Remember those posters that used to be all over your middle school...REDUCE REUSE RECYCLE!?
I was the president of my school's environmental club, so I was one of the kiddos putting those up. I was going to school board meetings when I was 13. I had convictions and I was ready to fight the good fight. I was Sticking It to The Man.
Shout out to the Student Alliance for Greener Efforts (SAGE)!
Fast forward to 2022 and now I'm a 34 year old mama of two, and still recycling. Still thinking a lot about the climate crisis. Still thinking about how to reduce waste and re-use what we can around my home and studio.
Nowadays, I hang up fewer posters, but I do work to make gorgeous weddings while minimizing their possible negative impacts on the environment.
Bramble & Blossom is all about sustainability. Some folks call it ethical floristry. Others call it eco-friendly floral design. Whatever you want to call it, we are all about it.
Recently someone asked me what would I recommend for a couple who are looking to recycle items used at their wedding after the celebration. Right on! Recycling!
But first, I told her, I recommend starting with the other two R's… REDUCE and RE-USE.
The first thing that I would recommend is to think about how you can reduce especially the single use items that you might be thinking about using at your wedding. The lowest hanging fruit are things like plastic straws, paper napkins, and disposable cutlery. If your venue or caterer is willing to supply reusable versions of these, this is a great way to reduce your wedding's environmental impact and to save money.
After you've considered how to reduce single use items at your celebration, think about all of the decorative pieces that Pinterest has you excited about. What do you need? What would you really like to have? Where are they all coming from? Make a list.
Think about how you can reduce the carbon footprint of those items by sourcing things that are made from recycled materials, and sourced locally.
Can't find everything that you want, locally? Next try reaching out to friends, family, and your awesome wedding vendor team with you list...maybe these are things that you can borrow or rent?
The flip side of this is that you could loan out or gift these items following your wedding, too, keeping them out of the waste stream for as long as possible.
Now, back to that last R... Recycling.
As you're making that list of decor pieces that will be packed up from your home, rented from other vendors, or brought by friends and family, make a plan for how those items will be packed up to be reused or recycled following your event. This will help to make the end of your celebration more organized and reduce potential waste.
Here at Bramble & Blossom, we take a lot of care to make sure that every possible thing we can recycle or compost goes that way at the end of the evening. We collect all of our rental pieces and then pack up all of the flowers and foliage to take back to our studio to compost.
Make sure that you ask your florist what happens to the flowers at the end of the night.
Consider taking special arrangements like your bouquet home to continue enjoying it. If you're running off to your honeymoon right away, consider having some of your guests be given center pieces bouquets or other arrangements as gifts at the end of the night. Some simple planning ahead of time can make this seamless and easy.
When talking with your florist, ask if they are open to composting and/or recycling as much as possible. Ask about waste reduction, if it's important to you, no need to be shy!
Here's a quick re-cap of these easy, money-saving ideas for a more environmentally friendly wedding:
REDUCE single-use / disposable items. Choose a reusable option instead.
REDUCE carbon footprint by sourcing as much as you can locally. Bonus points for items made from recycled materials.
REUSE decorative pieces, borrowed or rented.
RECYCLE your decor and / or flowers by gifting them to wedding guests.
COMPOST flowers and foliage.