2020 has made us gain a new appreciation for the outdoors and our planet, and experts say that all things sustainable, including eco-conscious weddings, are going to be more popular in 2021. Apart from being more practical and cost-effective, sustainable weddings are also better for the environment as they generate less waste. Moreover, they can help local wedding-related businesses to thrive during these uncertain times. If you’re planning to tie the knot sometime next year, consider having a green wedding to help save our planet. Here are a few simple ways to plan an eco-friendly wedding.

Shop Responsibly

Two of the most significant purchases that you’ll make for the big day are your wedding rings and your gown. Track the origins of the precious stones in your rings, and make sure that they’re conflict-free, and when in doubt, ask your jeweler where they sourced the diamonds to ensure that the gems on your wedding bands aren’t blood diamonds. Meanwhile, when choosing a wedding gown, consider buying from a local shop instead of ordering one from an international store or designer. You’ll not only reduce your carbon footprint, but you’ll also get a better gown, as they can make adjustments and make it look as if it were custom-made for you.

Choose eco-friendly for giveaways

Choose eco-friendly options for things that you need to give away. Invitations, programs and menus can be printed on Earth-friendly paper such as plantable paper or recycled paper. You can also prepare sustainable wedding favors that won’t break the bank, such as mini succulents, heirloom tomato plants, or herbs in tiny clay pots. Edible wedding favors, such as a small basket of snacks from a local farmer’s market or locally grown coffee beans are not only better for the planet, but they’re sure to be appreciated by your guests.

Be mindful about your food waste

Most couples will opt to order additional food from their caterer, as it’s always better to have extra food than to run out of it at the reception. However, as any large gathering can generate a lot of food waste, you’ll need to plan ahead to ensure that all that food doesn’t end up in landfills. You can choose to serve plated meals to reduce food waste, but if you’re having a buffet, talk to your caterer and ask them to pack up the leftover food so you can take it home, or give some to your family and friends to enjoy the next day. Provide your caterer with containers for this purpose.

Having an eco-friendly wedding celebration allows you to do your part for the environment, and it helps your community to thrive. Consider these tips to have a sustainable wedding, and see how these simple actions can make a big impact.