It’s no secret that weddings are typically lavish events which involve buying decorations, invitations, and plenty of other details that can have a negative environmental impact. However, it is possible to significantly decrease your carbon footprint when planning a wedding. “Eco chic” is an up and coming wedding trend that tackles the idea of a more sustainable wedding head on. How can you limit your environmental impact as a bride or wedding planner? Try these eco chic wedding tips for designing a fashionable, yet sustainable, look for your wedding.
There’s a reason polyester is the most commonly used fabric type for wedding linens. Poly is a very durable material that offers significantly more resistance to stain and wrinkles than organic options like cotton and silk. Although polyester is ideal for most, it’s a material made from plastic fibers. Manufacturing plastic materials results in more CO2 emissions than organic materials, and recycling poly fabric is a greater challenge than recycling organic textiles like cotton linens.
Ever hear of rustic chic? It’s a very popular wedding trend where “rustic” table linens like jute burlap and raw linen are commonly used. Burlap is made from the skin of the jute plant and, when converted into textiles, makes an eco-friendly material for tablecloths, runners, and overlays. Organic linens are a surefire way to decrease the carbon footprint of your wedding.
In the wedding industry, there has been a huge ongoing debate over digital vs. paper invitations. Although digital e-vites are becoming increasingly popular with the internet boom, many brides and wedding planners firmly believe that paper invitations are a matter of respect and courtesy. There definitely is some validity in this idea: I could see paper invitations being perceived as more personal. However, printing large quantities of invitations and thank-you cards is environmentally detrimental, and altogether unnecessary in this modern age–there are even online services available which offer free digital wedding invitation templates like wedvite.com. If you or your spouse is a traditionalist, a digital invite might just be out of the question. But, if you’re okay with deviating from the norm to save paper, I suggest you look into e-vites!
Let’s be honest: silverware is probably one of the least environmentally damaging aspects of a wedding, if you go with traditional silver. Even still, there are many variables that could potentially make your choice of silverware not-so-sustainable. If the venue provides silverware for you, that’s fantastic! If not, transporting and cleaning silverware is not the most sustainable practice. Instead, think about corn-based or bamboo cutlery, especially if you’re thinking about using plastic cutlery at your wedding. These organic-made silverware options are great because they are fully biodegradable, making them a great option if you’re concerned about your carbon footprint.
Blooms are a huge part of any wedding! Beautiful floral arrangements have always been a keystone aspect of wedding design, but if you think about it, huge quantities of flowers are purchased for a single day–and then what? They wilt and die in the short few days following the event. Please don’t think I’m discouraging you from getting floral arrangements for your weddings–it’s your special day and flowers really do make a wedding feel complete. However, buying local blooms or organically grown floral arrangements cut down on the environmental cost of transporting those blooms to florists, as well as (hopefully) the pesticides used. Another great option is to go half flowers, half succulents.
Terrariums filled with succulents, as pictured above, have become a staple in the eco chic and garden wedding trends. These succulents can then be given out as favors, or used in your own home as decor. They’re super easy to care for, needing very little water, and they look absolutely enchanting!
Environmentally Sustainable Favors
Do you think the very idea of distributing wedding favors is environmentally harmful? Think again! Although many brides give out small trinkets that are thrown away for the most part, giving your guests something edible increases the likelihood that your favor will be used–or to put it more accurately–consumed!
Try packaging fresh, organic apples as pictured above in burlap favor bags, or maybe some hot chocolate powdered mix in a reusable mason jar. Another idea is to give out seed packets or “seed bombs,”, symbolizing the blooming nature of love.
Donate & Recycle
Donating and recycling your decor elements, and even your wedding dress, is a great way to make sure your wedding details are put to good use. Sites like preownedweddingdresses.com and Oncewed.com offer online marketing places to buy and sell used wedding dresses. This is a great alternative to letting your beautiful dress sit in your closet, never to be worn, for years and years. Think about it: if you feel beautiful in your wedding dress, you’ll be passing on those same fuzzy feelings to another bride-to-be!
Most fabrics, even plastic-based polyester linens, can be recycled. Another idea is to donate linens to your local church or a non-profit hosting a fundraising event. Yes, even weddings can be reused and recycled for the good of the environment!
Do you have any eco chic wedding tips? Share your ideas in the comment section below!
Credits: Featured image via Rustic Wedding Chic | Burlap tablescape featured on Style Me Pretty | Bamboo cutlery via Pinterest | Terrarium centerpiece featured on RuffledBlog | Recycling logo via Saint Paul Almanac