Post # 1
I’ve been meaing to make a post like this for a while now. Is anyone else making an effort to have as “green” a wedding as possible? What steps are you taking to do so?
It’s no secret we live in a throw away culture- we don’t use things until they’re spent, but toss them aside when something new comes along (how may of us have a perfectly functional cellphone sitting in a drawer somewhere while we use the newest iPhone? I’m definitely guilty!). Add to that the fact that weddings in general are somewhat indulgent affairs since they are once in a lifetime events and I think that many people (me included) can kind of brush aside the fact that we are being wasteful.
That being said, I’m making an effort to have my wedding as environmentally friendly as possible: flowers grown in my mother’s garden, decorations bought second hand, using real plates/forks/glassware, and eliminating a lot of extra “stuff” I don’t need (like programs or menus or plastic favor containers), to name a few ideas.
Anyone else? What are you doing to keep your wedding environmentally friendly? Do you have any tips to share?
Post # 2
Interesting question. I guess I don’t think weddings have to produce that much waste, unless you’re using plastic cutlery/plates. Centerpieces can be given to guests, paper menus and favour boxes can be recycled, decorations can be sold on Craigslist, and guest books and custom champagne flutes are keepsakes. I certainly have a lot of extra wedding stuff (like a useless white dress sitting in my closet), but I’d never dream of throwing it away!
Post # 3
You can also try to use vendors that have a commitment to being as green as possible. I tried to book a photography husband/wife duo that were committed to have no carbon footprint from their business, but they weren’t available on my date.
Post # 4
ClaudiaKishi: My wedding isn’t until next year, but planning ahead and being a bit of a tree hugger myself there are a few things I’ve thought of. I agree with the no programs, or menus. Besides the environmental side, they’re unnecessary and only about five people actually read or keep them. Also, I will be doing a master seating chart, and from there no place cards ( even less paper!) So people can choose their chair at the designated table. Also, I am getting flowers from the local farmers market the Thursday before, doing minimal centrepeices, with vases I have myself and reused centrepeices from friends weddings. And I had an idea, not sure where to get it done, but you can get cards made from seeds, I was thinking as a favor, so they can plant them at home (and if its just thrown out no biggie, since it would be 100% recyclable).
Post # 5
Book a caterer that uses locally sourced products/ingredients.
Book a caterer or venue that recycles waste fryer oil into biodiesel.
Consider guest transportation options when choosing a venue. If many guests will be staying in a hotel together, hire a shuttle to transport them back and forth rather than having them travel in a dozen or more private cars. Invite locals to hop on the shuttle as well.
Electronic invites/rsvp’s online/wedding websites instead of paper.
Buy a used dress, rent the groom/groomsmen attire.
Encourage guests to donate to selected charities that are focused on environmental protection rather than giving traditional gifts, or ask them to purchase carbon offsets or have trees planted rather than gifts (lots of organizations do this for a fee or sell the carbon offsets but do your homework as it is a largely unregulated field and a lot of less-than-ethical companies out there).
Minimize air travel by choosing a location local to as many guests as possible. Flying is really, really bad for the environment.
Post # 6
We skipped programs and menus as well, and never did Save the Dates or formal invites (all online). The drink glasses we used were “upcycled” from old Starbucks frappuccino bottles that my boss LOVES and then were recycled afterwards. We also borrowed a lot of decor from friends and family.
My dad made the centerpieces for us, which were succulent wood boxes. Every single one of them has been taken home and re-potted!
Post # 7
- Wedding: June 2014 - Gold Hill Gardens
SFGate put up this article: http://www.sfgate.com/style/unionsquared/article/Reuse-Recycle-Romance-5843862.php
I haven’t had a chance to read it all the way through yet, but obviously it made me think of this thread.
Post # 8
We picked a hotel that offers a free shuttle for our guests (as long as we book a certain number of rooms).
We also went with a caterer who uses all locally sourced food, and has a really good leftover food policy. Basically, our families are free to keep any leftovers. Anything they choose not to bring home is donated to a local food bank.
Post # 9
I’m buying as much as I can second hand and plan to sell all decor and my dress after the wedding. Made sure my bridesmaids all really like their dresses and the color so it’s something they can wear again (dressy but casual enough for an office job). Will recycle and reuse as much as we can
Post # 10
Lots of interesting thoughts, thanks ladies!
Like someone said, I don’t think weddings necessarily have to produce lots of waste but some do. Things like programs and menus- even if you recycle them, the still require energy to print and then recycle- if you do t really care about them why not eliminate them? Same with thins like centrepieces….I know lots of brides get things from the dollar store for their centrepieces (votives, glass beads, cases, etc) so even if you do give them away, they still used a lot of energy to produce and probably ship from China. Or I’ve seen favours that are a cupcake in a little plastic box with ribbons and a little spoon attachedtithings that will be thrown out immediately. Those are just examples that quickly come to mind- why not think of a greener alternative?
I think its a matter of choosing what’s important to you. So while I’ve eliminated some things, I may still make some choices that aren’t 100% perfect (like paper invites)- but I try to make those imperfect choices as green as possible (like choosing a paper company that uses all recycled materials).
Post # 11
Great question! I honestly didn’t put a lot of thought into it, but when I look back on my wedding, I see that I was able to have some “green” aspects incorportated into wedding, without even trying.
Centerpieces were made out of reclaimed barnwood from one of my clients 75 year old barn on his acreage. He even made us a brand which was stamped on each peice of wood.
Groom/GM’s tuxes were rented.
The sashes were purchased second hand, and I sold them after I was finished.
We had brunch buffet, all plates/cutlery/serving dishes were non-disposable. Everything that was packed up was put into tupperware containers.
We didn’t rent a limo or anything for ourselves. We got driven by other guests who had room in their cars. I even had to drive myself home as my sister’s car was our “getaway” vehicle, and she was going to drive, but drank too much…imagine seeing a bride driving down the highway lol.
Our ceremony/reception was in the same location, so no need to drive in between venues.
We didn’t have programs or menus.
Our favours were glass jars of honey – Hopefully the guests reused or recycled the jars.
Post # 12
How are you handling RSVPs? I’m torn between including postcard replies or just making them call or use the website to RSVP.
I believe you are a vegetarian from previous posts (I apologize if I’m wrong), but reducing/eliminating meat would make weddings significantly more envioronmentally friendly. Even if you are going to serve meat, serving smaller portions of it, offering a vegetarian/vegan alternative to all guests, asking to not have cheese/meat on salads, and offering more veggie based appetizers would really help. As a vegan who needs to get a special meal during catered events (I go to a lot for my job, so it’s frequent), I can’t tell you the number of meat eaters that tell me my food looked better or said they wished they’d asked for a veggie option, so it’s not just the vegetarians/vegans who would choose the veggie options if you offer them. More info on the environmental effects of eating meat here: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/jul/21/giving-up-beef-reduce-carbon-footprint-more-than-cars