While flowers are arguably the most beautiful part of a wedding, they're also the most wasteful. "Live flowers are beautiful, and they can make the design of a wedding," says Chamblin. "As a planner and designer, they are my favorite part of the wedding. For more eco-friendly alternatives, we are seeing a lot of people switching out floral centerpieces for plants such as succulents or ferns that become a great takeaway item for guests or a great way to decorate your home at the end of the event. There are a few other creative ways to change out the traditional floral centerpiece such as candlescapes, paper, or crafted centerpieces."
If none of those appeal to you, consider this: There are companies that recycle flowers, such as Bloomerent, a flower-sharing marketplace that was started by a pair of best friends in 2013. "The reality is that with every other aspect of your event, with the exception of the food, everything is a reusable source," Bloomerent co-founder Julia Capalino tells mbg. "Flowers are often flown over from a foreign country, and it takes a lot of fuel to fly them over. There are also pesticides and water needed to grow them and energy needed to keep them in refrigerators. By reusing wedding flowers, we're cutting down on 50 percent of the overall impact."
Capalino and her business partner Danit Zamir use all of their flowers for at least two events, which cuts down on cost as well. And if you're worried about droopy, sad-looking second-day flowers, Capalino assures us that they know exactly which flowers last and how to care for them. "Hydrangeas are a very thirsty flower, so after three days that flower will start to look a little dull," she says. "A rose can last two weeks easily and look just as good. The florist will typically take back those flowers the second time around. Our goal is to reuse flowers as much as we can while paying close attention to quality control."
Want more ideas for how to reduce waste in other areas of your life? Here are 16 trash facts you need to know.