With the planet in crisis, sustainable weddings with zero waste are all the rage. Everyone wants to find ways to help save the earth, and with so much that's required to throw a wedding, it can be overwhelming to try and plan one that contributes zero waste to the environment. Thankfully, as the trend keeps gaining steam, it will get easier to find vendors and planners who specialize in eco-friendly weddings and receptions. Sustainable weddings are going to keep trending in 2019, and while they take extra flexibility and creativity, you can totally make a sustainable wedding happen. Here are some of our top tips for pulling it off.
Use a Farm-to-Table Caterer
More and more caterers are popping up that specialize in farm-to-table cuisine. Ensuring that food is locally-sourced while raised sustainably and ethically, you can make a big impact. In addition to supporting local, ethical farmers, you'll lessen your food's environmental impact by reducing the resources needed to facilitate the journey our food takes from planet to plate.
For a sustainable wedding from the very start, use recycled and recyclable paper for your invites, save the dates, and envelopes. Better yet, you can even buy biodegradable invite paper with wildflower seeds embedded inside. When the invite isn't needed anymore, guests can plant it in the ground and as the paper degrades, it helps feed the seeds so wildflowers grow. How romantic is it that instead of your invites going in the trash and becoming part of a landfill, they can literally become part of the earth -- and help give birth to dozens or even hundreds of beautiful flowers?!
Incorporate compost bins at your wedding to transform food scraps into one of the most eco-friendly materials around: dirt! Food bits will break down until they've become fertile soil for gardening and planting. Use it to start that veggie garden in your home or apartment, or use a service that takes the bins to a commercial composting center. As for "compostable" plasticware and plates, these may not break down as well despite the advertising that they're compost-friendly. As for toilets, those can be compostable as well!
Use Second-Hand Everything
From repurposed wood for the dining tables and sustainably-grown flowers for centerpieces to the rings and wedding dress, you can throw a zero-waste sustainable wedding if you get everything -- and we mean everything second-hand. This takes extra planning, creativity, and flexibility. But if you're serious about a completely sustainable wedding, it's the only way to pull it off! Thrift stores will become your best friend when looking for things like tablecloths, vases, and even groom outfits.
Have a Smaller Wedding
In addition to saving a ton of money, a smaller wedding is just going to be easier to make easy on the environment. It takes fewer resources to throw an event for 30 people than 100, so the smaller the guest list, the easier it will be on the earth (and your stress levels).
Consider a Charitable Wedding Registry
Instead of having a registry with items like slow cookers and china plates, consider asking guests to donate to a charity that is helping save the planet. It could be a non-profit that's saving the rainforest, investing in solar technology, or cleaning up the ocean. Either way, if you can't go fully zero-waste for the wedding itself, you'll know that you raised a ton of money for a charity that's preserving the planet for future generations.
Re-Sell Your Wedding Stuff
Companies like the Recycled Wedding Boutique let you resell your lightly-used wedding stuff to other brides and grooms. From dresses to table ornaments, re-selling what you used for your wedding pays it forward to another couple, who can spend less and be more eco-friendly by buying what you offer. In addition to making you a few bucks back from your wedding expenses, it also takes your eco-friendly approach and doubles the impact by letting another couple take advantage of your repurposed wood tables, thrifted tablecloths, second-hand dining chairs, lightly pre-worn wedding dress, and more!
Take an Eco-Honeymoon
With true eco resorts like Turtle Island Fiji redefining what it means to travel sustainably, you can have your dream honeymoon and give back to the planet. You have to do a bit more shopping with regard to resorts, but finding one that defines itself with sustainable practices can massively lessen the impact of your flights, car rides, and other inescapable practicalities of honeymoon travel.