Weddings can be big, flashy, and expensive - or they can be small, simple, and sustainable. It all comes down to choices. Everything we do affects the planet, and it’s high time we add weddings to the list of things to do with our home (Earth) in mind. With Earth Day coming up on Monday (April 22, 2019), we thought it’d be sweet to create this piece! So, while you’re planning your big day, think about what you can do to cut back on waste and make your wedding eco-friendly:
Mining for diamonds is an unsustainable practice. There are only so many, and carving holes into the earth not only destabilizes large areas, but it also puts the safety of workers at risk. Not to mention the inflated price of diamonds is a result of carefully controlled inventory, not the real value of the gem. Instead, consider simulated diamonds, which are nearly identical to but far more sustainable than real diamonds. You could also look for wood wedding rings, which require far fewer materials to make and are often sourced from pieces that have fallen from trees.
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Our society is thankfully moving towards paperless, but there are still places we can cut back. Wedding invitations are lovely and fun to pick out, but they will usually end up being tossed by most of your guests. To lessen the impact, look for invitations made from recycled paper. They won’t be any less beautiful, and you don’t have to worry about whether or not your guests choose to recycle theirs or not. You can even do one better by choosing plantable invitations! These invitations are made from seed paper that, once planted, grows herbs or wildflowers. How cute is that?
Farm-to-table is becoming an increasingly popular restaurant trend, but who says you can’t apply it to your wedding? Look for a caterer that specializes in providing in-season, locally sourced meals, preferably with organic ingredients. Local farmers typically use far more sustainable agricultural practices, not to mention supporting your local economy does wonders for your town.
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Wedding dresses are ridiculously expensive - new. But so many people get married every year, and not everyone keeps their dress. Used clothing stores and specialty boutiques carry pre-owned wedding dresses that, more often than not, have only been worn once! Alternatively, you could borrow or upcycle a family member’s wedding dress. The gesture is even sweeter if you wear your mother or grandmother’s dress!
Keeping the lights off at home is a great way to save energy on a daily basis, and this same idea can apply at your wedding! To reduce the need for lighting during the ceremony, you can choose an outdoor venue or an indoor one that gets a lot of natural light and be married in the daytime. For evening receptions, opt for romantic candlelight instead of electric overhead lighting. Just be sure to properly contain the candles to reduce the risk of accidents.
Eco-friendly doesn’t have to mean extra stress. A few simple changes will ensure your wedding is one to remember - without leaving a scar on Mother Earth. 🌎
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