Eco wedding tips

Eco wedding tips

28 March, 2016
When you say “I do”
Plan your wedding with the planet in mind

Just like any major event, there can be a lot of waste involved for weddings, especially in places like Hong Kong where several ceremonies may be incorporated into the nuptials. Thankfully, sustainable wedding options are becoming more common as couples understand the impacts weddings have on the environment and popularize the green wedding notion.
Celebrities such as Al Gore’s daughter Sarah, Natalie Portman, Kiera Knightly and even our own editor in chief are keeping up with the eco-wedding trend with ethical engagement rings, upcycled wedding gowns and local suppliers. With the wedding season coming up again soon, here are some tips to keep in mind when you plan for your own big day or even a friend’s:
1.) Location Matters
Why celebrate your big day cooped up in a hotel banquet facilty or reception hall when you han have the astounding beauty of nature celebrating with you? Choose a place that showcases the outdoors - whether it be a garden, beach, farm or hilltop - and save on decorations (and waste) by letting the earth's majesty be your backdrop. Have your wedding during the daytime means plenty of natural light, but remember that that the season matters, so for summer weddings it may be better to target sunset and the cooler hours thereafter. Either way, remember that you will need to consider the weather – hope for a sunny day, but consider having a rain date or backup loction prepared.
2.) Source Locally
Look for local vendors for your wedding decorations, services and catering, so that transportation and packaging can be reduced and you can feel good about supporting small local businesses rather than the giant wedding-industry machine. For a special touch that minimises waste, consider potted plants for decorations so you can keep the plants for your newlywed home afterwards. Another floral consideration is to use local, not exotic, flowers in your arrangements; not only is this the low-carbon option, but it's a nice nod to the regional flavour of the place you've chosen to celebrate.
3.) Avoid Shark fin
Many Asian weddings involve shark fin soup. This tradition is not only outdated, but unsustainable and even dangerous for our ocean ecosystems. It's estimated that over 100,000,000 sharks are killed every year to support the shark fin trade, and in many cases their fins are chopped off and the animal dumped back into the ocean to die slowly. As the top predator, sharks have an important role in the ocea, and the sharp decline of their population, due to demand for their fins, oculd have disastrous effects if not curbed.  It's just not worth what it takes to get this 'delicacy' on dinner tables. And did you know that the fin itself, made of cartilage that must be boiled heavily to remove its natural unpleasant aroma, has zero flavour by the time it's ready to be served, and must be enhanced, usually with chicken or other seafood flavours? Learn more through WWF's shark fin initiative.
4.) Paper and Printing
Paper waste is one of the major impacts weddings have on the environment, so be careful when considering printed items like invitation, response cards, thank-you cards, programmes, decorations and photos. Choose FSC, recycled and chlorine-free papers, and opt for soy-based inks when printing where possible. Printing locally also helps local bsuinesses and costs less carbon. Alternately, for your invites consider using one of the many online wedding sites now available and fully cutomiseable to your own wedding colours and theme; in many you can even include your story, photos and details about side-events or attractions for out-of-town guests.
5.) The Ring
Last but not least, opt for an eco-friendly ring such as rings made with recycled gold and fair-trade gemstones. Many such rings are one-of-a-kind designs - such as those by renowned local jewellery Nathalie Melville, who works with reputable suppliers of thical and sustainable precious metals and gems. After all, your soul mate will be wearing it for the rest of his/her lifetime, so make it special and unique, and something they can be proud to wear, rather than mass-produced or of dubious origin.
***STAY TUNED for the full story on Ecozine Editor in Chief Nissa Marion's own eco wedding - including tips for local eco-friendly vendors and resources - in our Spring 2016 Issue!
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By: Ecozine Staff


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