Conscious Vault

Monitoring Plastic Use in Your Wedding Business

May 1, 2024

The wedding industry thrives on creating unforgettable moments. But with that magic often comes a mountain of waste, particularly plastic. As a wedding professional, you can make a difference by taking a proactive stance against plastic use in your business and by empowering couples to plan environmentally conscious weddings. Additionally, advocating for a global plastic treaty offers a chance to make a wider impact. This article provides a roadmap for monitoring and tracking plastic use in your wedding business, offering practical tips, couple guidance, and advocacy strategies.

Tracking Plastic: Shining a Light on the Problem

Understanding your wedding business’s plastic footprint is the first step towards reduction. We’ve put together some way you can monitor and track your usage:

Step 1 – Identify the Source: Start by making a comprehensive list of all plastic items you use in the business – include everything from water bottles to cable ties. Don’t forget hidden plastics like packaging received from suppliers.

Step 2 –  Quantify Usage: For each item, keep track of the average number used per month. This can be done through physical counts, staff surveys, or reviewing past invoices.

Step 3 – Track Alternatives: As you identify plastic items, explore sustainable alternatives. Put together a list of alternatives, considering more environmentally conscious options. Include the estimated cost and supplier so when it’s time to swap, you’ve got all the facts and figures ready to go!

Creating a simple spreadsheet to record the plastic items, average usage, and potential replacements. If you’re confident using spreadsheets of have inventory management software, add additional tracking information to include material type. Tag plastic items and track stock levels.

Plastic Detox: Practical Tips for Your Business

Once you’ve identified plastic sources, it’s time to get creative. Here are a few ideas of things you can swap out:

  • Encourage Reusables: Replace single-use plastic water bottles with branded glass or stainless steel alternatives. Ask caterers to use reusable plates, cutlery, and serving ware throughout the day.
  • Embrace Environmentally Friendly Packaging: Ditch plastic bubble wrap and opt for recycled paper packaging instead. Reuse packaging you receive stock in where possible to extend it’s life, then recycle at the end of it’s life.
  • Natural Decor Alternatives: Swap out polyester based tablecloths for natural fabric options like linen or cotton. Use decorative elements like potted plants or locally sourced flowers to create a stunning, plastic-free aesthetic.
  • Digital Solutions: Move away from plastic signage and vinyls. Invest in reusable blackboards or chalkboards.

Empowering Couples to be Conscious

Couples planning their special day appreciate vendors who share their commitment to sustainability. Here’s how you can guide them:

  • Offer Sustainable Packages: Create wedding packages that highlight eco-friendly options, such as reusable tableware and décor. Showcase these packages prominently on your website and marketing materials.
  • Provide Eco-Inspiration: Create a dedicated section on your website or social media platforms showcasing photos and stories of successful sustainable weddings. Offer downloadable resources with tips on reducing plastic.
  • Partner with businesses that share your sustainable ethos: Build relationships with local florists who use biodegradable wrapping, caterers offering plant-based, climate friendly options, and stylists that specialise in reusable décor. Recommend  these businesses as preferred partners to your couples.
  • Open Communication: During consultations, openly discuss the environmental impact of weddings and provide couples with transparent information about your own plastic reduction efforts.

Be a Sustainable Wedding Advocate: Joining the Movement

The fight against plastic pollution requires a global effort. As a leader in the wedding industry, you can use your voice to advocate for a global plastic treaty, but there are lots of other ways you can get involved too! Here are a few suggestions:

  • Spread Awareness: Use your social media platforms and website to raise awareness about plastic pollution in the wedding industry. Share impactful infographics and statistics that will resonate with your couples, and the businesses you work with and alongside.
  • Sign Petitions: There are ongoing efforts to create a global plastic treaty. Encourage couples and colleagues to sign relevant petitions and join advocacy groups.
  • Support Sustainable Businesses: Donate or volunteer your time with organisations actively working to combat plastic pollution.

By becoming an advocate, you inspire others to join the movement and push for systemic change.

Beyond the Wedding: Creating a Ripple Effect

Wedding businesses aren’t alone in contributing to plastic waste. Encourage couples to consider the sustainability of their entire celebration. Here are some ideas:

  • Wedding Favours: Suggest couples look for environmentally conscious wedding favours, like seed packets, locally sourced honey, or small potted plants grown by a local flower farm.
  • Stationery: Encourage couples to use recycled paper or seed paper for their wedding invitations, menus, and thank you cards.
  • Guest Transportation: Suggest car sharing options or shuttle services that reduce individual car usage.
  • Wedding Gifts: Advise couples to create wedding lists with a focus on sustainable or locally-made products.
  • Honeymoons: Help couples research eco-lodges or sustainable travel destinations for their honeymoon and connect them with conscious travel agents.

By offering these suggestions, you empower couples to make their entire wedding celebration a force for good.

The Power of Partnership: Working with Other Wedding Professionals

Collaboration is key in creating a more sustainable wedding industry. Work with your supplier network to develop climate conscious packages that combine your sustainable offerings, encourage couples to make conscious choices that not only give them the wedding they dream of, but have a positive impact on people and planet.

Engaging businesses around you, joining together on your sustainable journey is a great way to connect, inspire and support each other. Attending training together on topics like climate literacy, plastic reduction and sustainable sourcing will grow your knowledge and your network.

You can also be an advocate for the creation of industry-wide standards for reducing plastic use in weddings. By working together, the wedding industry can send a powerful message about its commitment to a sustainable future.

Your Wedding Business Can Make a Difference

Embracing sustainable practices in your wedding business is not just good for the environment; it’s also good for business. Couples are increasingly seeking out companies and professionals who align with their values. By monitoring and reducing your plastic use, empowering couples to plan sustainable weddings, and advocating for a global plastic treaty, you can become a leader in the industry and create a legacy of positive change.

Remember, even small steps taken by many can create a significant impact. Start today and watch your wedding business blossom into a force for environmental good. Book a call with us to find out how we can help you put sustainability at the heart of your business.

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