Having an environmentally-friendly wedding is a smart and conscious choice — and one that we see more and more happy couples making here in Lake Tahoe, California, and the surrounding area. Weddings are incredibly fun and exciting, but they can also be wasteful. There are tons of paper products that get tossed in the garbage, florals and food items that use harmful pesticides, and leftover decor items that simply end up in landfills. It’s easier than ever to do your part to help keep Tahoe sparkling blue — without sacrificing the wedding of your dreams. Here are a few small steps that can help make your wedding more eco-friendly. Ready to get started?
1. Go Digital.
Opting to digitize your wedding as much as possible can help cut down on paper use and waste. Consider sending your wedding invitations, Save the Date cards, and RSVP requests through email or utilizing a wedding website. Most people use email and social media, so it’s a convenient alternative to printed materials that will likely get thrown out anyway. On the big day itself, consider projecting the wedding program on a screen rather than printing out individual copies for each guest.
2. Go organic.
Going organic is both a healthy and sustainable wedding option. Organic means the product was produced without the use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, or other artificial agents that can harm animals, the water supply, and the surrounding environment in general. Consider working with your florist and your caterer to use organic flowers, food, and beverage options at your wedding. You can still have a delicious meal at the reception and beautiful floral bouquets and centerpieces. You may also want to consider how the fabric on your wedding dress, bridesmaids dresses, and tuxedos was produced and opt for more eco-friendly and organic wedding dress options.
3. Think local.
Locally-sourced foods and products require less transportation for shipping and fewer materials for packaging, which helps them reduce their overall environmental footprint. On top of that, a lot of these profits generally end up back into the local community, so it’s a win-win. Again, work with your caterer and request locally-sourced food options for your meals. Consider buying wedding favors and decor items from local small businesses in the Lake Tahoe area and working with trusted Lake Tahoe wedding vendors.
Another great local option is utilizing local public transportation as much as possible. You and your guests can take South Tahoe Airporter directly to South Lake Tahoe from the Reno/Tahoe International Airport. Once you’re here, there are shuttles, trolleys, and ride-share programs that can get you around the area. One of the benefits of holding your wedding ceremony and reception at one venue, like Lake Tahoe Resort Hotel, is that you cut down on transportation, which results in lower emissions.
4. Thrift and reuse.
Producing, shipping and packaging new products uses a lot of energy and creates a lot of waste. The more you can reduce and reuse, the lower the environmental footprint will be. Instead of buying new, consider scouring local second-hand stores around South Lake Tahoe, like Lakeview Thrift Store, for your wedding decor items like vases, candle holders, picture frames, and more. Friends and family members may also have some wedding decor items you can borrow and reuse, which also adds a sentimental element to your special day. Wearing your loved one’s wedding dress, jewelry, shoes, or handkerchiefs can be a great way to honor tradition (“something old” or “something borrowed”) and make that special person feel extra loved. Once your wedding is over, you can try repurposing some of your decor items into wedding favors or wedding party gifts (flowers and candles can make great gifts for your bridal party and guests), using them to decorate your home, or donating them back to a soon-to-be-married couple or thrift store.
5. Partner with like-minded vendors.
If sustainability is important to you on your big day, it’s important that you find venues who share that passion and vision. Don’t be afraid to ask them about their sustainable practices and be vocal about your environmentally-friendly preferences. If need be, work it into your contract with them.
At Lake Tahoe Resort Hotel, sustainability is part of our every-day operation — from environmentally-friendly light bulbs to composting to filtering runoff water before it reenters Lake Tahoe. We also pride ourselves on using fresh and locally-sourced foods as much as possible. We’ll go above and beyond to help make your eco-friendly wedding a reality.
Start planning your dream Lake Tahoe wedding ceremony or reception today!
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