We are at the height of the eco-chic trend right now. I support recycling, repurposing and being as sustainable as possible. You create your perfect moment, but pieces of your moment can be distributed after the event to make so many others happy!
Sound great but don't know how: there are many ways that you can help spread the love with the leftovers from your wedding.
1) Talk with your vendors:
- Ask your florist if he/she works with a company or organization that can benefit from your arrangements. Can she deliver the arrangements to a hospital or nursing home instead of just throwing them away? (This may incur a slight charge for delivery, but is well worth the money in karma!) You may even want to ask a family friend or bridesmaid to collect the centerpieces and deliver them on your behalf.
- Talk with your caterer about donating left over food (not the food put out, but any over purchasing or food that was not served). Many caterers have partnerships with organizations that will package and collect the food for distribution to local homeless shelter and soup kitchens. If your caterer doesn't usually do this, ask if they would be willing to start (they may decide to incorporate this into all of their future events - karma bonus). If they are unwilling to do the organizing, you might be able to call an organization yourself and ask them to come and collect leftovers at the end of the night.
- Talk with your venue about recycling. If the environment is important to you, exercise your power when you are choosing your venue. Ask what policies are in place, and choose a venue that is environmentally conscious and follows a strict program. If you have to have a venue that isn't so eco-savvy, talk with the manager about ways you can reduce waste and energy. One way might be to purchase enough wind energy credits to power your wedding. (A service available in some areas now through your local power company. Though you aren't actually being powered by the wind, you are purchasing an equal amount of wind power to offset your electricity usage. While you are at it, switch your home bill over to wind power, as well. It doesn't cost an extra penny!)
- Resell or donate your decor items. You can look into sites like www.usedeventstuff.com or www.craigslist.com. You may even want to try ebay. Believe it or not, all of these sites are recycling! You may even recoup some of your wedding costs (which you might want to donate to the organization of your choice...)
Still lost at home to go about this? Contact Special E (www.thespeciale.com/works.html), who will send their Rescue Squad to collect leftovers from your event. They take the lot back to their collection site, sort through it repurpose flowers, direct food to a pantry or food waste to a composting center. They charge an administrative fee to organize this, and are available in many markets, including NYC, LA, Seattle, San Jose, San Diego, Portland, Boston, Las Vegas, Houston and a lot more!