We caught up with new-age wedding curators Aaradhana & Prateek Kashyap of Made in Heaven, a wedding to zero in on the top tips for a zero-waste wedding
Did you know that approximately more than 10 million weddings take place in India every year and while weddings are a memorable and joyful affair that brings together family and friends? The not so joyful fact is the aftermath of the celebrations. The weddings leave behind truckloads of trash in the form of discarded plastic cutlery, used flowers, and a large amount of food and other waste products etc. Add to this, other waste related to weddings like wedding cards, return gifts, and unwanted wedding gifts. However, the good news is that post the pandemic, weddings have witnessed a more sustainable approach. More and more couples are opting for sustainable weddings rather than the conventional big-fat Indian celebrations. Environment friendliness and sustainability is a priority for millennials. These new-age couples are driving the movement towards better decisions that reduce their carbon footprint. They are conscious of their lifestyle choices and urge families and friends also to take the sustainable path. In fact, natural and locally available materials like natural wood, un-dyed yarns, recycled textiles, compostable dinnerware, more plants than flowers, use of wild or local flowers are in demand. Fashion is also becoming sustainable and sustainable fashion is no longer just a buzzword. Designers and consumers are taking it rather seriously and are opting for fabrics that are better for the environment. Instead of building a limited wardrobe by opting for traditional heavy attire, they are now choosing sustainable and multipurpose fabrics. Apart from fashion, sustainability has impacted other aspects like E-invites or seed paper invites enabling couples to reduce paper consumption. Many new-age couples also choose to go in for a customizable wedding website as well to avoid the relentless waste of paper. Such sustainable wedding trends are slowly but surely redefining post-pandemic weddings. We caught up with new-age wedding curators Aaradhana & Prateek Kashyap of Made in Heaven, a wedding to zero in on the top tips for a zero-waste wedding 1. Opt for a hybrid wedding – The pandemic has made hybrid weddings, the norm of the day. It’s safe, can be low on cost, and make it a very intimate and personal celebration. Having the guest count to a minimum, you can stay long enough and have an elaborate wedding. A small guest list will also help to better plan catering, favors, and décor, as well as implement low-waste solutions that may not be possible with a larger wedding party. 2. Prefer a day wedding – This will help avoid the gensets and the electricity load at the venue. Choose a venue with an open lawn and natural beauty and shade with flowers and trees aplenty. If the venue is naturally attractive, you can avoid the decoration waste 3. Choose your venue wisely – Opt for a sustainable and eco-friendly venue that uses solar energy, composts and recycles waste, has tie-ups with NGOs for donating excess food, fresh flowers, and space with reusable décor, a lawn for day events, etc. 4. Go for e-invites or, recycled and seed paper invites – Avoid paper invites and go for e-invites. If at all, you want to go for physical invites, limit the number and opt for recycled paper or bamboo and even seeded invites. 5. Avoid theme weddings– A theme wedding involves elaborate structures, involving use of wood, thermocol and other materials that cannot be used, therefore it's advisable to avoid theme weddings. If at all, you plan a themed event, rent rather than buy decor and equipment, rent it! This will ensure that there is less wastage and you are not contributing directly to it! 6. Decor wisely – Avoid plastics, instead use local fresh flowers and support a small entrepreneur. The flower waste can be given to NGOs who upcycle them and make products from fresh flower waste. Also, make sure to use foam-free floral installations. Use live plants as centerpieces, you can even give them away to your guests as favors. Use scrap cloth for décor or reusable props. Avoid electric lights, instead, use solar lanterns. At a typical Indian wedding, more than Rs.2 lakh is spent on lighting alone. Hire a wedding curator who specializes in sustainable weddings. Use minimum construction. 7. Keep a check on Food waste – It's startling to note that between 10-20 percent of the food goes to waste at an average Indian wedding. To avoid food waste, opt for plated dinners, have a plan about saving leftovers if you are doing a buffet for eg., tying up with a cloud kitchen or food service that can take up the extra food and provide it to those who need it. What’s better than donating food to a food bank at your wedding?. Support local farmers by choosing locally-sourced food, opting for seasonal food, and more vegetarian dishes than non-vegetarian. 8. Replace plastic water bottles with water stations with flavored filtered water. Opt for reusable water bottles and jugs in the guest rooms. Replace paper napkins with cloth napkins. For cutlery, use ceramic, steel or bamboo. Segregate dry and wet waste so that composting is easier after the celebrations are over. 9. Wedding Outfits: Buy from sustainable brands, upcycle your wedding dress or borrow from your mother or father’s wardrobe, its nostalgic to wear what your parents wore on their D-day. You can even rent your wedding attire 10 . Wedding Gifts – You can opt for gift registry services or e-gift cards which can reduce waste generated by gifts alone by almost 50%. However, if you are not in need of any gifts, you can request guests to support the charity as gifts. Donating gifts to those in need is a conscientious way to begin your life together. 11 . Wedding favors - While one can’t decide what others gift you, one can ensure that the return gifts are sustainable. One can opt for zero-waste-themed wedding favors. Don't use plastic gift wraps, instead use reusable containers, jute bags, or cloth purses. Clearly, there is light at the end of the tunnel, we all need to come together to ensure that we adopt the zero waste wedding trend.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house