When it comes to weddings, it’s all about the bride and groom. No matter the price tag, food and decor are all up to the lovebirds. However, receptions can be wasteful, and newlyweds are starting to do something about it. For one British couple, it was all about serving up a zero-waste feast. But sustainable ceremonies aren’t the easiest to pull off — at least not without the help of Day Maker Events.
“Many ask for a green wedding these days. People show concern over the use of plastics and other non-biodegradable materials for the decorations. So, we thought why not go back to the past and our valuable traditions!”
To start a new age of wedding trends, the Kochi company in India provides a slew of charming decorations made entirely of coconut products. From grand arches to leaf plates, Day Maker Events knows how to keep it green. And definitely pretty.
“It is environment-friendly and it benefits farmers, too… Above all, the cost is very less compared to other types of decorations. Disposal after use will also not be an issue.”
The best part? Hiring them won’t cost you over a thousand bucks. Interestingly rustic, it shows us one thing: sustainability can come with style!
In the past few months alone, the zero-waste community has grown exponentially. Environmental enthusiasts are ever going as far as hosting sustainable wedding receptions. Waste-free shops are manifesting across all seven continents, including this charming boutique in London.
“I created a shop that I wish existed. I wanted to cut packaging, I wanted to cut my footprint, and found it very difficult as supermarkets pack everything.” [said shop owner Ingrid Caldironi]
The shop, dubbed Bulk Market, boasts a wide range of organic products. Home essentials, including fresh produce, chocolates, and hair products, rest comfortably on its shelves. Caldironi’s ultimate goal is to prevent excessive buying and packaging waste.
“Why can’t we shop with smaller exact portions – 1-2 carrots, 1-2 eggs; why big packets with the environmental waste that goes with it?”
As an avid lover of omelettes, I’m not entirely sure 2 eggs would get the job done. However, the initiative is more than commendable, especially for environmental aficionados on a budget.
Despite a growing abundance of zero-waste shopping options, other alternatives have yet to hit mainstream stores. In a supermarket first, Amsterdam’s Ekoplaza is making over 700 plastic-free products available to the public.
“We know that our customers are sick to death of products laden in layer after layer of thick plastic packaging,” Ekoplaza chief executive Erik Does said.
“Plastic-free aisles are a really innovative way of testing the compostable biomaterials that offer a more environmentally friendly alternative to plastic packaging.”
With limited choices for items in non-plastic wrapping, bringing them to the masses makes a big statement. As an added bonus, manufacturing biodegradable containers won’t cost anything upwards from regular plastic materials. Ekoplaza will carry eco-friendly rice, sauces, snacks, and more packed in metal, glass, and cardboard.
“There is absolutely no logic in wrapping something as fleeting as food in something as indestructible as plastic,” [A Plastic Planet co-founder Sian] Sutherland said. “Plastic food and drink packaging remains useful for a matter of days yet remains a destructive presence on the Earth for centuries afterwards.”
As the greatest contributor to plastic waste in department stores, grocery aisles have long deserved eco-alternatives. Hopefully, they’re here to stay.
From turning wine waste into leather, your go-to bottle of chardonnay has come full circle. A team from the National University of Singapore has brewed up a curd-based wine made with every vegan’s BFF — tofu.
[Researchers] employed yeasts to ferment the waste product just like what winemakers do to make your favorite bottle of red or white. Amino acids and minerals found in tofu whey help foster the growth of yeast in the process.
The wine, dubbed Sachi, is entirely sustainable, as the fermenting process produces no waste. Producing Sachi requires a substantial amount of time and tedious storage procedures. With that in mind, its inventors are on the fence about its mass production. Still, the unusual drink is unexpectedly tasty.
“This alcoholic beverage has a refreshing taste, is easy to drink and tastes like sake,” said co-creator Chua Jian Yong… “Even though it is made from tofu whey, it has a very mild to undetectable soy taste. All the flavors in the drink are derived from fermentation, without artificial flavors or flavor extracts.”
While there has yet to be any word on Sachi becoming commercially available, us wine enthusiasts remain hopeful.
At present, contemporary breweries have moved out of beer houses and into labs. To make up for scant resources, many sustainable groups are crafting tasty drinks from bread and other waste. While revamping recipes is a success in itself, we can’t yet say the same for packaging. Six-pack holders are often 100% plastic, but that isn’t the case for Mexican Startup E6PR. Eco Six Pack Rings’ holders are made with compostable materials that are completely biodegradable.
“With the help of E6PR, we would like to inspire the entire beer industry to follow our lead… Our goal is to transition all of the packaging in our facility to this six-pack ring alternative that goes beyond recycling and strives to achieve zero waste.” [said Chris Gove of SaltWater Brewery.]
The rings dissolve in water and are safe for marine animals to ingest. E6PR hopes to produce the holders for all types of cans and bottles along with their standard size.
“If most craft brewers and big beer companies implement this technology, we will potentially be saving hundreds of thousands of marine lives as a result,” said Francisco García, the engineer behind the project
It’s quite the genius party trick, and while it won’t harm any animals, we do hope you reach for a rubbish bin before making the ocean yours.
A Norway supermarket is selling expired food to alleviate food waste, and now Britain wants in on the action. Former Manchester United star Richard Eckersley runs Earth.Food.Love, a zero-waste packaging-free store. It’s the first of its kind in Britain.
It’s the first zero waste store in the UK, retailing a range of up to 200 pesticide-free products – but to shop there, you’ll have to come along with your own pots, jars and sandwich bags.
The store also uses eco-energy and is completely organic, so milk and alcohol are off the menu. Totnes is home to the charming boutique, as Eckersley claims it wouldn’t have fared as well in Manchester.
“We just didn’t think Manchester was ready for this kind of shop, but we hope the idea will spread and more people will follow the idea in future.”
Having played alongside Ronaldo and Rooney, Eckersley ought to give himself some credit for the store’s popularity. However, he and wife Nicola focus on being “ethical, wholesome, and organic.” But there is no denying the rewarding boost of fame.
For some, chocolate is the cure to a broken heart. For me, it’s a cold brew. With news of a probiotic “healthy” beer in the making, I couldn’t imagine anything better — until Trash Tiki. The sustainable pop-up bar serves tasty, low-impact cocktails made with food waste. Spearheading the project are Kelsey Ramage and Iain Griffiths.
The duo’s website features a recipe for citrus stock that makes use of already-juiced fruit, to address the fact that “citrus is once again front and centre, this time as it is by far the biggest waste product of any craft cocktail bar.”
Trash Tiki also hosts industry seminars that are open to the public — conveniently dubbed Trash Talks. The bartending twosome are among the first of their kind, stating that waste reduction is a priority mostly in restaurants.
“Perhaps surprisingly, (zero/anti-waste) isn’t really an idea that has infiltrated the bar scene that much — certainly not as much as the rest of restaurants, like it does in kitchens,”
Making the drinks are often hours-long ordeals. But if it’s doing a service to the planet (and my liver), then perhaps worth the wait.
With technologies like the carbon calculator allowing us to determine our impact on the environment, there is no reason we shouldn’t be more eco-conscious. For this newlywed British couple, it didn’t take an app to host a zero waste wedding reception. A combination of patience and careful planning was all it took to prepare a sustainable feast.
Charlotte and Nick contacted the Real Junk Food Cafe in Wigan, which intercepts food still fit for human consumption but heading for landfill, and has the slogan “feed bellies, not bins”.
The couple first successfully obtained frozen chicken and soft fruit rejected by various supermarkets. With only a day before the wedding to go, there was much to do — but not much to buy.
“We’d never catered for a wedding before and I had a few sleepless nights wondering exactly what food would come in,” explains Shirley Southwood, who with partner Ann Fairhurst founded the cafe two years ago.
“The only item I had to buy was a bottle of white wine for the sauce,”
Bride Charlotte holds the sentiment that while weddings can be an opportunity for “over-expense”, they can also be low-impact. She and hubby Nick even chose to forego a traditional wedding list, instead opting to ask guests for secondhand goodies. If a thrift store gown isn’t your thing, maybe a food waste buffet could be. It may sound gut-churning, but if it tastes delicious, why not?