First of all, yay you for reading this post! You’re one step closer to making our sweet earth a better place. Thank ya! We understand that not all of these suggestions are realistic for everyone, but by choosing just a handful of these you’ll immediately make your special day more sustainable. How cool is that?!
1. Location // Reduce Travel
Consider where most of your guests will be traveling from for your wedding. Why? Cars and planes are among the top contributors to CO2 emissions, so it’s critical to think about how far you and your guests will be traveling to get to your wedding destination. Choose a destination that requires the least amount of travel for the most amount of people.
Alternatively, elope with just your hunnie and a small group of peeps. Then, host a reception later on at a destination that’s closest to the majority of your guests. Win-win!
2. Invitations // Go Digital with Greenvelope
By offering paperless invitations that are modern, dreamy, and easy to send, Greenvelope reduces waste traditional printed invitations just can’t avoid. In addition to helping you reduce your own environmental footprint, Greenvelope is dedicated to giving back through partnerships with environmentally-focused organizations and nonprofits including 1% for the Planet, Mountains to Sound, and the National Park Foundation.
Some cool facts
– Greenvelope has saved over 990,000 pounds of paper
– Users have sent over 33 million invitations
– Their National Park collection helped raise $30,000 for the National Park Foundation – isn’t that amazing?? (PS we love their Capitol Reef design eeeep)
*** If physical, paper invitations are a must have for you, we suggest cutting down most of your paper waste by sending any Announcements, Save the Dates, or Thank You cards through Greenvelope and keeping only one paper element, in this case your invitations. If you do this, make sure to ask your stationer to use recycled paper.
3. Floral // Request that Floral Foam is not Used
Making sure that your florist sources local and seasonal flowers is a fabulous way to cut the amount of waste that goes into your floral pieces. Buying locally sourced flowers is always best as it eliminates travel and shipping. However, this isn’t always possible in places like Colorado (where we used to live) so, the next best thing is American grown.
However, the most important way to reduce waste is to request that floral foam (aka oasis foam) is not used for any designed pieces. “Floral foam is a single use micro-plastic which is not biodegradable, and will never break down or decompose,” said our girl Keri, Owner of Bloom Buggy. “Furthermore, micro-plastics (including those from floral foam) have been found in our drinking water and soils so it’s important to promote design work that doesn’t utilize foam as there are absolutely design mechanic alternatives.”
If you’re trying to not just have a sustainable wedding, but actually have a zero waste wedding, make sure your floral pieces are donated to a local nursing home, women’s center, hospice, or children’s hospital at the end of the night. For more info, check out Repeat Roses and Random Acts of Flowers. Or, forgo cut flowers entirely and simply use potted plants and greenery.
4. Food // Work with a sustainable caterer, then donate the leftovers
Did you know that when food decomposes in landfills it creates methane? Yeah, yikes. Did you also know that food waste is super common at weddings? To lessen this problem, hire a sustainable caterer. But don’t just stop there. Make sure your food waste is disposed of properly and that any unused food is donated, not just thrown away.
A few sustainable caterers from across the West Coast ~
A few nonprofits to donate your leftovers to ~
5. Dress // Donate or resell!
Reselling your wedding dress is a great way to ensure the dress is reused AND you get some cash back. Yasss! But we also want you to consider donating your wedding dress to a place like Brides for a Cause or Brides Across America.
With Brides for a Cause, funds raised from your donated dress support a variety of local and national women-focused charities across the country. To date, they’ve recycled over 10,000 wedding dresses and have raised over $700,000 for charity! And with Brides Across America, your dress is gifted to our military & first responders. To date they have gifted over 24,000 wedding dresses and over 22 free weddings!
6. Registry // Opt out of things
What do we mean by this? Do you really need ANOTHER set of sheets or that George Foreman from your wedding registry? Or would you much rather your guests pitch in for your Honeymoon, some priceless experiences, or your favorite donation?
Honeys, if you found this post helpful please leave a comment below! This is a topic we’re really passionate about, and we’d love to pull together even more tips and vendors to help you have a low or no waste wedding.