Photo Credit: AccuSoft
Today’s lovely guest post comes to us from Claudia, an environmental advocate Classics student at Edinburgh University. Enjoy!
We all know how expensive weddings can be, but do we ever stop to think what is their impact on our planet? Turns out weddings use a lot of resources and leave behind a significant amount of unnecessary waste. Luckily there is a lot that can be done to celebrate our love and at the same time give our contribution to a more eco-friendly lifestyle. Here are our tips for a more ethical wedding.
Read the full post after the cut!
1. The Bride’s Dress
The fashion industry can be ruthless when it comes to choosing and producing expensive fabrics which have a greater impact on the environment than we can ever imagine. Mass-produced and unreasonably costly doesn’t mean ethical, whereas there are a lot of ways to find a more sustainable path: organic and fairtrade fibers are the best choice to ensure that your special dress has a reduced carbon footprint and is eco-friendly. Hemp, bamboo, tencel and organic cotton will make you look even more beautiful and will surely be another talking point for your guests.
Photo Credit: Nick Hubbard
2. The Groom’s Attire
If the bride is going eco, why should the groom not follow suit? There are many possible options for your fiancée: consider renting instead of buying (both economical and green), or purchasing a vintage suit to be tailored down or investing in an ethically made item that, contrary to your white dress, can be worn over and over again.
3. The rings
It is possible to continue the beautiful and symbolic tradition of exchanging rings without taking part in the diamond and other precious stones trade which has been gruesomely affecting numerous African countries and destroying so many innocent lives.
If you are in lack of a precious family heirloom to reuse, you and your sweet half could explore vintage markets or opt for recycled gold bands and conflict-free diamonds: those rings are going to adorn your hands forever and can say a lot about you as a person other than celebrating your love.
4. Paperless wedding invites
Resisting the urge to send beautifully handwritten invites can be extremely difficult (and if you can’t, choose recycled paper), but your invites can be personal and heartfelt even if they reach virtual letterboxes: there are plenty of free websites that provide you with customizable pre-made graphics and therefore allow you to send truly unique, original and green announcements.
Photo Credit: Tai Foto
5. Seasonal Wedding Flowers
Each season brings us different, delicious and healthy fruits and vegetables, but it also presents an array of colorful flowers that could become your ethical bouquet and decor. When bought in season and locally, flowers are cheaper and what’s more important, pesticide free and ready for the picking. There’s no need to fly flowers for hundreds of miles when our gardens are full of beautiful options.
Photo Credit: Verry Kerry Ltd
6. For Your Bridesmaids
Always fancied getting ready with your bridesmaids, sipping Prosecco while wafting around in a dressing gown? If so make sure to avoid shiny polyester, that is so bad for our planet! Invest in organic cotton gowns and responsible practices, that will last longer and make for a beautiful present for your bridesmaids.
Photo Credit: Verry Kerry Ltd
7. The wedding menu
The choices of food and drinks you make will have a great impact on the sustainability of your wedding. Ensure in the menu there is only food that is in season, comes from responsible, local farmers and is cruelty-free. Want to go even further? You could think of an entirely vegetarian or vegan menu. For drinks, think pesticide-free organic wine and local micro-breweries and distilleries to ensure low carbon footprint and support to the local economy. A well-organized wedding planning website will be of great help when choosing the right suppliers.
8. Handling food waste
Wedding feasts can often lead to a great waste of food. You could resolve it either by providing every seat at the table with a doggy bag or even better, donating leftovers to charitable organizations and local shelters, ensuring a hot meal for the less fortunate.
9. Wedding favors
Favors are a really sweet tradition that shouldn’t be forsaken in the name of eco-friendly: all we need to do, instead of buying plastic, useless objects that the invitees will not cherish, is giving them something handmade or locally sourced, like marmalade or honey, a small plant or even better a little vase and some seeds. Everybody will have a plant that will grow alongside the happy couple.
Photo Credit: Phalinn Ooi
10. The honeymoon
Whether you like the sound of an eco-luxury spa or prefer instead a lodge in the rainforest, you are on the right path to be an eco-tourist. If you really want to lessen your carbon footprint as newlyweds, you could also consider exploring your own country using eco-friendly transport and accommodation.
These are just 10 of many ways to make your wedding a more sustainable one and whilst it would be hard to pursue all of them at once, just choosing some of them would ensure you are doing your part and will be able to look back at those photos knowing that you have done the right thing.
Claudia is a Classics student in her last year at Edinburgh University. She is passionate about sustainability, protecting the environment and loves getting involved in social and environmental projects. Her other great passion is writing, particularly about ethical and sustainable lifestyle.
If you have any other tips or your own personal experience that you’d like to share, we’d love to hear all about it in the comments below!