In all the excitement of planning your day, it’s easy to overlook the impact a wedding might have on the environment. However, sustainability is being spoken about more now than ever.

So much waste!

Reports suggest that nearly 5,000 tonnes of unrecyclable plastic was left behind at British weddings last year. That’s the equivalent weight of 47 blue whales. But it’s not just plastic that has an impact. Food waste is also a common theme for most weddings. The average family home will throw away roughly £700 in food a year, just a few hours at one wedding can account for 65% of a home’s wastage across an entire year.

Our philosophy is that if everyone does a little, then this can add up to make a big difference. Our ethos is to do all we can to make sure everything we do is considered and makes as small an impact on our environment as possible. That said, the last thing we want is to come across all preachy and we certainly do not want to have a negative impact on your day! We work with our couples to find alternatives and solutions wherever we can.

Our guest blog from All Things Considered shared some ideas about how small changes can make wedding days more sustainable, but what are we doing to make ourselves more sustainable?

Small changes making a big difference

In July we had the amazing Michelle from The Sustainable Wedding Alliance over and she is helping us work towards our Sustainable Accreditation, which we’re really excited about.  She shares some actionable steps couples can take here.

We were also visited by Severn Wye Energy Agency to advise on renewable energy options. We are making little changes that all add up. 

What else are we doing? We’re aiming for zero food waste, our recommended suppliers all champion local food meaning fewer food miles (plus Herefordshire’s produce is regarded as some of the best!). We also hire in food waste bins that divert our food waste from landfill to an aerobic digester, where it is made into renewable energy.

And that’s not all, like many venues we don’t allow confetti at The Orchard, instead we suggest you use flower petals as a sustainable alternative, which is far better for the environment and also looks spectacular.

Coming up roses

When it comes to flowers, we only recommend sustainable suppliers, such as The Ledbury Flower Farmer. Why? Well because an estimated 90% of the flowers sold through florists, supermarkets and wholesalers are imported not just from Holland but flown in from growers as far afield as Ecuador, Colombia, Kenya and even Ethiopia.

The Ledbury Flower Farmer’s flowers are freshly picked and locally delivered, giving you flowers as fresh as possible and saving thousands of travel miles. What’s more, each individual flower will have the natural, informal beauty that can only come from small-scale, local production.

It’s inspiring to meet a sustainable supplier like this, who grows with the seasons and is motivated by the excitement of harvesting the first of the sweet peas, dahlias, garden roses, anemones, larkspur, snapdragons and cornflowers rather than by predictable, year-round crops.

One final thought…

Having your wedding outdoors means you’ll be able to make the most of natural sunlight and save energy. Plus, having your ceremony and party in the same place means there’s minimal need for guests to travel from one place to the next. It sounds simple, but this and all of the other little things we’re doing all add up to make a massive difference to your wedding’s overall carbon footprint.

I’d love to hear your thoughts.