How to pull off an eco-friendly wedding
Weddings are fun, joyful and some of the most cherished moments in our lives. But this celebration shouldn’t come at the cost of the environment getting harmed. With the amount of wastage that almost all aspects of a wedding lead to, it is hardly any surprise that weddings can be harmful to Mother Earth. The need of the hour is to become eco-conscious and opt for green weddings! This World Environment Day, let us pledge to do our bit for the environment, by ensuring the wedding is eco-friendly. And you will be surprised that you can do this with some simple tweaks and changes without hampering any of the fun!
Why use tonnes of paper for wedding invites? Go digital and make e-invites which can be shared over mail or phone. If you have to use paper, go for the recycled one, to reduce the paper waste.
You can be creative with your invites. Have your wedding invites printed on a cloth bag. As cloth bags are in demand these days, it will be used for a long time, reminding the guests of your special day. These days you get a seed-infused paper that can be buried in a pot, and a plant grows out of it after watering regularly. Have your invite on such a paper.
When choosing your wedding dress, why not opt for a local designer or brand that works with traditional artisans? This not only supports the local talent and encourages the craftsmanship of the artisans, but also decreases carbon footprint that might increase when travelling to different cities to source your ensemble. You could also look at renting an outfit for the many other festivities that are part of the wedding, and buying just one or two for the main function.
You can also revamp your mother’s traditional sari into something new and wear that. It will tick the boxes for something old, something new, as also, something borrowed – and if it is blue in colour, it makes for the something blue too!
Don’t use flowers for the décor. They will die and become waste post-D-Day. Why not opt for actual trees or potted plants? They will grow and blossom and add greenery and oxygen to the environment. If you have to use flowers, even if minimally, stick to locally grown varieties. This will help support the local farmers.
Why not opt for fabric flowers in décor? These are reusable and can be of different colours to match your theme. Avoid thermocol and plastic in décor as those two are the worst when it comes to wastage.
For the decor, use reusable signages like a chalkboard. So there isn’t any paper and thermocol waste.
When choosing the venue, choose one in your city instead of having a destination wedding. The carbon footprint automatically reduces.
When deciding the decor, use all that’s available in the venue instead of building it up. Trees, plants, walls… you can enhance them with some fabrics for a festive touch.
For utensils, you get plates, spoons, bowls, etc made from dried leaves. Use those instead of plastic ones. Don’t keep bottled water bottles. Instead, have a water dispenser that people can take water out of with reusable glasses.
Electricity is another major issue. So why not opt for daytime weddings so that you can make the most of the available light?
Food is another major problem area as there can be a lot of wastage post-wedding because of miscalculation of a number of guests, their food likes-dislikes, etc. Arrange with an NGO to get any of the remaining food delivered on the same day to the needy.
Take all the ‘puja samagri’ and dip it in water in a bucket instead of the river nearby. So the token dip in the water is taken care of, and most of it is biodegradable, so you can just segregate the two and bury the bio-degradable part into a pit in your garden.
Wedding favours or gifts you give your guests can be small saplings that the guests can plant near their home. You can use fruit tree saplings or flowering plant saplings. This way the guests get something out of it too and they’ll keep remembering you when they enjoy the fruits or flowers.
If you need to wrap gifts, why not opt for fabric? In fact, you can use any good sari or dupatta that you won’t wear anymore but is in good shape. Just one such sari or dupatta can give you so many wrapping fabrics.
If you’re thinking of making a wedding registry, why not add some ‘donations to so-and-so environment NGO’ as one of the gifts? Gifts are unavoidable, and you’ll get them even if you say you don’t want; or if the things you want is less in number. Have a certain number of donations to various NGOs as part of your wedding registry, so that they get some much-needed financial boost for their work.
There are many companies these days that are making eco-friendly options for the various aspects of a wedding. Do some research, and take their help to make your wedding green. Happy planning!