Plastic is everywhere. It wraps our vegetables, lines our coffee cups, carries our shopping, entangles seagulls, and inhabits the insides of our marine life. Scientists estimate that by the end of 2050, there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish.
When it comes to wedding planning, there are several decisions you can make to reduce plastic. Not only do these decisions protect our beautiful planet and wildlife, but they can add class and character to your day, removing a material (plastic) that can look cheap and nasty.
Image by Sandra Henri Photography
Here are 7 ways to plan your plastic free wedding!
Plastic free flowers:
The impact of floristry on our planet is commonly underestimated. The reason you can find every type of flower all year round, is because flowers are imported from countries all over the world. They are individually wrapped with plastic to protect them during their long haul trips. To ensure your flowers are plastic free, find a local florist or grower who can provide locally grown flowers in bulk. Plastic may still be used to protect the flowers so they don’t go to waste, but far less than imports. Some florists, like Renee, our Auckland based florist from One Poppy Wedding Flowers, use plastic to protect and preserve their flowers, but reuse the plastic over and over again (Renee takes hers back to the grower every time). Head to our Directory for a whole range of Florists who have said no to floral foam, imported flowers and source seasonally, local and even organic.
Plastic straws are a major plastic culprit. Whilst several states and countries are banning straws in their regions, plastic straws are still commonly found at weddings. Most people find they don’t even need them! If you can’t bear to go without, and need your lipstick to stay on during your special day, use paper, bamboo, or even reusable metal straws. Metal straws even come in pretty rose gold now to suit your wedding decor and can double a useful wedding favour!
If you need more convincing, simply watch this video (you’ve been warned!).
Cutlery, utensils, and cups:
Plastic plates and cutlery may save you dishes, but they’re definitely not saving the environment. Plus; it’s your wedding day. Surely your guests can dine on something with a little more class? Plates at second hand shops can be as little as 20c, or talk to a stylist, like our Sydney vendor Rell & Co, who can help you find the perfect plates and cutlery to hire for your table settings.
Did you know our clothes are made from plastic too? Avoid synthetic materials, like polyester, and choose a dress that is second hand or made with sustainable materials. Lenka Couture, uses natural fibres like silk, organic cotton and linen, and makes sure your dress has as little impact on the planet as possible. Head to our Directory for all the delicious options, without compromising on your ethics.
You know the drill: no balloons, plastic streamers, or decor that will be thrown away the very next day. Get creative. Borrow ornaments from family, up-cycle objects lying around, and regift your decor after the wedding so it can be enjoyed by your guests! If you love the wooden aesthetic, Multiverse Designs are a great option for menus, table lists, and place names to decorate your table but also serve a purpose.
Caring for the bridal party:
It’s the little things that can catch you out, like hydrating the bridal party, and making sure they have snacks. Think about buying each person their own reusable drink bottle as a personalised gift to say thank you, whilst reducing plastic bottles. Prepare (or delegate this task!) a plastic free picnic for your bridal party to stay energised. Buy nuts and dried fruit from a bulk bin store, and fresh vegetables from your supermarket or farmer’s market. Bulk bin stores often have little pre-made treats too, like candy and crackers.
Make it fun and incorporate your plastic free values in their bridal gifts. We love how Gardens of the Sun jewellery packaging is made from banana stems!
Image by Lina Hayes.
Plastic is literally everywhere, and don’t let that get you down on your special day. Use these tips to reduce your plastic when you can, and whenever possible, research a plastic free alternative. Happy Plastic Free Wedding Planning!
By Kate Hall for LSMM.