The famous primatologist Jane Goodall once said: “You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.”
It’s the quote that stayed firmly with me as we headed into Polka Dot Groom’s Green Issue this month. So how can grooms ensure their wedding impacts their guests positively but avoids impacting the environment negatively? Let’s face it, sometimes it’s not easy being green especially when there’s a wedding to plan. There’s transportation, food, presents, invites and outfits that often only get worn once.
The good news is: a bit of planning can go a long way and you don’t have to sacrifice your dream wedding. I’ve had a hunt around for some environmentally friendly wedding suppliers so you can give a little love to the planet while you say ‘I do’.
How many weddings have you been to where the wedding favours are little trinkets that, although they’re well-meaning, you will actually never use and probably end up throwing in the bin? HEAPS!
Things like stubbie holders, picture frames and pretty much everything wrapped in plastic. Hello, landfill!
There are plenty of options for more sustainable wedding favours for your guests.
I’ve been to a wedding where the entire centrepiece of the reception was mini-potted plants. It looked amazing and at the end of the night, guests got to choose one and take it home. Brilliant! Succulents, in particular, make a great low maintenance plant. Potted herbs are also a great idea and will make your wedding reception smell delicious.
If you’ve got lots of interstate guests you might want to consider other eco-friendly options including charity donations, seed packs or flower bulbs your guests can plant when they get home or even small edible treats (in recyclable packaging of course).
Cut back on the confetti
Those photos as you walk down the aisle as a newly married couple with your relatives attacking adorning you with confetti will be among your most treasured, no doubt. They capture the sheer joy in those moments immediately after your nuptials. However, throwing a bunch of paper in the air isn’t ideal for the environment and is in fact banned in a number of gardens around the country. With a bit of creativity though, you don’t need to sacrifice your post-first kiss Kodak moment. Freeze dried rose petals are the way of the future in terms of confetti.
Simply Rose Petals is a Victorian-based family-run freeze dried rose petal business shipping rose petals to lovers all over the country. I used them for my own wedding – excellent for the environment and they looked great. If you’re looking for a more budget-friendly option – you can also try making your own confetti with a hole punch and some fallen leaves!
Reduce food wastage
No one wants to have a wedding where people go home hungry but there can be so much food wastage at the end of the night when you accidentally over-cater. Seems like a lose-lose, right? Well you can also find a venue or caterer that donates leftover food to a food bank. Instead of going in the bin, your leftover munchies can go to the needy.
Not sure where to start? OzHarvest has a handy list of suppliers that donate to its cause to point you in the right direction.
Are you the kind of groom who doesn’t don a suit too often? Is your wedding suit likely to hang in the back of your wardrobe gathering dust after your big day? There’s an easy option here: hire a suit. And yes, I’ve had my fair share of bad experiences hiring suits (hellloooo clown pants). But there are some great options out there. Formal Red suit hire starts at $165 and includes alterations and dry cleaning.
If you’re looking to purchase some items Ethical Clothing Australia lists a bunch of brands on its website you can check out. Ethical Clothing Australia is an accreditation body working with local textile, clothing and footwear companies to ensure their local Australian supply chains are transparent and legally compliant.
One which will interest grooms is the Australian-owned ensign, which makes customised ties, formal wear, accessories and fashion neckwear.
Ms Zebra Says: These are all great ideas to lower the impact your wedding can have on the environment. It may seem small, however if we all keep trying to reduce the negative impact, a lot of good can come of it!
About Mr Houndstooth: I am a happily married man. I enjoy a fine whisky, a new suit and swashbuckling around town with my beautiful bride. Looking back on my wedding day always makes me smile, even though it began to rain just as I said ‘I do’.