We’ve all heard the old rhyme about having something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue as part of your big day, but it is even more important to remember to include some green thinking in your planning. There are obvious ways, like choosing wildflowers from a roadside stand instead of ordering exotic flowers only grown in tropical climates that have to be sprayed with chemicals and pesticides. Below are four ways you can make your carbon footprint fit into your size six heels!
Choosing a venue is one of the easiest ways you can reduce your impact on the environment while choosing a stunning backdrop for your photos. Find a venue where you can have your ceremony and reception on the same site. This will avoid transportation issues between two sites and cut down on the number of cars required to get your guests situated. In comparing venues, ask if they have an environmental policy. Do they recycle? Compost? How do they feel about plastic water bottles?
Around Waterloo Region, there are places like Steckle Family Homestead, Lyndon Pond or THEMUSEUM downtown Kitchener who practice ecologically-friendly venue management.
If using a venue that allows outside food, choose a caterer who uses locally farmed, in-season ingredients. Food that hasn’t had to travel on a truck for a week will ultimately taste better, and without the added transportation emissions. The Farm to Table movement has become more popular over the years, resulting in more choices for professional caterers who buy direct from Ontario farms. One easy way to find these companies is to search for restaurants or caterers who have their Feast On Certification through the Culinary Tourism Alliance. This ensures, through a third party audit, that a certain percentage of their ingredients are truly locally raised as opposed to locally sourced. Beware of greenwashing as an advertising technique and look for those with certifications.
How your food is served can also effect the amount of waste. Family style tends to generate the most amount of food wasted, as it is essentially a mini buffet at every table. Find a reputable company that has catered may large-scale events, as opposed to private chefs who are used to cooking for smaller groups. Experienced caterers will have a better idea of yields to ensure there is less food waster. Encourage your chef to choose a menu that incorporates in-season vegetables, like Asparagus in June and Corn in September. If you are getting a wedding cake or a donut wall, ask that your baker use locally farmed eggs, butter and milk, which are all easily accessible year round.
Finally, wedding favours are one of the easiest ways to help the environment instead of hurting it. Three great possibilities for the eco-friendly couples are:
- to give away something your guest can eat (think jam, salsa, or personalized cookies such as Nom Nom Treats)
- something your guests can plant (seeds, trees, or succulents)
- somewhere they can donate (preferably a charity that is near and dear to your hearts).Knick knacks that will sit on a shelf collecting dust, or be thrown in the trash at the end of the night, are a thing of the past.
Planning an eco-friendly wedding doesn’t need to mean a bigger budget or more work on your behalf. Looking for vendors who have similar values to you, including their commitment to the environment, will make your planning experience more enjoyable and your wedding more memorable -for all right reasons.
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