How to make your wedding eco-friendly
Single use plastic and disposable decorations are not cool and definitely not a necessary element of any wedding these days. With many couples choosing to be more eco-friendly and focused, companies are responding to demand and offering a great selection of products. But which ones to choose and where to find them? If you are looking at incorporating more eco-friendly ideas into your celebration, read on for some ideas of how you might go about achieving this…
1. Re-usable cups
A great idea for a favour, issue each guest with a re-usable cup which is their own for the wedding day and then they can take it home. These can either be personalised and printed for you, or labelled with chalkboard paint and/ or markers with guests names and make a huge difference to the waste generated at the bar, and also to the washing up!
This great option, available from Enviro-Cup, is just one example of the products out there but do your research and find an option that fits in with the style of your day.
2. Recyclable ‘plastic’
If you are having drink plastics for your celebration, either for the whole day or for the evening bar, there is no need for this to be single use. These fantastic cups from Biopac UK are fully recyclable and compostable and are not a huge difference in cost if you’re supplying yourself so won’t hurt your wallet. If you have a bar provider, make them aware you are against single use plastic and ask them to use eco-friendly cups. If they’re a great supplier, they probably already will! I know lots of suppliers on my go-to list do, and there really isn’t a great excuse not to.
3. Bamboo tableware
A great option for your evening food once the formal cutlery and crockery have gone from the wedding breakfast (if that’s even what you are having to start with) is bamboo plates and cutlery. Unlike useless paper plates they don’t get soggy and lose their shape or structure, and unlike plastic cutlery, bamboo is less likely to break/ snap. On the plus side also, is bamboo looks nicer and adds an air of continued elegance to your day like this fantastic example from Wild Leaf Tableware.
4. Plastic free/ natural confetti
A lot of venues now insist on natural confetti, and even if they don’t, use it anyway! Advise your guests in advance that only natural, petal confetti is permitted if they are bringing it themselves, or provide dried natural confetti to guests as they leave the church or as part of your reception. You can order bulk bags in colours/ florals of your choice to suit your colour theme, or if you have the time (and patience and a few helpers) making it yourself isn’t out of the question and adds a lovely personal touch to your day.
5. Recyclable paper goods
There is a surprising amount of paper goods involved in a wedding when you think about it! From invites, place name cards, table names/ number, table plans and orders of service, to paper napkins from the caterer and bar and the use of paper roll in the kitchens, there are bits and pieces everywhere. A lot of it is necessary for a wedding to make it run smoothly, but just make sure where possible that they are made from recycled material, or are again recyclable once your day is over as so much of it is disposed of afterwards.
6. Seasonable flowers and produce
Using seasonal flowers and produce will not only help your budget as they are readily available, but will also reduce the carbon footprint of your celebration without the need to be shipped and transported from their origin to your location. Flowers and produce that are in season will also look and taste better so everyone is a winner.
7. Paper straws
Plastic straws are one of my absolute pet peeves!! Paper straws are readily available, as well as some bamboo and even metal options as alternatives. Plus they look much nicer as well as being kind to the planet.
8. Recycling stations
Help your guests to do their bit and organise readily accessible and identifiable recycling stations around the reception venue so they can easy pop their bottle/ cup/ waste paper in the right place so as not to contaminate the recyclable goods with general waste, plus it helps with the clearing up the next day if you’re going down the DIY route.
9. Glass bottles
Beer, wine and spirit bottles are easily recycling as glass, but consider what other single use plastic bottles you can replace with glass if possible. Particularly with an outdoor wedding, lots of bottles of water are used. Glass bottles look much nicer on the tables for the wedding breakfast. If you are using jugs for your water, see if your venue can provide a mains connection to fill them rather than use lots of plastic bottles, and for the evening bar, resealable cans of water can replace plastic bottles and are readily available from wholesalers and supermarkets.
10. Support local and reduce packaging
It is so easy to order all the extra bits and bobs you need for the wedding from online retailers and have it delivered to your door. Lord knows I’m a nightmare on the Amazon app!! But with ordering online comes a lot of packaging and endless boxes and bubble wrap to keep your order safe in transit. Take a look around your local businesses and you might be surprised what you can buy locally to save on delivery costs and packaging. Speak to your caterer and bar supplier to see what local produce they can source in support of local farmers and breweries for example, and a quick google search will often reveal a surprising amount of local suppliers who specialise in stationary design, personalised signage, jewellery and accessories, styling and décor and other finishing touches that will make your day that extra bit special.
11. Eco-friendly favours
If you are wanting to have favours for guests, pre bought ones can sometimes be heavy on plastic in their packaging or manufacture. If you have the time, and perhaps some helpers, in advance of your day, there are many great eco-friendly favours you can source or make yourself. Paper envelopes of seeds, home made jams or mini bottles of home made gin, organic soaps or candles or plant or tree saplings are all great ideas if you are looking to offer something a bit more eco-friendly and unique.
I hope that’s inspired you to see how you can make your wedding or party more eco-friendly. I’d love to hear any other ideas.
**All products mentioned in this article are included because I think they are a good idea – this is not sponsored **