I know, ‘eco-friendly wedding’ sounds as boring as organic muesli, but you can be sure that it’ll be unforgettable. Last year, I sent 150 biodegradable bamboo plates to a South African friend (by post, I swear, no carbon footprint!). Her wedding guests went away pleased, having eaten meals on plates that travelled by sea from another continent.
Many people are opting for e-invites these days, or recycled paper if nothing else, and incorporating other small changes to make a difference. And it does add up.
The idea is to cut down wastage, and then segregate and send the waste to the right places to recycle.
With your eco-friendly invites, remember to include a page explaining some basics for guests, because they are equally important in making your wedding a success.
Explain to them why you don’t need plastic wrapping for the gifts they bring you. Tell the snooty ones to carry their own provisions if they want bottled water. Tell them it’s a green warrior’s wedding!
Okay, ’nuff kidding, here’s how to go about it…
1. Don’t Drop a Bomb
A truly eco-friendly wedding may seem subtler than the spectacular affairs associated with all Indian events, so the first thing you will need to do is explain this decision to your loved ones.
2. Don’t Spread Out Venues
Don’t ask people to go from your house in Malad to your wedding in Colaba and a reception dinner in Pune. Don’t be sadistic with your guests, and don’t clog the city with more pollution.
Obviously, the pollution is quadrupled in the case of destination weddings in secluded locales. Think about it.
3. Get Reusable Cutlery
On a typical Indian wedding day, each guest wastes an average of five disposable items by the time they are through.
So steer clear of plastic and Styrofoam cups, or use glass or steel instead. Or try Hyderabad-based Bakeys for ‘edible cutlery’. Yup, biodegradable forks and spoons made of jowar (sorghum), rice and wheat!
4. Keep the Frills Aside
As in any sustainable venture, keep the frills aside. If you place napkins (paper or cloth or whatever – though paper is much worse) on a separate table, guests too fussy to walk to a wash basin will think twice before wasting a napkin to wipe a grain of rice from their cufflink.
5. Use Local, Organic Products
Local, organic products not only make your wedding eco-friendly, they also make your food tastier.
If the neighbourhood farmers’ market seems overpriced, make a little trip to the outskirts of your city and find a farmer who doesn’t mind a bulk order. And calculate the right amount required to avoid leftovers.
6. Go Easy on Wedding Lights
How about candlelight instead? Honeycomb candles, to be precise, not the regular ones that collect soot. Or go for LED, you can get them in various colours or add more to them in lamps.
7. Skip Cut Flowers
Use potted ones instead. You could give them away as wedding gifts towards the end of the evening (that way your guests won’t tap cigarette ash or puke into them when too drunk with happiness for your blessed union!).
Image Credit: Nikhil Mudaliar