From travel to paper products to electricity, weddings can leave quite the carbon footprint. Of course, there are ways to reduce this footprint, and it is absolutely possible to get married in an environmentally conscious way.
Today we celebrate Earth Day, and in an ode to this important holiday, here are five ways to honor the earth on your wedding day.
Send Digital Invitations — Or Use Recycled Paper
Digital invitations might not feel quite as fancy, but it’s not only the environment that will benefit from their use. They will also save you money. These days, it is becoming increasingly common to go digital, and your guests might even appreciate how easy it is to RSVP.
But if that’s not for you, it is still possible to use ethically-conscious paper invitations. Companies like Paper Culture not only utilize recycled materials, but also plant a tree for every purchase.
Decorate with Reusable Flowers and Plants
Potted, live plants can be reused after the celebration, whether re-planted in gardens or used to decorate another location. This choice is much more sustainable than using cut flowers that will likely need to be thrown away after the event.
Buy Ethical Jewelry
According to Sustainable Jungle, ethical jewelry “means transparent and responsible sourcing practices and use of sustainable materials. It has a minimal impact on the environment, isn’t involved with conflict, and gives back to workers by way of fair wages and safe working environments.”
Custom ring designer and Platinum Preferred Equally Wed member Emily Chelsea Jewelry, located in Philadelphia, is one such jeweler that exclusively sells sustainable jewelry.
On their website, Emily warns that there is currently no set of standards for what allows a jeweler to claim their products are ethically sourced, so be sure to do your research and ask a lot of questions when shopping around.
Plan a Vegan Menu
The production of meat and other animal byproducts is a massive source of methane emissions, with beef being one of the worst culprits. A vegan menu is a perfect (and delicious) way to honor the environment, and the Internet is filled with ideas for how to design one.
An outdoor wedding is an easy way to be environmentally conscious, as it will significantly reduce the wedding’s use of electricity, heat, air conditioning, etc…
Bonus tip: Stay local
Throw your wedding in a location where the least number of people will have to travel. The less people that have to fly, drive, and otherwise transport themselves to the venue, the better.