By: Jennifer Dawson

Millennials are leading the way for sustainability, with 86% revealing an interest in sustainable investment – as per a survey by Morgan Stanley. Of course, investment does not necessarily involve commodities and shares; it also encompasses all the major expenditures you make along the way – including your wedding reception. This is your big day, and your chance to express your values and interests. If environmental sustainability is a driving force in your life, there are many steps you can take to make your wedding reception chic and eco-themed.

Dealing with Environmentally Friendly Venues

If you are planning on celebrating your wedding at a resort, check out their environmental policies first. Were they built with recycled materials? Do they recycle water and utilize solar energy? Do they actively dedicate time and funds to protecting local habitats? What sustainability certificates do they have? To save time, check out their environmental policies online. Any resort with a true commitment to lowering its carbon footprint will state so, giving precise details on their website.

Expressing Your Love for Nature with Details

Your table décor is the perfect place to instill an eco feel. For instance, you might want to use eco-friendly plates (100% made from leaves with no plastics and glue involved) for one or more dishes in your menu, you might think of replacing flowers with rustic looking plants, still in their pots, or replacing paraffin candles (which pollute the air when burned) with natural soy candles, which are safe and which nevertheless bear pleasant fragrances thanks to natural essential oils. Sustainability involves creatively looking for even small ways to reduce your carbon footprint and to celebrate the beauty of nature without contributing to its destruction.

Rely on Eco Friendly Suppliers

Did you know that some invitation designer companies use 100% recycled paper and engage in eco-friendly pursuits, such as planting a tree for every order received? This is just one example of so many services you will require on your big day. Do your research on everything from eco-friendly dress designers (who have a passion for eco-friendly materials and ethical practices), to caterers (relying on those who promote the zero-kilometer cuisine concept – which involves relying on local producers and growers for all ingredients). For the reception meal, choose traditional dishes made for generations in your area, using fresh, seasonal, local produce. Your guests will thank you for it once they taste the fantastic flavors!

We have mentioned just a few ways to give your wedding party an environmentally friendly vibe but there are many more ways to do so. Choose your venue and suppliers carefully, and try to deal as much as possible with local business that share your passion for sustainability. Remember that the little things (such as décor, flowers, and lighting) matter as much as the bigger ones. If you’re stuck for more ideas, here’s one more: try giving away wedding favors made by yourself and your bride or groom, from totally recycled materials!