Going green is not something that people do simply for their wedding day – it can be something that you apply to every aspect of your life, depending upon how dedicated you want to be and how much of a difference you want to make. You could find yourself making just a few changes or major alterations to your lifestyle!
If you don’t want your lifestyle to have a damaging effect on the planet then you need to look at how you might be able to reduce your carbon footprint. Do you always use your car for short journeys when you could easily walk or use public transport? Do you buy a lot of things that have been imported from other countries? Using your car less and buying locally-produced goods are just two easy changes that you can make to your lifestyle that will lessen your impact on the planet.
From there you will find it easier to make other changes. Your home’s energy consumption, for example. Do you find that you pay a lot for electricity usage? Chances are it is just because you are not vigilant about minor points like switching off appliances when they are not being used. Not only is this going to be better for your bank balance, the environment will thank you for it too!
Reduce, re-use, recycle
There are three words that can help you to become a much more environmentally-friendly person.
- Reduce – cut back on the things that you use that are not absolutely essential. When you go to the store, for example, buy loose fruits and vegetables rather than pre-packed and you don’t have to worry about excess packaging that is definitely less than eco-friendly!
- Re-use – If you can keep something and use it over and over again rather than throw it away after one use you will help to reduce your carbon footprint
- Recycle – this is very important. Recycling items means that less energy is used to make completely new items. Plastic, paper, glass and cardboard can all be easily recycled and now most towns offer collections for recyclables – take advantage of this and make a difference.
Once you make small changes it is so much easier to plan for the greener aspects of special occasions like your wedding day. Invitations from recycled paper, a menu of local and organic produce, green transport for you and your guests and sustainable materials used for the dress and other outfits and you should have the makings of a day that is not going to leave you feeling guilty about climate change.
For every person, having a greener way of life is going to be different. The important thing is to take that first step and then all the others that follow will be so much easier. Learn more about how Ecoura is committed to protecting the planet.
So your big day has come and gone and you are starting to think about the impact of it all. Maybe you did not consider green issues while you were planning your wedding but that does not mean that you can’t make a difference afterwards. Not many people think about the big clean-up because they are so excited about the day itself, but a little careful thought means that you can offset your wedding’s carbon footprint.
Did you arrange things like floral centerpieces and room decorations yourself? If you hired a company to deal with decorations for you then they will usually be responsible for taking them away and they will be reused at another wedding, making them less damaging to the environment than you might think. If you have purchased decorative items such as cake stands then it is easy enough to give or sell them on to someone else so that they can be used again.
Floral decorations obviously have a fairly short lifespan so you cannot simply expect them to be used by another bride, unless you have opted for silk flowers and you can pass them on. However, most people prefer to have real flowers at a wedding. You can give these to people as they are leaving. Most bridesmaids and members of the bridal party are happy to take home a floral decoration or two. Remember that real flowers are biodegradable so even with their short lifespan they are unlikely to have a major impact on the environment.
There are many ways of recycling your wedding outfits. The bridal gown and bridesmaids dresses can be sold on or given away so that they can be used again. There are charity organizations that will use the fabric from the dresses to make other items, including gowns for stillborn babies, so why not consider putting the dresses to good use? The same applies to shoes. The shoes are generally bought just for that one day so they have very little wear and tear on them. Sell them online or pass them on to a nearby thrift store. The groom, best man and ushers’ outfits are usually on hire so they can just be returned to the store.
General waste disposal
Often it is too late the next day to make sure that things like empty bottles are recycled but most wedding venues have different trash containers so that people will know where everything should go, but if you are faced with a reception venue that you have to return to the next morning to do the cleaning you can make sure that anything that is recyclable is separated from the rest of the trash.
Making your wedding day green is definitely much easier to do when you are in the planning stages, but that does not mean all is lost if you wait until afterwards – take a greener approach to the clean-up and you can still make a difference.