There were over 2.1 million marriages in the U.S. in 2014, which is an astounding amount of love. But with an abundance of weddings also comes a lot of unnecessary waste – 400-600 lbs. of waste to be exact (based on a guest list of 100-120 people).
The solution may be simple, but having an eco-conscious wedding can seem counterintuitive considering most couples want to have the best of the best for their special day. However, from invites to gifts, there are several ways you can have your wedding cake and eat it too, without sacrificing the environment.
Printing your “save the dates” and wedding invitations on recycled paper is the perfect way to set the tone for an eco-friendly wedding. Seed paper invitations are also a great alternative. Instead of guests disposing of your invite after the wedding, they can plant it and watch it grow, which is pretty symbolic, don’t you think?
If you’re more of a tech-savvy bride or groom, consider sending invites electronically and create a wedding website where your guests can RSVP. It will not only save on trees, but it will save you hundreds of dollars on printing services, return envelopes, and stamps.
If you’re opting for a traditional wedding registry, pay close attention to where the items you choose are made. Consider adding gift options like organic bedding, reusable shopping bags, bamboo plates and cutlery, and natural home products.
Digital honeymoon registries are another environmentally friendly choice, especially popular among engaged millennials who already have everything they need for their home. No postage, wrapping paper or plastic gift bows necessary.
Some couples are forgoing a registry altogether and asking for a charitable donation from their guests to go towards a green organization instead.
Reusable Welcome Bags
Wedding bags are the latest must-have wedding trend, and luckily for the environment, reusable tote bags that can be customized are all the rage.
Don’t forget to fill the bag with eco-friendly items like reusable water bottles and organic produce.
Sustainable Decor & Flowers
Instead of buying single-use decorations, buy items that you’ll use again such as mason jars or glass vases. If you’re thinking of adding extra lighting, invest in LED lights that use less energy.
In regards to flowers, buy locally grown and organic, or consider working with a company that will pick up the arrangements and reuse them. Another eco-conscious choice is to use potted plants for your centerpieces that can be taken home and replanted after the wedding. Brooch bouquets are also a unique alternative and make great keepsakes.