Zero Waste / Go Green Weddings

So, what is climate change?

Climate change (or global warming), is the process of our planet heating up.

The Earth has warmed by an average of 1°C in the last century, and although that might not sound like much, it means big things for people and wildlife around the globe.

Unfortunately, rising temperatures don’t just mean that we’ll get nicer weather – if only! The changing climate will actually make our weather more extreme and unpredictable.

As temperatures rise, some areas will get wetter and lots of animals (and humans!) could find they’re not able to adapt to their changing climate. Read more here(Nat Geo Kids)

Cold truth – we are on the doorstep of no-return with climate change. I do believe that the smallest of changes can help in making a difference. Weddings are considered large events with a lot going on. If you’re a couple that would like to incorporate simple ideas to make a difference, have a look at our great tips for having a Zero waste or Go Green Wedding.

Go paperless

Digital invitations: E-vites

There are numerous sites out there that can assist with all your digital needs, from invitations to RSVP’s and guest directions. Simple and fabulous with all your data in one place. Below are a few we found to help get you started.


The Invitation Gallery

Ishk Event Art

If you still want to do the printed stationery, why not reduce the paper used and do away with the RSVP Cards. Use RSVPify 

Online Registry

Have guests donate to a charity or eco-friendly organisation of your choosing instead of a gift registry.

Suggestion: You can send this out with your Save the Date invites.

1 Favour, 2 purposes


Using name cards for your table seating plan? Maybe try creating something that serves as a favour and a name card placement.

Ideas: name keyrings, chalk label mason jars ( you can even add some goodies in the jars ), personalised cupcakes, shot glasses etc. Options are vast.

I loved these name settings using leaves!


Zero Plastic

Biodegradable products – Use wooden cutlery. Idea: Customise your wedding utensils with a personalised stamp and wooden utensils

eco friendly cutlery 2

Use paper or starch-based straws

Cotton / hemp / hessian for wrapping

Utilize reusable items in the décor

This can be anything from plates, glasses, and utensils, to napkins, tablecloths and serving platters. To cut down on waste, all of these items should be reusable.

Reduce your trash

  • Find local compost areas, recycling center to send your extra kitchen, floral waste to
  • Find local orphanages to redistribute excess food to guests on their out. Chat to your caterer to see if they can assist with packing little doggy bags of excess food that guest can take with them.
  • Reach out to a local homeless shelter to see if they would be interested in picking up or having the leftovers dropped off at their location. If all else fails, reach out to a local farmer to see if they could use any of it for their livestock or to create mulch. Also, try composting services.

Feed it Forward is a great initiative that I highly support.  Get in touch with Janesha a couple of weeks before your wedding to see if they can aid in re-distributing excess food to nearby organisations.

Eco-friendly venues

One of your most expensive purchases for the day is your wedding venue. Going for your a self-sustainable or eco-friendly venue does most of the work for you :). Don’t be afraid to ask questions on how your wedding venue is reducing its carbon footprint. In the long run, this might encourage more venues to go the green route as they realise their client base concerns about the environment.

Venues that we know of :

Drop us an e-mail if you know of any others in and around South Africa!

Thaba Eco Hotel

Valverde Eco Hotel

Environmentally friendly transport

If not possible, try to source a venue closer to home to cut down on travel or book to get ready at your wedding venue. If you have the option of booking your out of town guests at your venue as well, even better.

Re-use, Recycle Wedding attire

Hire your wedding outfit or re-use one from within the family. Brides are using their mum’s, grandmum’s wedding saree. Some brides are also converting the sarees into outfits that suit their tastes.

For Christain / Muslim weddings – there are numerous wedding stores that you can hire your wedding dress from.

Organic Wedding cake

Use local and organic ingredients on and in your wedding cake. Use seasonal and local fruits and flowers. Chat with your supplier for best options available.

No Fly Honeymoon

With today’s economy in a bit of a slump, you might be feeling the pinch as well. Why not try a local honeymoon to cut down on the biggest environmental impact – flying.

Alternatives to flying – try Sea, train or driving options. 

Check out Best South African Beaches

Encourage on-site recycling

Provide recycling bins, containers so that guests can dispose of their trash responsibly and the staff can recycle when its clean up time. Your wedding venue might also be able to assist with this, give it a try.



Let your guests take away the flowers/bouquets at the end of the evening.  Source local and seasonal flowers for the event.

Energy savers & Lighting

Having a late afternoon, evening wedding? Make use of solar lighting to brighten your event. From solar jars to solar fairy lights etc.

Try Sustainable online Eco store for the solar lights.


Candlelight is energy-efficient and very romantic. Soy candles are our go to. They’re made from a renewable resource, are cleaner and burn longer than regular candles. Cleaning up is a breeze with soap and warm water!

Wedding Favours

Check out our great eco-friendly favour ideas here!  No favours – do a charity donation instead


Summer bug things

We all know South African summers can be scorchers and with the heat comes the mozzies and bugs! Rather than be eaten alive, look at using all-natural essential peppermint oil. It smells beautiful and refreshing but bugs hate it. Keep small bottles of all-natural peppermint oil insect repellent for the wedding and let your guest celebrate itch free.

You can make your own – found this website with great recipes – click here.

Or you could purchase repellants from your local stores and decorate to compliment your wedding.

Green photography
Digital photography offers a paperless and chemical-free way to capture your event, including being able to view online proofs before deciding which ones to print.

Bonus 😊

Reduce, Re-use & Recycle

Great information on recycling, drop off centers and local collection companies who can do the job for you in South Africa.

Read more here.

Happy Wedding Planning :)!

All images sourced from Pinterest for illustration purposes only!