Your wedding day should be the best day of your life. You should have everything your heart desires… but that doesn’t mean you should be wasteful. These are some of the most common wasteful, non-organic pitfalls for weddings.
Wrapping everything in plastic.
Plastic wrapping is one of the most wasteful aspects of a wedding. It is often used for wedding favors, when covering or transporting food, or with your decorations. Instead of having desserts in a plastic favor bag as a favor, opt for a mason jar or burlap bag. Ask your caterer to use as little plastic wrap as possible, as they often have other, more eco-friendly options. When it comes to decorations, sometimes you just can’t help what your must-haves are wrapped in. Other times, you can try to order from websites like Etsy, which will use one box to ship a bunch of centerpiece components. This is a lot better than buying each one individually wrapped in plastic at the store.
Putting no effort into reusing things.
It’s understandable that you might not want to wear your mother’s dress, or use some décor from your sister’s wedding two years ago. However, not even trying to reuse wedding items causes a lot of extra waste. There are websites where brides can sell their décor, candles, centerpieces, and dresses to fellow brides. Antique and vintage shops also offer great options that can be repurposed or serve a purpose in your wedding. This is a great way to save the environment and save money.
Opting for confetti.
Sure, confetti may seem like a fun and festive option. But let’s be honest—no one really likes it. It’s messy, expensive, and difficult to clean up. On top of that, it’s extremely wasteful. Confetti is pretty much just tiny pieces of paper cut into shapes, which you’ll only use once and throw away. If confetti is part of your vision for your special day, a quick Google search will show you some options for recyclable and biodegradable confetti.
Using disposable dishes and cutlery.
Many weddings use some element of disposable dishes, whether at the cocktail hour or at the dessert bar. Instead of wasting so many dishes in such a short period of time, see if it can be arranged to use smaller dishes that coordinate with the china at the rest of the reception. The same goes for using plastic cups at the bar. These are totally unnecessary, and drinking glasses simply look nicer and prevent waste. How about napkins? Sure, you might need some disposable napkins at the bar or by the hors d’ouevres. But, for the rest of the wedding, try to use fabric napkins instead, and avoid paper napkins when you can. Venues are generally willing to work with all of your requests; it’s nothing they haven’t seen before.
Not having recycling bins.
With all of the details involved in wedding planning, it’s easy to forget about some measly recycling bins. However, these can make a huge difference. Think about how many cans and bottles the bartenders use. How about all of the packaging from food, decorations, and favors? Having a recycling bin or two placed throughout the venue helps ensure that recyclable materials end up in the right place.
Having paper and plastic decorations.
Many people think that paper and plastic decorations are the only way to go. They seem like the best way to fill the room with your color scheme at an affordable price, right? Sure, but there are plenty of less wasteful options. Burlap and hemp are a growing trend amongst weddings right now. They offer a sort of vintage, rustic charm to the room, and they’re much more eco-friendly than paper and plastic decorations. For the most part, you can only use paper decorations once, as they’re flimsy and rip easily.
Burlap and hemp can be reused for other weddings—you can sell online—or even as décor around your house. Other alternatives to paper decorations include glass and eco-friendly fabrics. If you decide to go with paper decorations, at least make sure they meet guidelines for recycling.
Your wedding doesn’t have to be entirely, 100% organic in order to help the environment and prevent ways. Just keep these common non-organic pitfalls in mind, and try your best to avoid them as you plan your special day.