Sustainable weddings, or “green weddings,” are celebrations planned where the couple’s goal is to lower their ecological footprint whenever possible. Although it is near impossible to plan an event that is 100% waste-free, there are many ways that events can be more eco-friendly. The goal is to try in whatever ways you can. Check out my seven tips for hosting the ultimate sustainable wedding!
Natural Confetti – This is an idea that I absolutely love! Who isn’t a fan of confetti pop photos with your bridal party?! Instead of using glitter or the typical confetti poppers, which are made of plastic, consider using flower petals or DIY confetti made of leaves!
Paper-Free Photo Booth – Photo booths are so fun, but they create a lot of waste when they automatically print multiple copies of everyone’s photos. Instead, consider a photobooth that sends your guests digital copies of their images! If you love printed photos, pick a booth that lets you customize the amount of strips printed so that unnecessary prints aren’t made.
Plastic-Free Favors – Choosing plastic-free favors is one of the easiest ways to create less waste at your wedding! Here are some examples:
Local honey in a mason jar – a “sweet” takeaway & a great way to support a local business
Cookies To-Go – have a cookie & coffee tray near the exit so guests can grab a sweet treat on their way out! Put paper bags with a personal message stamped on to make it relevant to you
A donation to a meaningful charity – this is something I’ve seen more and more recently! Invest that part of your budget into a donation to charity in your guests’ name!
Timeless Bridesmaid Dresses – We’ve all seen horror stories of nightmare bridesmaid dresses that no one ever wants to wear again! Pick dresses that you know your girls will love and want to wear again. This would also help them in selling the dresses after the wedding so that they can be worn second hand by someone else! This idea also goes for shoes and accessories- pick a pair of kicks that you’ll want to wear to your anniversary dinner!
Real Flowers – While it might seem easier to use fake flowers for centerpieces, they are often made of plastic and go into a landfill after your celebration. Use real florals and plants whenever possible so they can be composted after using! Shop local and use a florist close to home who uses locally grown flowers.
Sustainable Diamonds – There are a few options when searching for sustainable diamonds. First and foremost you can opt for synthetic diamonds, which are the ideal choice because they require no mining. Plus, they have all of the sparkle – but at a lower cost! You can also opt to recycle old diamonds to make your ring, or purchase new, sustainably sourced diamonds.
Make Your Meal Eco-Friendly – Find a caterer who uses local, fair-trade and ethical foods. Rely on local brewers and wineries for all of your beverages and use compostable dinnerware to take it one step further.
Paper Straws Instead of Plastic In Your Signature Drink – This one is a given! Choosing paper straws instead of plastic is a super-easy way to cut down on plastic waste, and they are so much cuter!
Weddings leave us with a lot of amazing memories and moments to cherish for the rest of our lives, the last thing we want is for our weddings to leave a huge footprint on the environment. Making these small changes to your wedding can have a huge impact!
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As much as I love it, traveling, especially flying, is not typically sustainable. Over the past few years, I’ve been lucky enough to travel more than ever and it seems that on each trip I find another way to make my habits more sustainable. Even better, a lot of these tips will make your entire trip easier!
Bring a reusable water bottle – carry your empty bottle through security and fill it at one of the water stations in the airport. I’ve always been able to find a water station with fresh, filtered water at every airport. You’ll save money when you can refill for free instead of buying an overpriced bottle at the airport. After you board, you can ask the flight attendant to fill your bottle when they bring around the beverage cart to avoid the plastic cup. Keep in mind, if your bottle is really big, they may not be able to fill it all the way. I just ask for a small refill!
I love my Corkcicle bottles! They have the cutest colors & designs!
Reusable coffee/tea cup – whenever I’m on a plane, I love getting hot tea. I always bring a reusable metal cup and ask the attendant to fill that with my hot water. I’ve never had issues with this, and it’s so nice having my favorite cup with me for my mornings while traveling!
Pack light! – Not only does this make moving around easier, but it saves you money and helps you create less waste. When you can fit all your essentials into a carry on, you won’t need to check your bag and get plastic stickers attached to your things. This may seem small, but imagine how all the luggage tag stickers add up! All of those plastic stickers end up in landfills after your flight.
Digital boarding passes! – Almost every airline now has a free app which allows you to check into your flight and download your boarding pass to your phone instead of printing it out. This makes your day easier as you’ll have less items to keep track of and you’ll get updates about your flight status, which tends to change way too often, haha! Any time you choose to go digital, you avoid production emissions of paper and nothing ends up in the landfill!
Pro travel tip – as much as digital documents can help us, technology sometimes fails. Always print your important confirmation numbers for things like your hotel and rental car. Unlike boarding passes which can be easily printed at the airport, these could be lost if your phone fails!
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Plastic Free July is a great time for all of us to reflect on our daily actions and consider the simple switches we can make to lessen the amount of waste we create in our daily lives. There’s no shame in Plastic Free July, only self-improvement!
Here are a few simple things you can consider this month!
A Bamboo Toothbrush! – This might be the easiest switch because it doesn’t require much of a change in your routine. Simply choose bamboo brushes next time you restock on toothbrushes!
Toothpaste Bites! – Toothpaste tubes cannot be recycled, so the best option is to eliminate using them. I just started using toothpaste bites from Huppy! Simply put a bite in your mouth, chew for a few seconds, and brush as normal!
Plastic Free Haircare! – Think about the number of plastic bottles going into landfills every year, just from shampoo and conditioner! Switching to shampoo and conditioner bars eliminates all of that! I love the bars from SayNoap! PS- SayNoap is a female-owned company and I’m all about supporting women in business!
Plastic-Free, Natural Sunscreen! – This reef-safe, natural sunscreen from RawElements comes in plastic-free packaging and is good for your skin & the Earth! They also have a great tinted moisturizer with SPF!
There are so many things we can do to live a more sustainable life and it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Just remember, millions of people doing “plastic-free” imperfectly is much better than a few people doing it perfectly. Every simple switch you make is a step in the right direction!
Have any other tips that I can consider? Leave them in a comment below!
P.S. Want more inspiration? Click here to join my private FaceBook community group where members share sustainability tips!