Wedding trends tend to vary wildly from year to year, but this new trend seems likely to last a while. Many couples are beginning to plan eco-friendly weddings, and more and more wedding vendors are working to meet these needs. India is known for its massive wedding celebrations that last several days and involve hundreds of guests, so the ecological emphasis during weddings is becoming more common.

There are many different aspects of a wedding that contribute to environmentally damaging waste. Invitations, wedding cards, plastic utensils, tissue paper, decorations, and leftover food are all common parts of weddings, and much of this is thrown out instead of being reused or recycling. All of this waste is contributing to issues with overfilled landfills, crises of garbage disposal, and clogged sewers.

One of the leaders of the ecologically sustainable wedding trend is Hasiru Dala, an organization that tries to improve the conditions of waste workers in Bengaluru. Though they have humble backgrounds, this organization has become one of the main consultants for high profile weddings, including the wedding of the transport minister’s daughter, Sowmya, to Abhishek Raje.

At Sowmya’s wedding, the decorations were a minimalistic faux floral design made from recycled paper. The wedding party did not use animal products, such as silk, wool, leather, or makeup tested on animals, and they also requested that guest do the same. Instead of the traditional wedding favors for guests, the couples gave their guests mango and sandal plant saplings that can be planted in a garden.

When planning a wedding, there are many opportunities to reduce waste. E-invites greatly lessen the amount of paper that is used for invitations, which is important because heavily embossed and printed invitations are not very recyclable. Wedding bouquets can be carefully planned to only include easily decomposable plants that are from a local area, since imported plants are shipped in a huge amount of plastic and other wasteful products.

Items that leave a large carbon footprint can easily be excluded from weddings. Instead of paper napkins and plastic utensils, cloth napkins and metal utensils can be used. Many caterers are willing to work with foods that have not been produced with excessive water and chemicals that harm the environment. Researching the background of the products that go into making a wedding can help a couple to find the best environmentally beneficial options. Even pre-wedding celebrations can be made eco friendly, with some a trend in Sydney, Australia showing green bachelor parties are on the rise.

One of the ways to get the most impact from an eco-friendly wedding is to include guests in the concept. On your e-vite, you can ask that guests not buy new clothing made from animal products for the ceremony, and you can also suggest that they wrap their gifts in recyclable material. Alerting your guests ahead of time also gives them the opportunity to suggest any ecologically friendly wedding vendors that they know. By working together, it is easy for a couple to plan a wedding that does not hurt the environment or produce waste.