The next time you attend a wedding why not consider these top tips to help the environment and become a sustainable wedding guest?
Let’s face it- weddings aren’t very eco-friendly and can result in a lot of waste. This could be via extravagant wedding invites, food waste, bright lights or the carbon footprint guests leave when travelling to the venue. However, sustainability and style can go together. Aside from our own weddings, realistically we don’t tend to have a choice in these decisions. However, we can do our part for the planet as wedding guests. With over a decade of experience hosting weddings at Ash Barton from traditional, barn, same sex and quirky festival weddings, Simon and Julie Daukes give five ways you can become a more sustainable wedding guest.
Travel to and from the venue
It’s no secret that cars consume a lot of energy and automotive emissions are amongst the top contributors to the destruction of our environment. Getting into a car requires virtually no planning when you must travel so, to many, it’s the most convenient option when travelling to the wedding venue. But take a second look and consider whether a little more effort could result in the reduction of your carbon footprint. If the wedding is in a remote area, consider teaming up with friends and hire out a coach. If the wedding is more accessible, why not take the train and have a small pre-party in your train carriage?
Wrapping presents goes so much further than wrapping paper. In fact, a thoughtfully wrapped present can stand out and show you put more effort into the gift. Check out your local charity shop for loose fabrics such as scarves or muslin blankets that you can upscale into wrapping paper. If you are an artist or you have a child dear to the bride or groom, use old artwork to wrap the wedding gift. If you want a low effort, recyclable alternative, use brown paper and dress up your present with twine or burlap.
Watch out for waste!
One of the best ways you can be a sustainable wedding guest is to train yourself to be conscious of your own waste. No, this does not mean you can’t enjoy the wedding, but try to pay attention to the little things. If the wedding food is being served buffet style, try not to take more than you can eat. Are the invites recyclable? If so, recycle! Empty drink? Reuse your glass! When you are a conscious consumer at the wedding, you can relax knowing you have done your part for the planet. Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t notice everything the first-time round, it takes time to become aware of our harmful habits.
Throwing confetti over the newly married couple is a tradition that has surpassed centuries, but paper confetti can be a huge pollutant to the environment. Consider buying from a biodegradable confetti company or better, making your own confetti by drying out your own flowers. The bride has so much to think about that biodegradable confetti might be the last thing on her mind, but if you step in and offer this suggestion or to DIY the confetti as a wedding favour, it is an eco-friendly favour sure to be appreciated.
Naturally as a wedding guest, you will want to look and feel good at the wedding and probably use extra products you wouldn’t use on a regular basis. If you are investing in new makeup specifically for the wedding, consider supporting an ethical, vegan and cruelty free makeup brands. Also, when using potentially harmful products such as hairspray, opt for eco-friendly brands. It is the small things that will make a difference.
Check out more sustainable wedding tips here!