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Have your cake and bin it: do UK couples really waste £1.6 million worth of wedding cake every year?

Header image by Linus Moran Photography

Creators of high-quality, made-to-order diamond jewellery Austen & Blake have conducted some research to find out just how much waste is created by UK weddings every year and the results are pretty shocking.

It’s way past time for us to ALL focus on sustainable weddings, and Austen & Blake have created an infographic full of information to help you choose more sustainable and eco-friendly alternatives to some of your wedding day must haves. From upcycling your decor, switching plastics for biodegradable substitutes, opting for native flowers from local florists and selecting caterers that use locally sourced produce, there are numerous ways to make your big day that little bit greener.

Credit: Linus Moran Photography from the English Wedding archives. See this beautiful Old Luxters Barn wedding here.

Wrapped up in the excitement of wedding planning, it’s easy to get carried away with decorations, flowers, food and everything in between when planning your special day, but have you thought about how much of that will end up in the bin at the end of the day?

According to Grazia, 10% of wedding food is thrown away, and 15% of couples throw away the top tier of their cake. (The reasoning behind this statistic appears to be that traditionally, the top tier was kept for the first child’s christening, and that 15% of couples don’t stick to this tradition.)

Cakes aren’t the only thing that ends up in the bin though, there is a magnitude of solid waste that no longer serves a purpose when the big day comes to an end with the average wedding producing one third of a metric tonne of solid waste**.

If that wasn’t enough of a blow for the environment, the amount of carbon dioxide created by weddings is potentially more shocking. With a single UK wedding producing 14.5 tonnes**, all 113,537 of them are collectively emitting a ghastly 1,646,286.5 tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere each year.

Anthony French, diamond expert at Austen & Blake says, “We came across a number of shocking statistics around the waste created at weddings, but we wanted to uncover the real magnitude of the problem by looking at how much waste is created each year in the UK alone, and well the results are pretty scary.

“Weddings are the biggest day in many people’s lives and it is so easy to get caught up in the excitement and planning, and with that we can get a little bit greedy, ordering more food than we actually need, extra decor ‘just in case’ and the most exotic show stopping flowers possible – but it is about time we start thinking about the impacts this might have.

“The environment is something we have the power to protect and whilst we have the chance it is certainly worth taking into consideration when planning your wedding day. As our infographic shows, there are so many ways to plan a greener wedding, such as opting for natural or biodegradable wedding favours, asking for guests to use recyclable wrapping paper and even selecting responsibly sourced wedding jewellery to really seal the deal!”

You can view the full infographic here: https://www.austenblake.com/blog/how-to-plan-a-green-wedding

Sources

* https://graziadaily.co.uk/life/real-life/wedding-food-waste/

** https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2009/mar/29/green-weddings

Claire Gould

Claire spends her days writing - either in beautiful calligraphy or online. She lives on the edge of the English Lake District only minutes away from the beach, where she loves to escape and unwind. Claire's calligraphy can be found at www.byMoonandTide.com. Claire launched the English Wedding Blog in November 2009 - it's been a top 10 UK wedding blog ever since, with a regional focus we hope you LOVE.

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