The number of Australian weddings held yearly is on the rise. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, in the year 2014 there were 121,197 marriages registered in Australia compared to the 118,959 marriages registered in 2013. Thats a massive increase of 2,238 weddings in a single year. On the positive side, this means a whole lot of love and celebrations. If not planned consciously however, weddings may play their part in damaging our environment. Every choice you make, from food for guests, flowers, decorations and even your wedding bands can have a high, low or neutral impact on the planet.
Below are a few suggestions for hosting a low-carbon wedding, so you can rest assured knowing that you will walk down the isle leaving the smallest environmental footprints possible.
1. Source certified organic, locally grown and seasonal produce wherever possible
This tip can be applied to both flowers and food. Certified organic produce means no chemicals being fed to your guests and into our precious atmosphere. Plus, you can taste the goodness in fresh, certified organic food! Local and seasonal produce means less travel miles, resulting in less air pollution being released via vehicles. Your wedding can be the perfect opportunity to leave a positive impact on your guests as well as your community if you choose to shop locally.
Do your research and ask your caterers, venue and florists where they source their produce from. Work with nature and what's in season because if your asking for produce that's not available, the planet may suffer at your expense.
Here in Byron Bay, The Fig Tree Restaurant has long been famed for its use of seasonal local produce, sourced from their own garden, paddocks and ocean in the surrounding areas.
2. Recycle and reuse
An article in the Herald Sun talks about the average Australian wedding costing more than $65,482. While I am a firm believer in making your big day one to remember, I also believe that a great deal of the consumption involved in weddings may be detrimental to our environment.
I would suggest having a recycling system in place for the big event and using bio-degradable products wherever possible.
When it comes to props, decorations, clothes etc. why not get creative and think outside the square. Resisting the urge to buy everything ‘brand new’ can take loads off your carbon footprint and may add more character to your special event. Think recycled jam jars for vases, recycled gold wedding rings, second hand wedding dresses (that have most likely only been worn once) and wedding stationery that is electronic or printed on 100% recycled materials. Here at Deer Daisy a tree is planted with every wedding order placed to help keep your stationery choice as carbon neutral as possible.
3. Purchase Carbon Offsets for your guests
This article, by David Suzuki, is a great example of how you can purchase carbon offsets for your wedding guests to help neutralise the harm of travel emissions. If you are on a tight budget you could also create a “Carbon Offset Donation Box’ on the day. Or ask your guests to purchase a voucher from organisations such as Rainforest Rescue, to plant a tree on your behalf.
4. Keep it Simple
My last tip is to keep it simple. I love the idea that “less is more” and believe that less fuss can equal less stress. Continuously remind yourself of the reasons why you’re getting married and that your friends and family will be over the moon to celebrate with you, regardless of the minor details.
Enjoy the journey and happy wedding planning xx