June 27, 2010


So weddings are about being true to ourselves as a couple. Something I have noticed at the few weddings I have been to is the amount of waste involved. I mean garbage bag after garbage bag of stuff thrown out. I really don't like to be wasteful. I at least try to recycle, but really its about reduction. Minimize the amount of stuff used, only what you really need.

I've seen negative arguments for renting plates/glasses/silverware (i.e. impersonal, feeds the wedding industry, etc). But really, it's an incredibly sustainable thing for the WIC to be doing. Rental companies purchase high quality, timeless items and then allow brides to reuse them. Some argue it is more cost efficient to purchase at thrift stores. I have nothing against mismatching plates, I just don't have the time or energy to seek out 200 dinner plates, or store them. And then they'll just be donated again, because you can't sell them back to a thrift store (I suppose you could try etsy/ebay). It's too much work for me, I'll just rent, and know that I will have enough of everything on time and then give them back.

I understand they make very fancy paper/plastic/bamboo plates and utensils nowadays. But even when using compostable materials, you must ensure that they are actually being composted. Putting biodegradable materials into the trash which is sent to a landfill will not allow them to biodegrade. They will be in bags, out of sunlight and away from nutrient rich dirt needed to break down the materials.

This is essentially my argument against wedding favors. I have yet to see anything truly eye catching that people won't just throw away. I suppose food is a good one, but most of those special treats are in fancy packaging that still gets thrown out. That plantable cardstock is pretty cool, and they make some that doesn't look like the paper I made in 3rd grade with a window screen. But how many people do I know that have gardens and/or will actually plant it? It's also why I'm trying to minimize decorations. With flowers, I know that when they die, we will be able to throw them in the backyard to degrade properly (because the reception is at my in-laws' home).


  1. I wish I could say that our wedding is super sustainable and eco-friendly, but I don't think it is.

    Not sure what kind of carbon footprint our food has. Not sure where my diamond is from. Our utensils, plates and cups are all disposable.

    But we are trying to balance things out in other ways- we're reusing lots of items we purchased in thift stores like our centerpieces and decos on our sign-in table. We sent out postcard invites instead of traditional multi-envelope, multi-paper invitations. We created a website for guests to RSVP and find info. We're providing a shuttle to and from the wedding/hotel to prevent drinking and driving as well as our own carbon footprint.

    I really wish that some of the sustainable options were more affordable... I think that would make our choices so much easier.

  2. I totally understand the expense portion. And we definitely will not be 100% sustainable. But we're taking full advantage of any opportunity to do so. Like Fiance's parents throw big parties frequently, so they actually own about 100 plates and silverware so we just need dessert plates, serving platters and glasses.

    For me, its the thought that counts. My wedding won't be zero-waste, but as long as we can consciously make a couple decisions to balance out the fact that about 70% of our guests are flying/driving 8 hours....it'll ease my mind.