To protect the environment, many couples are saying “I do” to Zero-Waste weddings, focusing on sustainability for everything from floral design and dresses to invitations and food.
The goal is to recycle, reuse, compost and otherwise keep anything from becoming trash in a landfill.
Whether or not couples succeed in reaching the Zero-Waste goal, they’re certainly more conscious of the ecological impact of what they do and are aiming for something as close to that as possible.
The key to success, experts say, is letting wedding planners, vendors and your reception venue know from the start that you’re serious about going Zero Waste. Then be flexible enough to facilitate that.
Some Zero-Waste wedding tips:
Food and Decor
Choose cloth napkins, and authentic tableware, glassware and plates, rather than disposables.
Use colourful displays of fruits, vegetables or even flower petals as table centerpieces that guests can take home and enjoy.
Instead of traditional wedding gifts, ask guests to each bring a side dish or something to drink, and contribute to the honeymoon fund.
Other couples ask for donations to their favourite charity, or contributions toward a goal, such as a down payment on a house.
Use paperlesspost.com or another e-mail option would be the best Zero-Waste option.
If you’re set on paper though, go for recycled paper with vegetable ink. Some papers are embedded with seeds, so guests can even soak the invitation in water and then plant it.
Like tables, chairs and linens, wedding dresses and tuxedos can be rented. Vintage or second-hand dresses are also popular, and can be tailored to size. Some designers now make Zero-Waste dresses using fabric scraps otherwise destined for the trash.
Choose locally grown, seasonal flowers. To cut back on waste, make sure your florist isn’t using foam in centerpieces and other arrangements.
Plan how your florals will be repurposed after the event. Many organizations will pick up arrangements and give them to nursing homes and other institutions. If nothing else, make sure flowers are composted instead up ending up in a landfill somewhere.
You can forgo cut flowers altogether in favour of potted plants, which can then be gifted or planted.
Centerpieces and other decor items, like flowers, fruits or vegetables, can double as gifts for guests, as can things like small candles.