Thanks to documentaries like The Blue Planet and Drowning in Plastic, people are beginning to wake up to the benefits of a plastic free (or at least plastic-dramatically-reduced) life. If you are trying to reduce your ‘plastic impact’ on the planet then there is no need to stop on your big day. Follow in the footsteps of Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank who had their own plastic free wedding by following these tips.
- Plastic free underwear
Yes, there is plastic in your bridal underwear! That’s if you opt for Spandex/Lycra based underwear for extra support on your big day. Lycra is a man-made polymer that was developed in the 1950s. It is typically used in clothing that needs to be very flexible such as gym wear and underwear. However, when you wash these garments small microfibres are shed into your washing machine and ultimately end up in our oceans. Ditch the Lycra based underwear and go for organic cotton or silk instead. Not only will it feel great against your skin but it will also keep you cool on your big day!
2. Plastic free beauty
Choose products that come in metal or glass containers or better still, no container at all! You can buy solid shampoo from places such as Funky Soap Shop. Ditch disposable cotton wool pads or wipes (that come in plastic packaging) and switch to reusable cotton or bamboo wipes. You can find a great selection of handmade pads and wipes on Etsy . If you are doing your own make-up, then consider buying products that come in natural materials such as wood. Antonym sells cosmetics in wooden containers and is available on amazon. Or consider using a brand that offers reusable containers such as Kjaer Weis. Finally, avoid products that contain silicone. These are usually found in products that are designed to make things softer, such as conditioners.
3. Plastic free flowers
Most florists will keep your wedding flowers in water for as long as possible so that they stay looking fresh for your wedding day. This may involve wrapping them in plastic in order to keep them in a small container of water. Ask your florist if it is possible for the flowers to not be wrapped in plastic and if there are any other alternatives. If you are giving flowers as gifts for the mother of the bride/mother of groom, ask if they can be put into a small vase instead of a plastic bag.
4. Plastic free decorations
When it comes to plastic free decorations, the world really is your oyster! Opt for natural materials whenever possible. The benefit of this approach is that you can match it to the season you are getting married in, so for spring and summer you scatter tables with real flowers petals and use small pots of herbs for centerpieces and in autumn and winter you can go for pine cones and sprigs of berries in old jam jars.
5. Plastic free bride and groom
Ok, we are talking about the little plastic brides and grooms you get on top of wedding cakes. There are now a huge range of cake toppers available, from the traditional bride and groom to more alternative versions, all plastic free! How about opting for a personalised, wooden, bride and groom like those made by Love Birds Goods or how about a metal sign like those made by The Letter Loft UK. Alternatively, go natural and scatter your cake with fresh fruit or flower petals.
6. Plastic free wine
When was the last time you had to use a wine bottle opener? Chances are that the majority of the wine bottles you buy come with a screw cap. Although these caps are made from metal they often have a plastic lining. Some bottles even come with a faux cork that is made from plastic! Luckily, there are still a lot of wines out there that come with natural corks. The website Cork Watch allows you to search for wines that come with a natural cork. If you are catering the wedding yourself then this is a great option. If the venue is proving the wine then ask them what options they have for naturally corked wines.
7. Plastic free dining
The most obvious one here is to ditch the plastic straws! Provide (or ask your venue to provide) paper straws instead. Have jugs of water available so that guests don’t have to buy plastic bottles of water. If you are having a buffet, then cover food with reusable waxed cloth wrappers rather than clingfilm. If you are having a casual affair then make sure you go for paper plates and cups instead of plastic. Visit your local charity shops and buy up large quantities of cutlery for your guests to use. You can pick them up very cheaply and can always donate them again after use!
8. Plastic free signing
There is a surprising amount of writing that takes place at a wedding. From signing the register to guests signing guest books. Instead of providing plastic pens for your guests, how about buying some eco-friendly bamboo pens such as those made by Twins Engraving? Or choose an alternative guest book such as a fingerprint tree (where guests leave a stamped print of their fingertip onto a paper picture of a tree).
9. Plastic free gifts
When it comes to gifts for attendants, it is fairly straight froward to buy gifts that do not contain plastic, but what about wrapping them?? Ditch the sellotape and try your hand at the Japanese art of furoshiki. This is where you use cloth to wrap gifts instead of paper. There is no sellotape involved and the fabric you use can double up as an extra gift as well! There are some great furoshiki tutorials available on YouTube.
10. Plastic free dancing feet
It has become something of a popular tradition to provide guests with flip flops to change into when it comes to ‘dancing time’! If you are going plastic free then there is no need to abandon this idea. Just switch plastic based flip flops for natural flip flops! You can buy flip flops made from natural rubber at Feel Goodz.
I hope you found this guide to having a plastic free wedding useful! Please share to help others go plastic free on their big day and be sure to share your own plastic free wedding in the comments below!