In the age of environmental and social consciousness, it is important to many of us that we reduce the negative carbon footprint we have. This applies to our wedding day too. We may be celebrating an important day in our lives, but that doesn’t mean we want to cause harm to the environment and people. Here are some ways to have a more ethical wedding.
Scrutinize Your Venue
There are many beautiful locations to host a wedding reception, so pay attention to the environmental policies of the different venues on your short list. What measures do they have in place to reduce energy consumption and waste? Also think about how your guests will travel to your chosen venue, as choosing somewhere that is local to everyone will reduce carbon emissions from planes and automobiles.
Design a Local Menu
The transportation of food can have an incredible impact on the environment. Instead, look at what foods are grown and produced locally to your wedding venue, and consider what fresh produce will be in season on your wedding date. Creating a menu based on this will lower your carbon footprint, and bring business to nearby producers. Locally grown, fresh ingredients are also a lot tastier than food that has travelled far and been pre-packaged. Look for local vineyards or craft beer brewers to supply the alcohol for your event too.
Choose Ethical Fashion
A lot of effort goes into the clothing for a wedding day, but it is possible to look top notch while being more ethical. For the wedding dress, bridesmaid dresses, groom and best man suits, consider renting rather than buying as a first option. Alternatively, transform second-hand clothing into reinvigorated pieces with the help of a local dress designer. When it comes to the rings, consider lab-grown diamonds as opposed to mined ones, whereby the environment suffers more to extract them. Lab-grown diamonds are far more ethical, they’re often a little cheaper, and they still go through the same rigorous grading process of the GIA.
Reduce Plastics and Paper
Cutting down on plastic and paper substances used for your wedding day won’t have any impact whatsoever on your enjoyment of the special day. Send invites electronically instead of by paper, and ask guests for money or electronic store vouchers instead of wrapped presents. Work with your venue to ensure your wedding event is plastic-free too. This includes serving water in glass jars or cups and cutting out any plastic decorations, dinnerware, and cutlery.
Share the Ethical Message
If you feel strongly about living a more ethical life, ensure your wedding serves as an opportunity for your guests to think twice too. Make it clear that some of the requests you are making of them for your special day – such as no wrapped presents – are for environmental reasons. Tell them the story of your locally sourced wedding menu on your wedding website or electronic invites. And instead of wedding favors, send everyone home with a packet of seedlings, so they can have their own personal positive impact on the environment too.