Sarah Baillie is a population and sustainability organizer at the Center for Biological Diversity. She wrote the Wildlife-Friendly Wedding Guide and manages the SoKind gift registry.
When I started planning my wedding a few years ago, I’d never organized an event for more than 20 people. As an organizer at the Center for Biological Diversity, my work focuses on how people can reduce their consumption and lessen humanity’s pressure on the planet, and I knew weddings often have a huge environmental impact. One of my top priorities was keeping the ecological footprint of my big day small.
With every choice I made to avoid waste — like skipping flowers, wearing a secondhand dress, and choosing accessories I could use again — I often heard, “But it’s your special day” or alternately, “It’s only one day.” But the United States saw an average of 2.1 million of these “special days” each year before 2020. And this year, wedding season is expected to come roaring back to pre-pandemic levels with an estimated 2.6 million affairs. Each generates about 400 pounds of trash and, when you ... Read more