8 easy swaps for a sustainable wedding
The wedding industry is a wasteful one, and if we're planning to have one of our own, we should be doing our part to reduce its impact. Planning a sustainable wedding may initially sound intimidating or even burdensome. However, we assure you that it can actually be very rewarding. Although it requires some extra effort and a deeper dive into your choices and values, the process of planning a sustainable wedding brings an unmatched sense of fulfilment. From secondhand stores and thrift shopping, to sourcing sustainable wines and making your own confetti, pulling off a sustainable wedding can - and should - fill you with pride. In this article, we cover eight simple swaps you can make for a sustainable wedding.
What is a sustainable wedding?
A sustainable wedding is a wedding celebration that dances hand in hand with Mother Nature. It's all about weaving eco-friendly and socially responsible practices into every aspect of a wedding event.
In other words, a sustainable wedding is one which takes every choice and analyses it with an eco-conscious lens. From invitations to drinks and decorations, a sustainable wedding is one which is planned to have as little impact as possible on the planet, without compromising on the experience of the event.
Picture this: a mouthwatering feast of locally sourced and seasonal delights; decorations like works of art, crafted from sustainable materials; the bride and groom, dressed to the nines in ethical fashion choices, covered in plant-based confetti and sipping on local wines. Whilst there's no true definition of a sustainable wedding, this is how we imagine one to look. And the truth is, a sustainable wedding can look however you want it to.
Are you the kind of person who wants to say "I do" to your partner, but also to the planet? A sustainable wedding - one which ensures that your special day leaves a positive imprint on the world - could be for you.
Why should you plan a sustainable wedding?
We truly believe that a sustainable wedding is much more fun to plan. Requiring a little extra effort, planning this kind of event involves digging a little deeper, being a little more critical and remaining mindful at every step. So, if it involves extra work, why should you plan a sustainable wedding?
To exercise creativity
Firstly, embracing the concept of sustainability opens up a world of creative possibilities. Instead of traditional routes, you'll find that pulling off an eco-friendly event can lead you on a treasure hunt at secondhand stores and thrift shops. Discovering unique and charming pieces that add character to your wedding, you'll spend your time bringing to life a vision in the most creative way. It's like piecing together a puzzle, finding hidden gems that perfectly fit your vision.
To connect with ethical local business
Consider the joy of sourcing sustainable wines, beverages, stationery - or absolutely anything else - for your special day. When you plan a sustainable wedding, you are gifted with the opportunity to connect with like-minded individuals who share your love for the earth. From biodynamic wineries to sustainable cake makers, you'll network with those with similar interests and will learn a whole lot in the process.
To use your hands
Let's not forget the satisfaction that comes with creating your own confetti, cake or even clothing. Instead of relying on single-use, plastic-based options, opting for standard styles, or choosing from a list, you can get crafty and make things exactly the way you like them. In doing so, you'll put your heart and time into your event and add a personal touch, making it even more memorable.
To reduce your impact on the planet
Ultimately, the main reason to host a sustainable wedding is to reduce your impact on the planet. Weddings can be unsustainable due to excessive waste generation, high carbon emissions from transportation and energy usage, unsustainable sourcing of materials and resources, and the promotion of fast fashion and consumerism. Making sustainable choices for your even means reducing your impact and spreading a mindful message to guests about how you see the future.
8 easy swaps for a sustainable wedding
In this article, we will guide you through eight simple swaps you can make for a sustainable wedding. Each swap is like a little adventure, offering you the opportunity to infuse your wedding with sustainability, ownership, and pride.
Keep the plastic confetti away - it's time to boycott the idea of throwing around tiny pieces of plastic, and choose biodegradable alternatives. Sustainable confetti can be made from a variety of materials, including biodegradable substances like dried flowers, leaves, or plant-based paper. It can also be crafted using eco-friendly alternatives such as starch-based or natural dye-infused paper. The choice is yours - but keep it organic!
In 2023, we don't need to use balloons. Only used for a day before being thrown into landfill, balloons can be considered wasteful and a little last decade. So when it comes to sustainable alternatives there are a few options to consider.
Firstly, you can opt for floral arrangements using fresh or dried flowers, either from your own garden or local florists. You could also select decorations like honeycomb balls, pom-poms, or bunting made from recyclable materials. Fabric banners, garlands, and streamers offer reusable options, whilst you could also incorporate natural elements like branches or pinecones for an eco-friendly touch. Upcycling items like jars or bottles into vases or candle holders is another creative option. Keep an open mind and find inspiration online - the possibilities are truly endless.
You might think of wedding invitations as fairly harmless, but we can tell you they have some nasty impacts on the environment. From toxic dyes to deforestation and habitat loss, there's a lot to consider. What's more, depending on the company's processes; recycling, sourcing and production, the brand you choose to create your invitations with really makes a difference to your overall environmental impact.
Choose to work with an environmentally conscious stationery provider and avoid supporting a company that goes against your values.
Food and drink
Food miles, farming practices, CO2 emissions and packaging; food is widely known as something we can control in our lives in order to keep our environmental impact at bay. That's why some people choose to go vegan, shop at zero-plastic stores or eat organic.
The same applies at your wedding. Serve your guests more sustainable wedding food by opting for caterers who care about reducing waste, choosing local and seasonal ingredients, and opting for sustainable and ethical farming practices.
Flowers are the cherry on top of your wedding. However, they can have an environmental impact as a result of their water usage, chemical treatments, reliance on global supply chains, and waste general generation. Make your wedding flowers sustainable by shopping locally and choosing seasonal and native flowers. You could also use foliage and potted plants instead of cut flowers, consider dried flowers, and prioritise florists with sustainable initiatives.
In with the sustainable favours and out with the disposable plastic gestures. There is an endless list of eco-friendly wedding favours you can choose - you just have to find what resonates with you. Here are some ideas:
- Potted herbs, flower seeds, tree seeds or tiny plants
- Reusable water bottles
- Soy wax candles
- Engraved wooden coasters
- Custom cotton tote bags
- Locally produced food items
- Homemade jams or DIY herb-infused oils
- Eco-friendly skincare or bath products
- Fair trade or organic chocolates
- Donations to an environmental charity
- Fair trade coffee or tea
Pair your wedding favours with these beautiful favour tags from Peppermint Press.
Make the bold swap as a bride and groom to choose second hand clothing rather than buying from a shop, brand or label. There are a number of shops in major cities these days which specialise in secondhand wedding dresses and even suits for men. You can even rent your clothing. Otherwise, head online to secondhand clothing sites and apps and start the search for the perfect outfit, shoes, accessories and more. We promise - it's all out there somewhere waiting for you!
Signs and other stationery
Instead of acrylic signs - which will take hundreds if not thousands of years to biodegrade after your special day - opt for sustainable-made card signage. At Peppermint Press, we have worked hard to design stationery collections and products which have a low impact on the planet. Although we consider our contributions to be an ongoing endeavour, we've tried to reduce the impact of our work and give back in the following ways:
Carbon neutral shipping
Choosing to ship with Sendle and Australia Post, we ensure that our postage is carbon neutral.
Responsible card and product sourcing
We source our card from sustainably managed forestries. All of our paper products come from FSC sources.
Sustainable packaging and materials
When selecting our materials, we always prioritise sustainable products. On a daily basis we use eco-friendly packaging and void fill, compostable satchels and cellulose biodegradable bags.
One Tree Planted
We are a planting partner of One Tree Planted. Through our donations, we have contributed to the planting of over 4100 trees (Updated July 2023). We go further as well, choosing to plant one tree per item you order, rather than per order placed.
We believe that our responsibility extends further than environmental protection. That’s why we have also worked with social charities, including Fight MND, Wires and the Australian Red Cross to deliver important work in Australia.
Waste and recycling
We choose to recycle all our waste card stock and plastic materials. We also recycle our soft plastic.