Updated: Aug 14
By: Maréa Janae
We mention it a lot-weddings are one of the worst events for the environment that you can throw. That is why we have made it our passion and business to help you minimize your waste and carbon footprint to protect our home. An important part of our business is educating our couples and the public on sustainable measures that can be utilized in weddings, so that green weddings aren't so intimidating, and you can prioritize what makes the most sense for your wedding. Believe it or not, food waste is a huge issue at weddings. About 10% of food gets thrown out which produces between 400 and 600 pounds of waste. Sadly, that beautiful cake you spent hundreds of dollars on is statistically the biggest food waste. The good news? There are simple steps to ensure hundreds of dollars and pounds don't go to waste.
The easiest step to every sustainable wedding is to be proactive. Make sure your vendors are in total agreement about your values and goals before hiring them. Include a clause in the contract that effectively ensures all leftovers will either be donated (think local food banks, hunger-relief programs, shelters, churches, gardening groups, etc.) or used for compost. In our experience, vendors that are serious about minimizing their impact on and protecting the environment already have a designated organization they will donate to. Composting can be arranged through your catering company, a friend/family member, or through a drop off system. If you already compost, you are one step ahead than most and have probably already determined what to do with your organic waste.
Finding a composting service near you is relatively easy depending on where you live. You can find composting services near you at Compost Now. Sharewaste.com connects people who wish to recycle their kitchen scraps with their neighbors who are already composting, worm-farming or keep chickens. In Colorado Springs, Soil Cycle offers commercial and residential services as well as a drop-off location for people who aren't ready to commit to weekly pickups. Brown's Greens also offers commercial and residential services and will donate your compost if you don't want it. If you want to know more about what can and can't be composted, both sites have guidelines; we will also be getting into more detail about composting in another blog post!
To address the cake waste issue, supplying enough cupcakes for the exact number of guests really cuts down on waste. If you are someone who has been dreaming about their wedding cake since the ripe age of 5, keep your dream alive by order a smaller cake and provide other desserts to guests, such as mini donuts from our dear friends at Happy Hours Donuts.
If you take anything away from this blog, know that creating a sustainable and zero waste wedding does NOT mean it has to be "rustic." With mindful--and often proactive--planning and choices, you can create a wedding that truly represents who you are and what you value without sacrificing your dreams, aesthetic, or traditions. Another great option is to hire a wedding planner who specializes in sustainability.