11 Tips To Throwing A Plastic-Free WeddingWedding Planning Gayatri Guha
With the changing climate knocking on the doors, day-to-day everything is evolving and adapting according to the environment. A sustainable or eco-friendly lifestyle is no more a passing phase or a trend, it has become our reality and each one of us must work towards making our Mother Earth become better.
Ways to Replace or Omit Plastic in Weddings
Plastic is one such thing that we all know is one of the most harmful substances to our atmosphere. In our schools, we learned how this substance is non-degradable and stays in the atmosphere which in turn dangerously affects our lives. But then also we are constantly surrounded by plastic somehow. Even at weddings, we see that single-use plastics are present in form of decor, or cutleries and dishes. But the good news is, with evolving times, eco-friendly weddings are making their way to more conscious celebrations. If even we can't do our 100%, we can at least take one step at a time, and contribute whatever possible, without harming the environment. And the first thing that we can omit from the wedding preparation is the use of plastic.
1. Discuss and Decide
Once your wedding date is fixed, have a thorough discussion with your partner and family. Let them know and ask them for their opinions. Discussing this and then making a list of what you want at your wedding will make it easier for you both to figure out a way to incorporate elements that are plastic-free. If your family is confused, then make them understand the importance of this move, and having them come on board with your idea will help achieve your goal.
2. Say Hello to Eco-friendly Vendors
After you and your partner are firm with your decision, go for vendors who will understand your needs. As eco-friendly weddings are on a rise, vendors of the different departments are adapting and evolving too. But all vendors might not understand your need and the importance of having a plastic-free wedding. Go for vendors who understand the concept and can guide and help you find alternative options if needed.
3. Say No to Plastic Bags
Weddings can generate quite a lot of plastic waste. When going shopping for anything, avoid plastic bags. Though there are shopkeepers who strictly avoid using plastic bags, but there are still shopkeepers who use them. So whenever going for wedding shopping, be it anything, avoid using plastic bags and go for jute bags or paper bags.
4. Rentals for the Win
Renting is not only an eco-friendly option, but it helps in saving a lot of money too. You can rent the furniture, props, installations, crockeries, glassware, etcetera. This is where the vendors dealing with eco-friendly events become reliable. They will exactly know how to make your dream wedding a plastic-free event with their creativity.
5. Chalk and Board
Instead of having those plastic-made banners, get some blackboards and colorful chalks to design that signage board.
6. Toss up bio-degradable confetti
In general, we toss up confetti when celebrating but according to research, as the confetti is mostly made of plastic, this plastic-based glitter alone takes 1,000 years to break down and decompose. So how about finding an alternate option to this.
You can go for flowers, dry flowers, and even small leaves, as they are degradable and won't harm the environment or any animal.
There are bio-degradable or plant-based confetti available, though they are a bit expensive.
DIYs confetti-like make it with papers or get the local blooms.
Throw bird seeds. Research says that bird seeds were used in Ancient Rome times. This will make such an amazing alternative. Make sure to get bird seeds according to the birds nesting in that venue.
Seed papers have become quite a thing. Couples are opting for it for their wedding invitations so why not as confetti.
How about confetti that vanishes once in the air? Bubbles, Yes! Look at the wedding pictures with bubbles around, looks so dreamy, right? You just have to make sure of the container of the bubble mixture is not plastic but glass or some other container.
7. Ditch Plastic Water Bottles
I know you must be thinking that water bottles are the best and the simplest way to quench the thirst of the guest and of course you cannot not serve water! But again we can search and have alternative options for this.
- Boxed waters for the guests is another way where they can have it on a go.
- Go for reusable glass water bottles or you can get them in steel too.
- Have a water stall with big earthen pots filled with water and small earthen cups to serve water to the guests. The benefit of having earthen pots is that the water will be cool and the guests will feel fresh, especially if you are having a summer wedding.
- Go for steel water pots and glasses.
8. Plastic-free Cups & Plates
Weddings will be incomplete without food and drinks. And it plays an important role so this is an area where you can reduce or avoid the use of plastic completely. First, as we mentioned in one of our points, get vendors who offer eco-friendly services and understand the need. So ask your caterers to serve food and drinks in recyclable or reusable dishes and crockeries. Avoid using plastic straws and go for paper straws or arrange for steel straws that guests can take with them after the wedding.
- You can make a small favor bag with steel or any eco-friendly crockeries for the guests. They will receive it in their seating area or while the food starts being served.
- Ask the caterer to go for glassware for serving dishes and drinks.
- You can also go for banana leaves and earthen cups for drinks.
- Another option is steel or brass utensils.
- Earthen plates are also a good option with leaf over it.
- Use wooden spoons and forks, bagasse cups, and areca plates.
The banana leaves and the earthen pots are bio-degradable options and the steel, glass, and brass utensils are reusable. Using glass would give a fancy feel and the use of banana leaves are common in wedding catering service.
9. Green Wedding Decor
Wedding decors can be a difficult part to achieve without plastic. But it is not impossible. For decor, avoid balloons and styrofoams for background decor, instead use leaves like betel leaves and flowers from the local market.
- If you have a garden of your own then the best is to use the potted plants as decor.
Use candles to light up the space.
Create a mandap using trees as a backdrop instead of canopies.
Source: The Wedding Salad
You can use big rocks and stones for your wedding decor. You can paint them and decorate the space with them.
10. Let your Guests Know
It is not a difficult task to cut off ties with plastic if we all take equal initiative towards the reduction of this toxic substance. When sending out invitations, mention the motive of you having a plastic-free wedding and request the guests also to take care of it. If possible request your guests via invites only to avoid gifts that include plastic. And if someone brings plastic to the wedding, it is ok, let them know about it. For better communication, let your friends in this plan. They will help you in keeping the wedding plastic-free.
11. Take Care of the Waste
Now after the wedding is done, there are still things to be taken care of. If by mistake there is plastic included contact any group or institute that are expert in taking care of plastic waste and knows how to deal with it. Make sure to arrange for their contacts and line up appointments with them beforehand, so that you can wind up everything in an ethical manner.
Having a plastic-free wedding is not an impossible task. We are so used to plastic that our conscious also allows us and we let it go. But think about it, till when we are going to handle this so leniently. Weddings are once in a lifetime event but this event leaves a plastic waste of 100 lifetimes. There was a time when weddings did happen without the inclusion of plastic. And Sustainable Weddings shall not be treated as a trend but as a necessity. And that can happen when the couple starts taking initiative and the vendors also equally take a step and try to educate themselves. And with educating yourself, educate others too. The more people know and understand, the better. This movement is not only for your wedding but it is a step towards a better future.
Featured Image Credits: Tana Helene Photography
Edited & Photo Sourced By: Neha Garg Ahuja