5 easy steps to make your wedding day more eco friendly
Bettie Rose Flowers is lucky enough to be based in Brighton and Hove which is a really environmentally conscious place to be. There are so many initiatives for greener ways of living here and it feels like many people are wanting to join in with composting, reducing waste, removing plastic and buying local and organic produce. If you are one of these people who is trying to do your bit for the environment but aren’t sure where to start with your wedding planning then hopefully this post will help you. If you aren’t someone who is aware of the impact and the waste your wedding day could produce then hopefully this might inspire you. There are some really simple ways of just reducing waste a little which over a whole wedding of 100 people or so would make quite a difference.
So read on to find my top tips for a greener wedding
1. Foam Free
This is one of the main concerns for me as a florist and I am currently going through the process of going completely foam free and you can read more about this in my Going Green – Part One blog post. I wont go into it here but the short story is that foam is not at all good for the environment. Chances are, unless you are familiar with floral design you probably aren’t really aware which arrangements are made with foam and which aren’t. Asking your florist for advice on creating foam free designs is a great way to ensure you won’t be getting an arrangement in foam that you were’t expecting. Some florists will use foam for almost everything and some don’t so you are always best to ask.
Vase arrangements in water are the best way to avoid foam and your flowers will thank you for it too – they are always happiest in fresh water. Most shorter table arrangements are easy to do in water but it’s the elevated larger ones which are harder to recreate without using foam. If you are really keen on going foam free, look for florists who enjoy working that way or are up for the challenge of designing something new.
2. Go Seasonal
Seasonal availability is important to think of if you are trying to make less of an impact with your event. Flowers are at their very best when the are in season and they will also be a far better price as they will be growing in abundance. If your wedding or event is in spring, summer or autumn then you have so much to choose from if you want to go British. Winter is a little trickier with our climate but you will find plenty of Dutch imported options which are grown by environmentally responsible companies. Talk to your florist and see what they know and what they can find out from their suppliers – some florists will be way more clued up than others as everyone has a different approach to environmental policy.
3. Go Local
Sourcing locally grown blooms from down the road is of course going to be better for the environment than importing something in from the other side of the world. There are many flower farms opening up every year and you can find a local one to you on the flowers from the farm website. But it isn’t always possible to go local and this is where a good chat with your florist is a good idea where they can help you come up with designs which will have less environmental impact.
A great idea is to recycle and reuse your vessels, items such as jam jars or milk bottles and old tins make great vases for flowers as do vintage cut glass bud vases. These all work really well in informal barn style venues and the cut glass style vases look great in more classic/upmarket venues too. Some people love to hunt around to find interesting vases in charity shops and bootsales whereas others really don’t want the hassle of all that (I totally get it – you’ve got enough on your plate with planning a wedding right?) talk to your florist about what vases they have to hire out which means they will come and collect the vases from the venue the following day. They will then take them back, clean them out and will have them in stock ready to use for another event.
Photo below: Paul Grace Photography
Are you wrapping little gifts up as favours? Perhaps consider using a biodegradable or compostable cellophane to wrap in, or better yet recycled/recyclable paper bags. Maybe that thank you bouquet could be in a vase or an eco wrap to keep the stems hydrated instead? There are many plant pots on the market now which are biodegradable too. It really is about just stopping and thinking for a moment if there are alternatives, quite often we don’t question and just go along with things without realising we could make a small change – think the plastic straw revolution! And lots of small changes add up to one bigger change.
I think the main thing to takeaway from this post is to just start having the conversation, businesses respond to requests. The more people that raise the question of environmentally friendly products and methods, the more businesses are going to respond.