It is almost Earth day and I can think of no better time to discuss the impact of waste. All of the plastic bottles, plastic ribbons, containers of all shapes and sizes that come with the packaging of an event! Yes, in all fairness they are mostly recycled but for every plastic option you are presented, there is probably a sustainable alternative.
Consumable gifts- Party favors that your guests can take home don’t have to be tchotchkes. You know, those things you take home and put on a shelf and then dust once a week. Be creative! Dress up some fancy chocolates or soy candles with organic tissue paper and a raffia bow. Tiny trees in a glass tube are great mementos, think about everyone at your reception planting a tree that you gave them…. they are really affordable, too.
Guest Book options are out there in droves. If you hate the idea of purchasing something that will be put away in a box (possibly forever), how about a large framed photo of the couple with an even larger mat where all of the guests could sign it. It will be framed and hang on your wall for eternity. Another great idea is a video guest book completely edited onto a dvd which you can pop in the player from time to time and have a look at how young everyone was ‘way back when’. There are tons of options available.
Candlelight is romantic and flattering. Candles can also be very bad for the air you breathe considering many candles are scented with chemicals and perfumes. Flameless candles are battery powered and look exactly like the real thing. If you must go with real candles use only soy , beeswax or vegetable based ones.
No plastic or paper. If you feel strongly about this, have a discussion with the catering manager at your venue. Although cloth napkins will be at the dinner tables, paper napkins will probably be at the bar. Ask them to omit these and be prepared to offer another alternative.
No balloons. Latex is plastic. If you must have balloons ask for Qualatex or Betallic brands. Both are 100% biodegradable and have a half life of about 3 weeks (not very long) both are made with natural latex instead of plastic. Mylar balloons can be re-used several times if they are handled properly. Check with your balloon resource.
Rice is fine. Birds do not die from eating rice. If you want rice thrown at your wedding, have at it. Make sure the pouches are reusable or biodegradable.
Bird Seed is better. Of course the birds will love you. Will the church? Will the best man get to the reception without a stain on his jacket?
Grass seed is best. Find out what kind of grass is at your site and buy a few bags of it. The birds will eat some of it, sure. But, a great deal of it will wind up on the grass and eventually produce more oxygen.
Sunday is Earth Day – Take the bus or walk to work if you can and turn off the lights for an hour – it will make great cuddle time!