With spring and ‘wedding season’ around the corner here are 5 simple ways to give your wedding a green spring cleaning.
by Greenhearts Girl, Irena
1. Cut down on guests
Save money & the environment by cutting your guest list in half!
We did and so can you! Make a rule like no 2nd cousins, no-one you don’t know, only genuine partners (ie no random plus 1), etc. and stick to the rule. Sure you’ll need to justify it to your family but regardless of your choices your family and friends will question them so make a stand for a great event and the environment.
Fewer people means less resources – food, travel, energy etc. – used and that’s more sustainable.
2. Choose a non-traditional or charity for your venue, or do it in the backyard and donate the difference!
Weddings are big business and that’s hard to get around so why not spend your money in a way that helps out a charity or local ‘green’ organisation? Think community gardens, local farm, neighbourhood house, local museum or art society etc.
And if you’re lucky to know someone with a big backyard or holiday house – then save on venue rental and donate the difference!
3. Save time, avoid glue-gun injury with a simple invitation.
Of course not everyone thinks an emailed invitation to a wedding is classy. Then again you can’t buy taste at a paper shop. Most people still expect a mailed invitation to adorn their fridge however…
Personally I think spending hours mucking around with ribbons, outrageously expensive bits of paper and pinking shears is utter, utter madness when you could be getting your nails done or watching an episode of Say Yes to the Dress (my secret addiction). Some people are crafty so you can easily press some flowers you find in the park or use fallen leaves & twigs (seriously it looks amazing!).
You could photograph something beautiful and print it with the info about your special day on some eco-friendly recycled cards or you could buy some cards from Oxfam or a charity.
4. Choose local and seasonal flowers
Did you know that many flowers used in weddings are flown in from developing countries where wages are low, working conditions are poor, and pesticide use is high. Not to mention the water used to grow flowers is often at the expense of drinking water for people!
You’ll need bouquets and flowers during the ceremony, centrepieces and decorations for the reception. See if you can reuse any ceremony flowers or use a natural environment instead. Speak to your florist about using locally-grown and seasonal flowers (yes! Like fruit and veg flowers are seasonal). I got my florist to get boxes of flower heads that would otherwise have been thrown out and covered my tables with them. You can use potted plants for decorations and these can go into your garden or used as gifts.
Hand centerpieces to guests as they leave and find local hospitals, senior centers, and shelters that accept donations of bouquets.
5. Choose ethical and sustainable gifts
Many environmentally-aware couples, especially if you’ve lived together for a while, think they have everything they need and don’t want more stuff or gifts of any kind. That’s fine if you want to elope, just the 2 of you, but if you invite people to your wedding they WANT to buy you something to enjoy during your marriage.
This is your chance to really make a difference. You can ask for a donation to a charity but many people will buy you something anyway so you should think about eco-friendly gifts for your registry. These would be things made locally or in smaller quantities, locally designed, products that use natural dies, organic sheets and towels, glassware without lead etc. The list is endless and greenhearts.com.au have done the hard work by putting all these lovely eco-friendly and sustainable things in one place.
What are your green wedding tips to spring clean your wedding?