If you’ve read my about me page, you might have seen that I’m a big lover of nature and the natural world. I’ve been a vegetarian for most of my life and I’ve adapted my lifestyle to help support things that are important to me, such as cruelty-free and environmentally friendly products. And it seems that many of us are becoming more environmentally conscious in our day-to-day lives. I’m seeing more and more anti-plastic posts shared across social media and I’m inspired by so many positive stories from people about the small changes they are making in their lives to help protect our incredible planet. But unfortunately, I feel like the wedding industry is letting itself down and when it comes to planning a wedding day, there isn’t always a lot of consideration of environmental impact. I’m not suggesting that you completely change your wedding plans, but perhaps now is the time to ask yourself, is your wedding damaging the environment?
Is Your Wedding Damaging The Environment?
So what are the main things that I see during weddings that could be swapped for a more environmentally alternative?
Most of us would never intentionally throw litter on the ground, yet by releasing balloons we are sending latex and plastic up into the air and not giving a thought to where it will end up. Even “biodegradable latex” isn’t fully biodegradable and can be lethal if it’s eaten by wildlife. And then there are the strings attached to them that can get tangled up in all sorts of things.
It’s not surprising that many churches and venues have started to ban confetti. It seems like great fun as it’s being thrown but then you’re just left with a terrible mess to clean up. And when it is cleaned up, it’s usually thrown straight in the bin. I’m not here to spoil your confetti fun. You can still give your guests confetti to throw, but consider what you’re giving them. Types of confetti to avoid include anything that contains plastic (including glitter) and also rice. Whilst rice is biodegradable, it can be harmful to wildlife if eaten.
With all of the media attention on plastics over the last years, thankfully very few couples actually bring plastic drinking straws to their weddings. But sometimes vendors might use them, especially during cocktail hour. This one is a pretty easy fix. Ask your venue or caterers to ditch the plastic straws on your wedding day, and if straws are really a must, ask them to swap plastic ones for paper or edible candy ones instead.
If you also love our beautiful planet and want to help protect it for future generations, there are some wonderful eco-friendly alternatives out there. Swap balloons for bubbles and switch to a more environmentally friendly confetti such as bird-seed, lavender, leaves or flower petals. The other thing you can do is to inform your guests of your wishes before the wedding day, to make sure there are no unwelcome surprises on the day.
Want to read about more ways you can have an environmentally friendly wedding?