How to Achieve a Plastic-Free Wedding
Weddings are big business these days, even in the current financial climate, it is worth a whopping $55 billion to the US economy. Like any industry, it is not hard to imagine how much plastic waste this must produce. The good news is that it is not that difficult to achieve a plastic-free wedding. Here we lay out the ways we can easily cut out and reduce the amount of plastic your wedding will produce. Follow this guide, and you can make a huge difference.
There has been a rise in the availability of plastic flowers and plants in recent years. To be fair to them, the quality and realism of these items have exponentially increased in recent times. However, the huge downside is the environmental cost of such plastic, especially as most of it will ultimately end up in landfills rather than being recycled. Most people don't use plastic flowers for the main display, but also things such as button-holes or flowers in the hair of little girls. Real flowers are better for the environment and also look and smell better, all around the best idea.
Wedding favors are those little gifts that you give to your guests at their seats at the meal. It's usually a fun item, but often it can end up going straight in the trash, and plastic won't do. We need to ensure that the items are not plastic but also something that the guest will want to keep and not dispose of. Even on a budget, you can find some lovely favors which can be glass, timber, or metal-based. Personalized items are quite common, which also allows them to double up as name cards reducing the number of items on the table.
When looking at the dress (or other outfits) we need to ensure this is right. It is the most talked-about and photographed item for the whole day. Shop around and be sure to check the materials used, you can find plenty of outfits that are made using natural fabrics. You could get a dress designed for you by a fashion house if your budget allows it. Other outfits need to be considered as well, for the groom's traditional national dress, if they have one often can be natural fabrics, the Scottish kilt, for example.
As well as our main outfits, there are so many different accessories we are likely to wear alongside them. Items can include shoes, hats, hair accessories, jewelry, and even make up. The main strategy is the same as in most other areas, avoid cheap and disposable items. Buy quality natural materials and items that will last as you can reuse or resell these. Look at these examples of good quality men's dress hats made from wool or felt rather than plastics.
Throwing confetti is a tradition in many places where it is a vital part of the wedding experience. It is surprising how many manufacturers of confetti use plastic in their mix. You can source or even make biodegradable confetti. In some parts of the world, it is traditional to throw other items such as grains of rice, which is a good alternative. It is also important to check if your wedding venue allows confetti and if you are required to arrange for cleaning.
Wedding gifts are a tradition that is not going away. We have seen that it is common for couples to register with a department store or similar, to have a wedding list that you buy them gifts from. The beauty of this is that you can discard items that do not meet your ethical criteria. To take this idea even further why not consider making a list with a specialist in ethical wedding gifts?
Catering can be a big one, it's the most elaborate and complicated meal you will ever be buying. You could be buying dinner for over one hundred people in the event of a large wedding. Large numbers mean that one of the concerns will be budget, and if you are looking to buy on a budget, then something is going to be compromised. Many caterers will try to cut the cost of washing up by using plastic drinks containers, cutlery, or plates. Try to avoid this and if you really must use disposable items then look to use paper or bamboo products and ensure they are put in the recycling rather than the general waste.
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