Brides and grooms search for something green as trend for eco-weddings gathers momentum

New research for North London Waste Authority (NLWA) shows that 2 in 5 people planning their nuptials in the next five years say making their wedding as green as possible is a key priority. To meet this demand for more sustainable weddings NLWA is running the Something Green Wedding Fair on Saturday 27th and Sunday 28th March. The stylish, free and virtual wedding fair aims to take the pain out of wedding planning by bringing together experts on everything from cakes and cocktails to fashion and flowers.

The poll reveals that those planning their wedding are twice as likely to make green choices to avoid their wedding being too wasteful as those already married2.

By making greener choices this next generation of newlyweds will avoid a layer of post-wedding guilt:

  • One in four married people said they felt guilty about the amount of food wasted at their wedding. That’s not surprising when a tenth of all wedding food – equivalent to a food waste bill of almost £500 for an average celebration – is thrown in the bin3.
  • One in five felt guilty about the amount of single-use plastic involved – understandable when a typical UK wedding generates around 18kg of plastic waste4.
  • Almost half said they would make their wedding day more environmentally friendly if they had their time again.

The trend for eco-weddings is spilling over from everyday sustainable lifestyle choices. 46% of those who are considering the environmental impact of their upcoming wedding saying they make green choices in their everyday life, so it is a given that their wedding should be environmentally friendly.

Clothing is one of the top single-use items at weddings, with 28% of those already married saying they have kept their outfit and never worn it again. Trends seem to be moving in a more sustainable direction though, with only 18% of people who have married under Covid-19 restrictions saying they had bought something new. Instead, 22% bought a second-hand or vintage outfit from a fashion boutique specialising in wedding outfits, 13% rented their outfit and 11% made their own.

And it’s not just brides and grooms-to-be who are concerned about the amount of waste their big day will generate. Plastic cutlery, balloons and confetti topped the list of items that wedding guests see as most wasteful, followed closely by gift wrapping paper, food and paper for items such as invitations, menus, name cards5.

Figures also show that those planning to get married in the next five years are more inclined to aim to reduce such waste at their nuptials:

  • 65% of them want to make sure there is as little food waste as possible (compared to 48% of those already married) and 64% will want to donate surplus food to charity
  • 36% will avoid using single-use plastic (compared to 21% of those already married).

Cllr Clyde Loakes, Chair of North London Waste Authority: During the pandemic we have seen the speed of progress on environmental issues slow down, so it’s really encouraging to see that the next generations of newlyweds are keen to prioritise the environment when planning their big day. At NLWA, we are committed to helping people find ways to live more sustainably as we cannot afford to lose momentum on tackling the climate emergency.  With the Something Green wedding fair, we aim to provide tips and inspiration from wedding experts and carefully sourced local suppliers to help people bring ‘Something Green’ to their upcoming nuptials.”

Something Green will be hosted by climate change and sustainability champion Sarah Divall, who is recognised for her common-sense advice on how we can live healthier, greener lives.  Sarah knows her way around the environmental impact of food, fashion, beauty and travel and was named one of 2019’s Inspiring Millennial Women by the thinktank Common Vision.

Something Green host, Sarah Divall, says: “I’m thrilled to be hosting the Something Green virtual wedding fair, it’s an amazing opportunity to come together to celebrate and learn from the sustainable experts and businesses helping people all over the UK create beautiful weddings that are better for the planet. Whether you’re looking for the perfect vintage dress, sustainable drinks or need some planning tips we’ve got something for you!

The schedule of the two-day event is as follows:

Saturday 27th March

  • 11am – Planning the perfect big day
  • 12pm – Bridal gowns – finding ‘the one’
  • 2pm – Plastic free fantastic favours
  • 3pm – Drinks – fizz and sparkle

Sunday 28th March

  • 11am – Something old
  • 12pm – Seasonal feasting
  • 2pm – Best of British blooms
  • 3pm – Let them eat vegan cake

Anyone interested can register via Eventbrite6 or just turn up on the day. The event, including all live sessions, is taking place on Instagram and Facebook.

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