler exit, consider sparklers with bamboo handles! Or, do a grand exit from your ceremony instead by having your guests throw lavender or biodegradable confetti. Make sure to check with your venue to see what their rules are on what you can throw. Bubbles are another great option for a grand exit. Gazillion Bubbles makes eco-friendly, non-toxic bubbles that come in a container that can be recycled.
6. Put your favorite earth-saving charity on your registry!
Get your guests involved in your passion to take care of the earth by giving them the option to donate to charity in your honor. You’re saving the earth AND avoiding one more trip to the store to return that extra fruit bowl – win-win all around.
Every little thing matters!