Green Wedding Decor: Ways to Avoid Waste After the Ceremony
Your upcoming wedding will be a dream, but it may also produce tons of trash. Decorations are an important way to bring your wedding vision to life, whether you DIY or buy them. But what happens to everything when the evening ends? Use these tips to avoid waste after your ceremony and have a green wedding that aligns with your sustainable values.
1. Recycle Paper Decor
A US study showed that couples spend an average of $2,141 for wedding decor, which lets them create the wedding aesthetic they’ve always wanted. It also leads to tons of single-use purchases.
Recycle any paper decor you decide to use to avoid waste after the ceremony. Anyone who’s helping you can grab the paper signs, table markers, fans, and other decorations for a quick trip to your local recycling centre before you jet off to your honeymoon.
2. Use Biodegradable Dinnerware
Renting dinnerware for your reception is a great way to have a green wedding, but it isn’t your only option. If renting is too costly, look into biodegradable alternatives before you turn to disposable plastic. Your plates, cups, silverware, and serving dishes will break down more quickly in a landfill to minimise the lasting waste from your wedding day.
3. Preserve Your Flowers
Flowers are a traditional part of weddings, so you’re likely thinking about using them on your big day. They create bouquets, boutonnieres, and centrepieces that add a romantic touch to any venue. They’re also-single use decorations that require natural resources to exist for that short period.
Consider preserving your flowers to make their environmental impact worth the resources. There are many preservation methods you could choose from, but the quickest is microwaving your flowers. It may sound odd, but the heat preserves your flowers in perfect condition by saving their colour and shape. They’ll look lovely in shadow boxes, frames, and vases for a long time after your wedding ends.
4. Sell Your Supplies
You don’t have to throw away everything you use for your wedding. Anything you don’t want to keep around your home can fulfil the dreams of other couples. List your decor for sale on virtual marketplaces to give them new life. You’ll get a fraction of your wedding budget back while helping other grooms and brides save money and the planet.
5. Rent an Electric Car
Your getaway car can be an essential part of your wedding. It will become the backdrop for some of your portraits and your photographer’s photos as you leave for your hotel. Unless you plan to bike off into the sunset, your getaway vehicle will burn fossil fuels to transport you and your partner.
Avoid that problem by renting an electric car for your wedding. You can use it to pick up your wedding party members and even get lunch while everyone gets ready for the ceremony. After your reception, you’ll avoid adding 8,882 grams of CO2 waste to the atmosphere for every gallon of petrol burned.
6. Donate Your Wedding Clothes
You might not think of wedding outfits as potential waste, but how often will you wear them? Just once – and maybe if you ever renew your vows in a decade or two. That counts as a single-use purchase, along with things like your bridesmaids’ dresses and your partner’s suit or gown.
Ask your wedding party members to donate their clothing with you after your ceremony. Giving them to local thrift stores will keep the clothes from becoming landfill waste. It’ll also help people who can’t afford to buy them at retail price. Everyone deserves a beautiful and fun wedding, no matter their budget.
7. Buy Local Products
There are endless possibilities for your wedding decorations. You can pick a theme or season and get decorations that bring those things to life at your venue. However, many of those things will come from distant cities or countries.
Transporting and shipping goods requires burning fossil fuels. You’ll have a greener wedding by buying things that come from the area around your venue. Talk with your potential caterers and vendors to see where they source their products. You’ll support the local economy and reduce waste.
Buying local goods skips the shipping process, so you won’t throw away excess cardboard and cushioning materials. Personally pick up your flowers and decorations from nearby artists or get them hand-delivered. Your money won’t fund mass-production processes or pay for single-use shipping waste.
8. Only Buy What You Need
Avoiding waste also means avoiding unnecessary purchases. Sketch your venue to plan the exact decor you’ll need in every room. You won’t have leftover decorations that waste time, money, and natural resources to serve no purpose on your big day.
You can always prepare to donate or sell things later if you’re worried about accidentally getting more decorations than you plan on using. Mistakes happen, but there are always ways to help the planet and take care of waste.
Avoid Waste After Your Wedding
There are many ways to avoid waste after your wedding ceremony. Green weddings require a bit more thought and planning, but you’ll help the earth without compromising your wedding dreams. Think about what you’ll need to decorate your venue and how you’ll handle everything after your honeymoon to create a sustainable plan for your remaining decor.
Author bio: Cora Gold is the Editor-in-Chief of women’s lifestyle magazine, Revivalist. She has a passion for inspiring couples to plan the wedding of their dreams. Follow Cora on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.