Follow these five suggestions to make your wedding more ecofriendly, with small changes that can make a major impact.
Send Green Invitations
Start your environmentally friendly wedding off by sending out green invitations. Have your save the dates and invitations printed on recycled paper, or use upcycled materials like fabric, leather and wood for a unique touch. Skip mail-in invites all together and go digital with an electronic invite and online RSVP.
Pick an Environmentally Friendly Venue
The Green Building Information Gateway has a database of buildings, including hotels and wedding venues, that are LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified. Each building listed also has a Green Star and Energy Star rating, recognizing the sustainability of the design, construction and operations of the site.
Reduce Reception Food Waste
Having a buffet at your reception, while cost effective, can lead to lots of food waste at the end of the night. Talk to your caterer about saving leftovers and possibly creating to-go containers for guests and venue staff. Some local homeless shelters and foodbanks will also accept this leftover food but be sure to find out how that process works ahead of time.
Skip the Wedding-Exit Rice Toss
Have your guests send you off in a more environmentally conscious way. Instead of tossing rice or confetti, choose a plant-based alternative that won’t harm the planet and area wildlife. Rose petals are not just beautiful and multicolored, but they’re also biodegradable.
Donate Leftover Décor
Once the celebration is over, don’t be so quick to throw away your leftover wedding décor. There are several ways to reuse, recycle or donate these items to make your wedding sustainable from start to finish. Offer any leftover flower arrangements to local hospitals, senior centers or homeless shelters. You can also give them to your guests or the wedding venue’s staff at the end of the night. Incorporate leftover decorations, including signage, lights and centerpieces, in your home décor. Or donate these items to a nearby thrift store like Goodwill. These donations are also tax deductible, which is a win-win.