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Bling, Baaja, Baraat: Five Ways to Reduce Waste at Your Wedding

by Aiden

A green guide for eco-conscious couples.

By Kripa Singh

Sustainability and conscious consumerism are on the tips of everyone’s tongues. People are more mindful of the way they shop, eat, and dispose of everyday items. Fortunately for the environment, some Indian weddings are also joining the Green Revolution.

Disgruntled by the non-biodegradable waste caused by the big fat Indian wedding, many couples are now seeking ways to host more eco-conscious celebrations. Aside from obvious choices like getting rid of plastic straws, there are many feasible and creative ways you can go green on your big day. Here are five ways in which you can reduce the environmental impact of your wedding.

Plant Your Invites

Set the green tone by opting for eco-friendly invites. Nowadays, most couples are going paperless and choosing to message or email their invitations. Mother Nature approves digital invites. But if you still like the idea of going the traditional route with physical cards, you can go the extra mile with ‘plantable’ paper.

Seed paper is an eco-friendly material made from post-consumer matter and embedded with wildflowers, herb, or vegetable seeds. When you plant the cardstock in a pot of soil, the seeds in the paper germinate and grow into plants. Available via several online sources, plantable paper is easy to procure.

Choose A Guilt-Free Luxury Venue

Look for venues that use sustainable resources and incorporate environmentally-friendly practices. For instance, Shangri-La Bangkok by the riverside has installed solar panels that power a water heating system, generating enough renewable energy to heat hot water for their 802 guestrooms. Seek out solar panels, green roofs, and water-conserving plumbing fixtures. There are plenty of venues that can offer you guilt-free luxury.

Share Your Food

No Indian wedding is complete without a great variety of food. Hence, we don’t suggest sending your guests home hungry, but quantities can be based on RSVPs to avoid waste. You can also curate a seasonal menu with local ingredients. If you are hosting an intimate wedding, explore plated dishes, which tend to generate less waste than a buffet.

In case you do anticipate leftovers, contact a food rescue organisation. For instance, Scholars of Sustenance (SOS) Thailandredistributes high-quality surplus food to those in need. Be sure to speak to your caterer and the organisation to note the local laws for food donation safety requirements.

Look Local for Décor   

The opulence of the décor at Indian weddings often contributes to a plethora of waste. But this doesn’t mean you have to go minimal. Speak to your décor team to suggest creative ideas and source local handicrafts, like rattan elements. You’ll also be supporting the craftsmen of the country, without compromising on your big day’s aesthetic.

Flowers are natural but are often imported from countries with climates that are favourable for growth. To stay green, relinquish the stranglehold of specific flower types and colours and give your decorator leeway so that they can work with blooms that are naturally in season.

Choose Green Gifts

When it comes to purchasing gifts and hampers avoid plastic and excessive packaging. All those wrappers and plastic bags can accumulate. Choose environmentally-friendly wedding packaging and explore eco-friendly favours like natural soaps, soy wax candles, and jars of organic honey.

When it comes to receiving gifts, instead of accepting them, request your guests to donate to an environmentally-friendly charity of your choosing. This is a simple way to take your eco-friendly wedding to the next level and requires little work on your end.

Checkout organisations like Forestmatic, which offer tree-planting operations in Thailand. You can request guests to donate to them to offset your CO₂ emissions, and thus ensure that at the very least, you host a carbon-neutral wedding.

Kripa Singh is a wedding decor designer and aesthete with a love for good books, dogs and a cup of tea.

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