The Trend of the Year

7 ways to make your big day more green.

Kevin Remington Photography

As a wedding trend, sustainability outpaces colors, cake designs, and dress styles. Even the most elaborate wedding can be eco-friendly if you remember two things: consider the source—know where and how products are made—and reduce waste. These tips will get you started. 

  • Some venues use silverware and china for the meal, but disposable plates and flatware for appetizers and dessert. Request compostable options instead of plastic, or use china and silverware for every course. 
  • Let your leftovers do good. Take your centerpieces to a local nursing home, and donate extra food to a shelter. If safety restrictions limit donations, compost them. (You can reduce food waste altogether by serving a plated meal instead of a buffet.)
  • Choose elements that can do double duty. For example, reuse your ceremony décor at the reception, and choose personalized wedding favors that double as place cards. 
  • Swap beer bottles for a keg (paired with glass or compostable cups), and buy large bottles of wine, if possible. At the very least, provide a recycling bin for your guests and bartender.
  • Research your wedding rings. Choosing estate pieces and conflict-free diamonds will help you feel good about your jewelry. 
  • Buy local. Locally grown, seasonal flowers and food have lower carbon footprints and support your hometown’s economy.
  • Choose recycled paper invitations. And use less paper by setting up a wedding website for save-the-date notices, directions, and RSVPs.

This article originally appeared in the February 2021 issue.

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