How to green up your big day
Weddings are recently seen as a series of festivities full of glitz, luxury, and extravagance. What used to be close-knit celebration has evolved into a big-scale grand production. While some couples still desire an enchanted wedding inspired by celebrities or movies, a good share of new generation couples are moving towards subtler intimate ceremonies and opt for eco-friendly options. Most people do not have the intention of harming or polluting the environment, it’s just that they have not given much of a thought to the alternative options that are often readily available.
We're all in for helping the Earth and you can contribute to sustainability without sacrificing your budget, vision or sanity. You can do your part to reduce the carbon footprints while walking towards a sacred union. As a host, you can change your mindset and realize that opting for organic is not being frugal on the finery, and sourcing local, bio-degradable elements is more eco-friendly. The immense cost to the environment (and your bank balance) to conduct the orchestra of the grand wedding often drowns the sensibility of the holy matrimony.
Weddings require an insane amount of work and planning, especially when a person is into intricate details, but at the end of the day one should be aware that all of that pizazz ends up at a landfill. From invites to decor, to the food and cutlery, every decision is considered important. If you decide to have a zero-waste or a partially sustainable wedding, you have to put sincere thought into the planning phase and also on what needs to be done with the waste after the event is over. The main idea is that nothing left from the wedding should go into a landfill.
By opting for eco-friendly options, you are not only reducing waste, you are also creating awareness about sustainable living among others which will serve the ecosystem a long way. Here are some of the ways you can host a sustainable wedding –
• E-invites! Fewer printed invitations will produce less wastage of paper and do ask for recycled paper from your vendor. You can reserve the printed copies for the elders and close family members who probably want to preserve a copy or don’t check their emails.
• You can request the guests not to gift fancy bouquets and plastic-wrapped gifts. This will produce less amount of waste even after the event. Ditch the aesthetics of wrapping papers.
• For the décor, you can use more fabric and less fresh flowers. Use pots/plants as centerpieces for the table and it can be given away as return gifts as well. Even if you use flowers as part of the decorations, it can be repurposed as face and hair packs for the wedding entourage.
• Choose a venue that gets plenty of sunlight and host a daytime wedding so you can leave the lights off.
• Do not use disposable cutlery, opt for steel ones instead.You can use leaf bowls, plantain leaves to serve snacks. A huge amount of wastage is produced by snack stalls where they use disposable plates, which is why, leaf products are better options. Cloth napkins can be used at the dining area, paper napkins can be substituted with recycled newspapers.
• Leftover food should be quickly distributed to those in need. Contact an organization or a cause you are passionate about and share your happiness with the less fortunate.
• The bridal and groom wear are one of the most expensive items on the shopping list, but the newer generation knows that they are probably not going to wear those again. Hence, many brides and grooms are now choosing to don the legacy of their parents or grandparents on their special day. It will not only be an elegant vintage fashion piece to flaunt, it will also carry the blessings and sentimental value of family tradition forever.
• Brides, don’t forget to opt for vegan choices and cruelty-free makeup products. Embrace the ethical practice of avoiding makeup products that are tested on animals. Many brides go the extra mile on sustainability by discarding the idea of making new jewelry that won’t be worn again. In that case, one can reuse heirloom traditional pieces borrowed from family members or close friends.
We are living in an interconnected world with Mother Nature, and hence, there is a need for all of us to lead an environmentally conscious lifestyle. The materials that we consume shape our environment, especially the consumerism on big occasions and weddings where splurging is at its maximum capacity. When it comes to marriage, spreading joy and happiness should go beyond the venue and continue to exist even after the big day ends. Simple mindful choices will help you and others to be remembered for your compassion and empathy towards the Earth and her future inhabitants.
Tanishaa Arman Akangkha is a researcher by profession and an environmentalist by passion. For query or criticisms, reach her at [email protected]