Sustainable weddings: what you need to know
With the climate and planet at increasing risk of global warming and ecosystem destruction, the need for urgent action has never been stronger. There are many small measures we can take in our everyday lives which can, collectively, add up to a big positive impact. We all know about recycling, and minimising our carbon footprint, for example. But what about our weddings? It may seem like a strange area to focus on, but weddings have the potential to be extremely wasteful and damaging to the environment.
As many weddings are on hold due to the present COVID-19 situation, this is a good opportunity to assess your plans and make changes. Is your wedding as sustainable as you would like it to be?
Planning a sustainable wedding can seem like a daunting prospect at the best of times, and it’s even more difficult and stressful during COVID-19. There are so many different aspects to consider: from the venue and the food, to wedding attire and even the music. Although it may be impossible for anyone to ensure their wedding is 100% fully sustainable, there are still some simple steps that can be easily integrated into the wedding planning process. For example, you could choose to send electronic invitations rather than printed card ones.
Cut down on plastic
The damage that unrecyclable plastic can cause to the environment is well documented. It plays havoc with our oceans; killing ecosystems and hanging around for thousands of years before it degrades. Worryingly, weddings can be big offenders when it comes to plastic waste. Almost 5,000 tonnes of unrecyclable plastic was used at UK weddings in one year, for example.
To make sure your wedding doesn’t contribute to this problem, always try to use sustainable materials wherever you can. So use glasses rather than plastic cups, for example, and steel cutlery instead of disposable plastic cutlery. You can also find sustainable alternatives for less obvious plastic aspects of your wedding, such as balloons and confetti.
Clearly, one of the biggest positive changes we can make when planning our wedding is to cut down on the carbon footprint. To do this, we should try to use the local area as much as possible. Sourcing local food, suppliers, materials, and even entertainment will also help to cut down on the collective carbon footprint of your wedding.
For those who are serious about this goal, then weddings abroad would (of course) have to be reconsidered. Rather than having everyone fly to another country just for your big day, you can choose a venue in your own country and make huge carbon footprint savings in one big sweep. In the current COVID-19 climate, too, it’s likely that international travel will be subject to periodic restrictions throughout 2021. Choosing to have your wedding in your own country may be the simplest, most realistic option for many people this year.
Planning weddings is difficult at the best of times, let alone during a pandemic, and so we shouldn’t be too disheartened if we can’t ensure our wedding is 100% sustainable. But by keeping a few simple, sustainable steps in mind we can still make a big difference to the planet.
I’d love to hear about what you have or are planning to do to make your wedding more sustainable. And of couse if you need help with any aspect of your wedding planning, then get in touch for a chat – I’d love to hear about your plans and how I might be able to help.