Huh? Eco-friendly menu and beverages? How can such things NOT be eco-friendly?
If you’re asking yourself the same question, you’ve come to the right place. It is often overlooked that food itself or the way products are processed could have a tremendous affect on our environment and/or the people who do the harvesting.
So…if you would like to do your part with your wedding by providing eco-friendly food and drinks, I have a few ides to keep in mind.
Lots of people think having a buffet meal is eco-friendly because guests can choose what they want and that will cut down on waste. Actually, just the opposite is true. Additionally, with a buffet meal you end up with more to clean.
A more eco-friendly approach is to have a plated meal. If the menu is prepared and served based on the actual number of guests, it will cut down on the need to make extra food that is always needed when you choose a buffet. Also, a plated meal will have fewer dirty dishes to wash which will reduce the amount of hot water and detergent needed to clean them.
Another option is to choose a vegetarian or vegan menu. If you don’t want to go completely vegetarian, choose menus using seasonal, organic, and locally grown vegetables as the main feature with a small amount of protein. And if you do choose a protein, make sure it is organic and cruelty-free.
Yes, the products used in cocktails can have an negative impact on your ecological footprint as well. Seems weird, but it’s true. That being said, there are a number of growing organic spirits manufacturers you should check out. Here’s a link to a site that has a few.
Besides the actual liquor, you should also consider using seasonal, organic fruits, (and vegetables if you have a Bloody Mary crowd). I think it would be brilliant to have your bartender set up the bar with freshly squeezed, eco-conscious fruits and use organic liquor.
Or…how about creating an organic wine bar? Even better, hire a Sommelier to educate you and your guests on organic wines from various regions. With this option, not only will you be creating the most eco-friendly beverage choices for your guests, you’ll also be providing educational information in case your guests would like to incorporate such eco-friendly ways into their own lives as well.
If you’ve been following this series, you’ve already heard me talk about Fair Trade. If you haven’t and you don’t know what it is, Fair Trade creates a sustainable business model that guarantees social justice, environmental protection and economic development. The bottom line to this is workers are provided with fair wages and working conditions that are fair as well.
Knowing that there are companies who provide Fair Trade to workers who are often exploited makes me want to seek out such companies and only give them my business. I highly recommend adopting this practice as well. To start, simply ask your wedding planner or caterer to make sure all suppliers are part of the Fair Trade community.
In addition to Fair Trade, another thing to think about is serving shade-grown coffee and tea. What does that mean? Shade grown coffees and teas are grown in the shade which requires less chemicals and fertilizer than coffee grown in the sun. Also, farmers don’t have to cut down trees to grow the shade-grown coffee.
Image via Lael Cakes
When it comes to dessert, again…think local and organic. If you’re opting for a fruit based sweet, be sure to choose something that is native to your state. Ask your caterer or wedding planner for some fun, local ideas. They are always full of amazing inspirations.
And while a lot of people may cringe at the thought, consider choosing a vegan wedding cake. You’d be surprised at how great such cakes can look and taste. Be sure to ask your bakery for a tasting and I’ll bet you’ll be happily convinced.
With all of the above, the most important things are to always look for products that are organic and locally grown and produced by companies who practice Fair Trade. And keep in mind that when it comes to glassware, china, flatware, and serving items…less is always more!
If you’re just coming in on this series and you haven’t seen the previous six posts, be sure to check them out. They’ve been a hit so far!
Week One: Eco-Chic Wedding Gowns
Week Two: Eco-Beautiful Flowers
Week Three: Eco-Stylish Wedding Invitations
Week Four: Eco-Friendly Wedding Venues
Week Five: Selecting Eco-Smart Wedding Favors
Week Six: Providing or Encouraging Eco-Friendly Transportation
Thanks for stopping by!