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9 Fabulous ways to make your wedding eco friendly

There's been a lot more focus on our environmental impact on the planet in recent years and since the announcement on the ban of single use plastics. When you consider the amount of food waste and plastics that the average wedding uses, every single wedding making the switch really can make a difference. So as more couples are making steps to reduce the impact on the environment of their big day, I bring you 9 top Eco alternatives for weddings.

You've probably seen the plastic straw alternatives, but did you know that there are alternatives to plastic plates and cutlery?

If you're worried about durability, paper just won't stand up to the job, bamboo is fast becoming a great replacement material to plastic and as we get closer to a full ban on single use plastics, the prices should start to become more reasonable, especially as competition between suppliers grows.

What about balloons aren't they about to be banned?

Some people say you can't have balloons because they're non-biodegradable however some types of balloon are and as long as you aren't doing a balloon release, or maybe even avoid helium, you can still enjoy beautiful displays but ones that are kinder to the environment. Paper balloon lanterns are also bright and fun.

What about wedding favours?

There are so many wedding favour options that don't involve plastic, you can easily avoid the chiffon bags by using card, glass or metal containers instead. Edible favours are a treat and cost effective too - you could do sweets or jams in jars. Maybe you could offer a gift of a cup or glass, or bird seeds, or something to plant and grow. (I'll be sharing a blog dedicated to wedding favours very soon)

Flowers are gorgeous but how far have they travelled to get there?

If you tell your florist you want flowers grown nearer to your home they can advise you on what's in season. Some florists even grow their own, and use non-traditional flowers or greenery. Local flowers and plants will be fresher so should last longer too.

Table centres that care about the environment

Consider having living centrepieces such as terrariums or herbs, or other potted plants. If you don't want flowers, how about using items that you can gift or use again after the wedding? Think about what you can do with these items after the big day and avoid anything that would just end up going to landfill.

Confetti or bubbles for the post ceremony photos?

Biodegradable confetti is definitely more environmentally friendly than the metallic coated plastic ones or those tiny tubes of bubbles, but if you really want bubbles there are more eco friendly ways to do them. You could use a bucket and string approach - see my Pinterest board for ideas.

Jewellery?

Yes, even your rings could do their bit. There are lots of fabulous antique centres around the country selling heirloom jewellery. They might need a bit of tweaking to fit perfectly or you could melt them down and have a brand new bespoke piece made for you. Less impact on transportation and using recycled gems means no extra digging.

What can you re-use from someone else's wedding?

I've spoken before about how there are sites and charity shops selling items left over from other weddings; sometimes people will donate their entire wedding d├ęcor to a charity shop, so you'd not only be making a financial saving and supporting a charity, but saving the planet too!

The biggie - what about food waste?

With any wedding its tempting to over order on food so you don't appear stingy or mean however, when the amount of wasted food is as high as it often is, something needs to change. Think about portion control and if you must buy in bulk seriously consider how much you need to put out and what you're offering them. Follow your caterers advice and don't be tempted to go overboard.
How locally sourced is your food and drink? Try to buy local to ensure low mileage and therefore low carbon footprint. Your food provider should be able to find a local butcher and farmers to buy from.

Whatever your wedding planning budget it's possible to have a wedding that doesn't cost the earth. X