Eco-Friendly Wedding Part 2

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After looking at food waste and local options for caterers that provide eco-friendly fixes in part 1, now you can begin planning the fun stuff… with the 3 R’s in mind of course. From invitations to dresses, almost every aspect of your wedding can be recycled and given a second purpose.

The Hello and Farewell

Invitations start your guest’s anticipation by setting the tone of the night. As beautiful as the card may be, sadly, they get tossed in the garbage. Why not find a sustainable, yet elegant, solution? Botanical Paperworks is one online company selling plantable wedding invitations printed on seed paper. After planting in soil and soaking up the sun, wildflowers and herbs begin to pop up from the bare patch. Whether your special day is by the beach or in a mansion, you’ll be sure to find the perfect introduction.

Sending loved ones home with party favors as a lasting memory ties the knot on your special day. Think reusable and sentimental. Eco Promotional Products, Inc. is an online site offering engraved stainless steel water bottles, including ones with fun patterns for kids, coffee mugs, and metal straws. An earthy and low maintenance, DIY alternative is a planted succulent in a personalized pot- perfect for a busy office desk.

Dress Revival

Before spending days trying on dresses scouting out “the one,” consider the multifunctionality that dresses offer. Designers like Martha Jackson from Restored by Design in Narragansett, specializes in restoring old-school, back of the closet pieces into fresh and trendy designs. With enough experience to restore just about anything brought into her shop, like making a dress from a blemished tablecloth, Jackson encourages people to think about the possibilities of an article of clothing before throwing it in the landfill. “Learn how to repurpose,” Jackson says, when explaining the environmental costs of fashion.

Jackson only gets a handful of bridal dresses to restore per year, but admits she loves the challenge. “I show them examples of pieces and walk them through the process,” Jackson says, “it’s fun!” Just as fun as reinventing the fabric after the special day. Deciding whether to carefully tuck your dress into a garment bag, donate or refurbish it, is a tug-of-war decision. Jackson suggests creating matching shorts and a top, “perfect for the honeymoon,” or a necklace made out of lace. Simple DIY gown creations are bralettes, accessories, lamp shades and pillow cases. If you’re not so crafty, check out charities like Brides Across America and The Angel Gown Program.

Recycling Blooms

Floral decor is meant to express personal taste by transforming the atmosphere into a wonderland of nature, color, style and texture. When florists return back to the venue, they’re blown away by the hurricane aftermath of fallen arches and tossed and wilted, near-death bouquets. Regifting is an underestimated concept, but ideal, as flowers can last up to two weeks. Let them drink up their full life span like Jennifer Grove, founder of Repeat Roses.

“Flower waste is an afterthought for most couples,” says Grove. A full-service business with a zero waste state of mind based in New York, caters to events across the country including Newport. The team picks up everything from boutonnieres to flower walls, and ferns to tree branches after your wedding, brings them to a shop to redesign into small bouquets, and delivers them, on your behalf, to local hospices, retirement homes and homeless shelters. A week later, the team collects the bouquets and donates the flowers to proper compost facilities, diverting 70 tons of waste from landing at landfills emitting CO2.

This simple, 3-step process can be executed by you and your partner. “It is the best way to marry sustainability and social impact,” says Grove. “The surprised looks on faces and high levels of happiness makes this the most rewarding part of the job,” says Grove. Sometimes we omit the overwhelming joy people feel from receiving flowers. Mother nature’s gift is one that keeps on giving.

By Megan Collamati


Dress images from Martha Jackson at Restored By Design 



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