Eco-conscious ideas to celebrate your special day without impacting the environment

Weddings are called big days for a reason. From the venue and decorations to catering and favours, they involve lots of people and resources to make it happen—which usually means it leaves behind a huge carbon footprint. While a zero-carbon wedding is almost impossible, there are many ways to greatly reduce the carbon emissions on your special day. Here are some eco-conscious ideas to plan your sustainable wedding:

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Opt for eco-friendly venues

Destination weddings may be the trend right now, but the carbon emissions collectively generated by the air travel of you and your guests are not. Instead, minimise your carbon footprint with an eco-friendly venue that is easily accessible, and hold your solemnisation and reception at the same place so there is minimal travel. Marina Bay Sands, Parkroyal on Pickering, and JW Marriott Singapore South Beach, to name a few, are hotels that are environmentally conscious in their design as well as operations.

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Go paperless

From save the dates to invitations, weddings go through a whole lot of paper. Instead of mailing out an invitation printed on fancy stationery, why not send a digital invitation? Online services like Greenvelope and Joy allow you to design your own digital invitation and effortlessly track your RSVPs.

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Charter transportation

If your selected wedding venue is out of the way, or your festivities require travelling from one venue to another, consider chartering a bus for your guests. Not only does it reduce carbon emissions, but it’s also a thoughtful gesture towards your guests and ensures everyone arrives on time.

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Maximise the lifespan of your flowers

Flowers are a big part of every wedding, but they aren’t exactly friendly to the environment. Popular wedding flowers like roses, hydrangeas and tulips, especially, don’t grow naturally in Singapore so they are flown in from around the world. Add the fact that these freshly cut flowers wither quickly after the festivities and we’ve got a major wastage on our hands.

Instead, consider replacing floral centrepieces with potted plants, such as orchids, that guest can bring home as favours. The Floral Atelier also offers flowers from its Eternity collection, which are treated to last up to a year without maintenance.

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Gift meaningful favours

Instead of presenting your guests with favours like coasters, luggage tags or bottle openers, consider a meaningful gift that can encourage them to be more sustainable. Eco-friendly favours like reusable shopping bags, straws, and bubble tea sleeves encourage guests to reduce the wastage of single-use plastics, or you can opt for biodegradable seed paper coasters so your guests can nurture their green thumb.

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Guilt-free dining

According to data, food—from production to post-processing—accounts for approximately 26 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions. Livestock and fish farms are one of the top contributors to this, so having a meatless wedding meal could be an easy but effective solution to reducing your wedding’s carbon footprint. Opt for locally-grown organic vegetables where possible, and ask your caterer about the producer of your ingredients to ensure that they are ethically sourced.

With the rise of plant-based meat substitutes like Beyond Meat and Impossible Food, vegan courses are becoming widely accepted even by non-vegans, but if you must include meat in the menu, try opting for organic meat products that are carbon-neutral.