How weddings typically look like – dreamy with lots of flowers and confetti
Image retrieved from Pixabay
While exploring the topic of celebrations for my blog, my lecturer for the ENV1101 module, Dr Coleman, inspired me to think about the environmental impacts of weddings and my ideal wedding. After all, are weddings not the happiest and most significant celebration of a lifetime?
I thought it would be interesting to ask my friends about their ideal wedding. I’ll share the results of my survey as we go along!
Personally, my ideal wedding would be a memorable celebration with my closest friends and family that is as simple and sustainable as possible with minimal flowers and no wedding favours – because wedding favours usually end up in the bin anyway.
In planning a wedding, making it as dreamy as possible is usually the priority, and few would think of environmental impacts as the main consideration. Weddings thus produce huge amounts of trash in the form of food waste and decorations like fresh flowers, place cards, ribbons, and confetti. The average wedding generates approximately 180kg of trash and 57000kg of carbon dioxide (Harrison, 2008)!
Naturally, having more guests would mean more waste generated due to more resources put into making the wedding reception a success. This is partly why I would choose to invite fewer wedding guests, other than the reason that I do not want my wedding to be flooded with relatives that I meet once every few years. And it seems like most of my friends agree with me. Close to 78% of respondents would invite less than 100 guests to their wedding.
In the survey I sent out, I asked respondents how many guests they would invite to their wedding.
However, one result that took me by surprise was that 6 people said they would put shark fin soup on their wedding menu. As much as serving shark fin soup at wedding banquets is a Chinese tradition, I didn’t think that so many individuals from our generation would still support the practice of eating shark fin soup given the extensive media coverage on cruel finning practices. For more information on the harmful impacts of shark finning, check out this post by my friend Shenny.
In this question, I asked respondents to rate how much they agree with this statement. 1 represents “Strongly agree” and 5 represents “Strongly disagree”.
On a happier note, 10-course banquets are increasingly being replaced by live food stations, buffet receptions and dessert tables (Hitcheed, 2018). This may be able to reduce the food waste from banquets as food is made on demand. Leftovers from buffets can also be packed for “take-away”, instead of being thrown away if it was already portioned out at a banquet. There are also options to repurpose wedding flowers via social enterprises like Refresh Flowers for those who wish to reduce their environmental footprint (Chong, 2017).
Harrison, K. (2008). The Green Bride Guide: How to Create an Earth-Friendly Wedding on Any Budget. Naperville, Illinois: Sourcebooks Casablanca
hitcheed. (31 Aug 2018). The Best Wedding Trends we expect to see in 2019.
Retrieved from: https://www.hitcheed.com/articles/the-best-wedding-trends-we-expect-to-see-in-2019
Chong, C. (21 Sep 2017). Fresh purpose to wedding blooms
Retrieved from: https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/fresh-purpose-to-wedding-blooms