Wedding season is just a few months away, and couples everywhere are starting to solidify their plans. From bouquets to menu options, there are plenty of details to manage. But weddings come with a cost in both price and environmental waste.
The wedding industry contributes a plethora of single-use products to landfills. For example, a single wedding can produce up to 400 lbs of garbage. And since the US sees around 2.5 million weddings a year, that means weddings create around 1 billion lbs of garbage each year. But hosting a green, eco-friendly wedding can seem challenging, especially if you're not sure where to start.
So, how do you reduce your carbon footprint and lessen waste on your wedding day?
Fret not – there are several easy ways to have an earth-friendly wedding without breaking the bank. Neighborhood Compost is all about being realistic when it comes to planning eco-conscious events. So, here are a few suggestions for hosting a low-waste wedding.
Opt for eco-friendly party favors
Most affordable wedding party favors are single-life products that end up in the trash. However, you can find various eco-friendly party favors, like plantable seed paper or reusable straws. Opt for a souvenir that your guests will use (and love) several times.
Buy or rent living floral arrangements
It's hard to find pesticide-free floral arrangements, bouquets and boutonnieres. Unfortunately, pesticides harm compost piles, so it's impossible to compost them after a wedding. Try buying or renting living floral arrangements or plants instead. Plus if you buy them, they can be a gift for your bridal party as a thank-you for their support.
Offer compost for food scrap disposal
Whether your wedding has appetizers, a plated dinner or a breakfast buffet, wedding food causes a lot of unnecessary waste. Luckily when it comes to food scraps, you can have your cake and eat it, too. Consider offering food composting for your wedding to ensure any uneaten food returns to the earth. If you’re hosting a wedding in New Jersey, New York or Pennsylvania, Neighborhood Compost would be happy to offer composting services for your wedding!
Buy your wedding dress or suit secondhand
If you’re planning on wearing a wedding dress or suit for your wedding, cut costs and your carbon footprint by buying secondhand. There are lots of styles and designs available in used wedding dresses and suits. Some brides purchase multiple gowns before selecting their final dress, so you might even find a dress that hasn’t even been worn yet.
Ask guests to carpool or donate to offset carbon emissions
One of the top contributors to carbon emissions is air travel. If you have guests coming in from out of town for your wedding, you can ask them to donate to a climate change charity to help offset their carbon emissions. And in-town guests can carpool to the event space, too.
Even though wedding planning can be stressful, there are quick and easy ways to decrease your wedding's carbon footprint. Low-waste weddings are becoming more popular as people become more aware of eco-friendly practices. And with a little forethought, you can celebrate with family and friends without excessive waste.
If you’re interested in offering composting at your wedding or want to try composting at home, contact Neighborhood Compost! We’d be happy to let you know about our composting pick-up services. And here’s to a wonderful wedding season for all the happy couples!