The wedding industry is still full of waste, but a growing group of brides and grooms are pushing for more sustainable changes, from the way they invite guests to the food they serve and the clothes they wear.
The wedding resource The Knot estimates that more than two-thirds of the site’s 15,000 users have made or planned to install eco-friendly touches, including used decorations, minimizing food waste and avoiding single-use products. Nearly 1 in 3 said vendors should be more active in leading the way.
After two turbulent years for the wedding industry, Pinterest’s search for thrifty weddings has tripled and doubled for reusable wedding dress ideas, according to 2022’s wedding development report.
Lauren Kay, CEO of The Knot, said more places, restaurants and other retailers will notice.
“Many sellers are really learning about ways to be more sustainable in an effort to meet demand,” she said. “We are seeing much more interest and recognition of sustainability in all areas.
For example, Something Borrowed Blooms offers silk flowers rather than new cut flowers, which often travel long distances and are lined with non-recyclable foam. Nova by Enaura rents bridal veils. VerTerra sells bowls and compost bins from fallen palm leaves, while Pollyn, a Brooklyn plant store, uses biodegradable growing pots where more couples turn to plants instead of cut flowers.
If paper products are needed, Paper Culture makes invitations, saves dates and receipt cards using 100% recycled paper after consumption. The company offsets its carbon footprint in manufacturing and transportation with credit that puts resources back into the planet and it plants trees with every order.
For 28-year-old Anna Masiello, preparing for her May 28 wedding is an extension of the climate-friendly lifestyle she adopted a few years ago after moving from her native Italy to Portugal to earn a master’s degree in environmental sustainability.
“I really started learning about climate change and its real impact. We hear so much about it but sometimes it’s so overwhelming that we decide not to learn more or understand it,” she said. “I just said, okay, it’s time to act.”
She took her trip to social media, using the handle hero_to_0, in reference to zero waste, and has gathered more than 70,000 followers on TikTok and nearly 40,000 on Instagram for regular updates on her life and wedding planning.
Masiello’s natural colored wedding dress with a long skirt and matching top is made of dead linen (materials that factories or shops could not use or sell). The trousers and shirt that her fiancé will wear are used. The rings they will exchange belonged to two of their grandparents.
Her fiancé carved her engagement ring out of a tree that her parents planted when she was born. Her video about it has been viewed more than 12 million times.
The couple’s 50 guests at the outdoor ceremony in the cousin’s garden will throw confetti cut from fallen leaves and the decoration will include wood, used glass jars and plants from the garden. Instead of paper products, they went digital. And no favors will be delivered. To help remove the carbon footprint from some of the guests’ flights, the couple plans to plant trees.
Not all of Masiello’s reactions on social media have been positive. Some have mocked her efforts. But she has taken this conversation to heart.
“When I started sharing and I saw that this affected so many people, and also so many people had very negative reactions, I was like, okay, this is really evoking people’s feelings. I have to talk more about that and I’m very glad I’m doing that, “she said.
In Los Angeles, 31-year-old Lena Kazer has been thinking about it, too, before her May 21 wedding in her backyard with 38 guests.
“We are both a little disgusted by the spending of the wedding industry,” she said. “We agreed that we would use the resources we have and avoid buying something we will not continue to use.
They are using composting or recyclable utensils, cups and dishes. They are putting together cocktails to reduce waste and use their own furniture for seating. Kazer’s bouquet will be made of real flowers, but she has kept flower purchases to a minimum.
“We are buying almost all the decorations in the convenience stores and I am in my sister’s wedding dress and mum’s veil,” she said. “We told everyone that they could wear whatever they wanted after hearing about people spending thousands of dollars on a new costume for a wedding.
Other ideas for green weddings include using seed paper that recipients can plant and serving organic, seasonal food from town to table, with leftovers provided.
Kat Warner, whose T. Warner artists offer wedding entertainment along the East Coast, offers options ranging from solar-powered lighting to solar reception. It also uses carbon offsets and donates to supporting funds such as forestry and bird protection.
Warner said couples ask more questions, including “what various parts of their wedding can be recycled, ground or reused.”
Greater Good Events, which calls itself “event planners for penalty takers,” takes a holistic approach in Portland, Oregon and the Tri-State area of New York. Waste at weddings is not always tangible, said Maryam Mudrick, who bought the company with Justine Broughal in September.
“If you’re working with resellers with bad practices who are not reinvesting in communities, you’re also creating extra waste in that regard,” said Mudrick.
One of their suppliers, Pinch Food Design, has a promise of zero waste, which involves designing menus to limit food waste, provide used cooking oil for biodiesel and support sustainable and renewable farming.
Ingrid Carozzi, a florist at Tin Can Studios in Brooklyn, cited other aspects of floral arrangements beyond the use of biodegradable foam, such as bleaching and chemically staining flowers to achieve abnormal colors.
“This is terrible for the environment and it is not good for you to work with these substances,” she said. “Some florists are working on sustainable methods, doing everything they can. It’s a real mix right now.”
Kate Winick and her fiancé had a plan for their wedding in the backyard on May 22 at a home in Northport, New York: If it is to be thrown out or used only once, drop it or buy used.
“I don’t think a sustainable life means you need crunchy aesthetics,” she said. “It just means using what is available in the world. The most sustainable purchase is something that already exists.”
Green options are transforming the US wedding industry, which is vulnerable to waste
Source link Green options are transforming the US wedding industry, which is vulnerable to waste