5 TIPS TO GO ECO FRIENDLY AT YOUR WEDDING
Here at Gathering Events we're passionate about two things; having a good time and our planet. Many of the wedding and events we're lucky enough to score an invite to are outdoors and we'd like to keep it that way for many years to come.
So, we've gathered some of our top tips to keeping your wedding, backyard engagement or corporate cocktail hour greener, eco friendlier and more sustainable, without losing any of the pizazz.
1. NATIVE GROWN FLOWERS
Luckily, here in Australia we're blessed with some absolutely stunning blooms which makes this option one of the easier ways to be eco-friendly at your wedding.
Not only are you helping out the Aussie farmers that grow them but you're also the reducing the number of chemicals it takes keep them fresh, the amount of water they need to grow (Australian Natives are generally more drought resistant) and the number of kilometres they need to travel (i.e. less emissions).
Alternatively, when it comes to wedding florals is consider using potted plants (or hiring them) – that way you can keep them long after the wedding, and they won’t die.
Another handy hack is that the flowers from the night (both potted or bouquets) can double as wedding favours for guests at the end of the night, chat to your wedding planner about converting the used flowers into wedding favours ready for guests departures.
2. UPCYCLED FURNITURE
Make your wedding a little more unique with upcycled (fancy way of saying second hand) furniture. By giving lounges, chairs, tables and cushions a second life you're reducing your carbon footprint while adding character to your event.
An added ethical bonus is, if you find these pieces at your local op-shop or charity store you're likely helping out someone in need while you're at it.
3. PLASTIC FREE
We're not jumping on the Coles and Woolies bandwagon here, but we are putting a hand up to go plastic free. If you're wanting to do this at your wedding try opting for paper straws over plastic ones and checking that any bottled beverages are in glass.
Better yet, get bigger sized bottles and decant* the drinks to your guests. They'll feel more catered to and you'll be creating less waste (plus buying in bulk is usually cheaper)! Win Win!
Also if you are looking to go low impact, one thing you will need to think about is what's going to happen to the waste created on the night (from catering to beer bottles, to napkins and dessert). Having eco cups and biodegradable plates is all well and good – but if you don’t have a full cycle plan it’s all for nothing.
Make sure you hire enough recycling and general waste bins from a third party reputable supplier who will collect and recycle at the end of your event.
(*p.s. we don't expect you to actually do the pouring... that's what we're here for!)
4. SOMETHING BORROWED
Okay, so you're not sure on having mismatching chairs or quirky cushions on your big day? Don't stress you can still be eco-friendly!
Try hiring out everything you need; from tables to glassware, nearly everything for your wedding or event can be borrowed, returned and reused, really upping your sustainability points and cutting down your overheads.
Because let's be real, who actually needs 30 matching dining chairs in their home after it's all over?
5. LOW MILAGE, ZERO WASTE CATERING
This one's a big one! We touched on the benefits of going low milage earlier with our flower tip (i.e. helping out local farmers + reducing emissions) but it's really important to be aware of where things are coming from.
In recent years, we've seen an increase in the 360 movement (essentially everything you eat should be found within 360kms of you) and this can certainly extend to your wedding. Here in South East Queensland we have a huge number of growers in the region meaning it's unlikely you won't be able to source what you need!
Additionally, having a zero waste plan will also help make your event more sustainable. Try setting up a grazing table so any leftovers can be taken away, set aside paper boxes for leftover cake so guests can take an extra slice or two home and chat to your caterers about donating any unused meals to local shelters.