Your wedding day is one of the most special days of your life, but it could be more sustainable to the earth. Between the food, guests, decorations, and waste produced, your big party has a pretty substantial impact on the planet.
Of course, we’re not saying you shouldn’t get married at all — a wedding is a beautiful celebration of love, and you deserve to spend that day the way you see fit. But there are a few things you can do to cut down your wedding’s environmental footprint without sacrificing your enjoyment.
1. Pare Down the Guest List
The biggest factor in the size of your wedding’s impact on the earth is simply that — the size. The more guests you invite, the more travel and food is involved. Of course, you should share your wedding with all the people that are most special to you, but the average wedding in the United States hosts 120 guests.
Do you really know 120 people? Or are you inviting aunts and second cousins because you’d feel guilty not to include them? Chances are, there will be guests at your wedding that will be there more out of obligation than because you’re really close with them. If you want to have a more sustainable wedding, the guest list is the best place to start.
2. Choose Your Location Wisely
One of the biggest sources of carbon emissions in a person’s life is travel. If you pick a distant destination that everyone has to fly to, or a remote location that will necessitate a lot of car travel, you’re setting up a huge amount of transportation that your guests will have to go through.
Destination weddings are a lot of fun, but if the environment is your priority, keep it local! No matter where you live, there’s a gorgeous venue nearby that will cut down on everyone’s travel time making it more sustainable.
3. Consider the Menu
Whether you’re hiring a caterer or having the meal provided by the venue, it’s worth your while to ask about the sourcing of the food you’ll be serving at your wedding. Organic, local, fair-trade, and ethically produced food is becoming more and more popular these days, so it should be easy to find a caterer or a venue that’s willing to accomodate your needs.
The same goes for alcohol! There are microbreweries, vineyards, and wineries all over the country, so choosing from local vendors is just a matter of doing some research. The less your menu has to travel, the better.
4. Rent Your Dishes and Linens
Big events generate trash — and lots of it. To cut back on the waste your event creates, consider working with a company that will let you rent your linens, flatware, dishes, glassware, and other staples of the table settings. If you can return those things to the company to be washed and reused, you’ll be more sustainable which will reduce your impact substantially.
5. Use Recyclable and Compostable Table Settings
On the other hand, there are times when china dishes, silver flatware, and real glass simply aren’t a good idea. They tend to be more expensive, and if your wedding is in an unconventional location (like outside), they might be hard to set up.
In that case, you can use compostable plastics that look almost indistinguishable from the real thing! Paper tablecloths, plastic wine glasses, and even flatware that looks like real metal are available for your use. When you’re finished, you can throw them into a compost bag and take them to a local dump to be responsibly disposed of.
6. Use Ethically Sourced Jewelry
The jewelry industry can be extremely high-impact — from mining to refining to cutting, jewelry-making doesn’t have the best track record for environmental impact. That’s why at acredo rings, we’re dedicated to the most ethical sourcing of all our materials and their manufacturing.
We’re proud to tell you that our main vendor for the acredo USA line of engagement rings is a certified member of the RJC — the world’s foremost standard-setting and certification organization for the jewelry industry.
When you order a custom ring from acredo, you’ll be secure in the knowledge that your ring was created in the most responsible way possible, with the top environmental, social, and ethical standards in mind. We can create a ring that fits your style, your personality, and your personal aesthetic — completely guilt-free.