So many people spend hours dreaming of their wedding day, but for those of us who recycle every little thing, take short/cold showers, use nontoxic products, buy used, walk/bike places, and value spending time in beautiful natural places that we don’t want ruined, a wedding can seem like a terrible drain of resources and major producer of trash. Because it is! Getting a large group of people together temporarily, and feeding them, and making a blank space look warm and beautiful (temporarily) takes a lot of resources. However, there is a lot we can do to cut down on waste and put on an amazing day you’ll never forget without producing more bags of trash than the number of guests at the wedding. Here’s a quick start guide to get you moving in the right direction!
Find eco-friendly wedding vendors (like us) Ask your vendors questions about how they deal with waste, how they recycle, if they do anything to minimize power or water usage. Not to toot our own horn, but here at North Star Gatherings, we are totally self-sufficient! We run off well water, and are 100% solar powered. That means all the electronics and lights we use have to be optimized to be the most energy efficient. We use all LED bulbs, radiant floor heat, an extremely efficient wood-burning fireplace, and highly energy efficient building materials.
Find the most wasteful parts of the wedding, and upgrade. Guess what fills the trash like crazy after a wedding? Decor, flowers, and disposable dishes. You can rent decor so it gets reused, and cut down on the amount of florals used, go with silk/reusable florals, or use local/untreated greenery that can be tossed into a compost pile. Glass cups and ceramic dishes are unfortunately a hazard if broken, but using reusable dishes makes a massive difference in wedding waste!
Buy a used dress! The textile industry is incredibly wasteful, and rampant with unfair wages and poor treatment of workers. Cut down on the money and waste that goes into the industry by buying a used dress-there are so many websites and resources to do this now, you’re bound to find “the one!”
Go eco-friendly with your invites. If you’re feeling really bold, send evites, otherwise use a company like Paper Culture who not only uses post-consumer materials for their stationary, but also plants a tree for every order! That’s pretty cool. Another option is to have your invites printed locally to reduce the carbon footprint of having them shipped to you. Every tiny effort counts!
Ask for eco-friendly gifts or forego gifts for donations to environmental charities. Include in your registry items that will help you live more eco-consciously in the future, like reusable sandwich/grocery/produce bags, countertop composters, stainless steel straws, cloth napkins, garden starter kits, and glass or stainless water bottles and thermoses. Alternatively, you can ask guests to donate in your name to environmental charities like Rainforesttrust.org, Defenders of Wildlife, or Sierra Club.
No part of this post is sponsored or supported, we just want to share other companies that are doing cool stuff for the environment.