Reduce Your Wedding Carbon Footprint

If you are feeling conscious about the environmental impact of your big day, you are not alone. Engaged couples want to make meaningful purchases from companies that help, not hurt, our climate crisis. This change is being driven by the Millennial generation who are twice as likely (75% vs. 34%) than Baby Boomers to say they are definitely or probably changing their habits to reduce their impact on the environment. The bottom line is that weddings can be wasteful but they don’t have to be.

Here at Paper Culture, we are all about creating beautiful products that don’t cost the Earth. We spoke to Blue Nile, the world’s leading online retailer of diamond engagement rings (including lab-grown diamonds), to share our best advice for hosting a more sustainable wedding

A sustainable wedding is a stylish one

There is no reason you have to sacrifice design when looking for sustainable products and more and more brands across the wedding industry are offering contemporary and sustainable designs from wedding gowns to favors.

At Paper Culture, we use 100% post-consumer recycled paper which means no new trees were cut down to make customers’ wedding invitations stationery. The quality adheres to the same high standards as virgin paper (where trees were cut down to make the paper) and comes in a variety of thick luxe paper options. When Paper Culture launched in 2009, our CEO and Co-founder, Christopher Wu, was looking for both modern and eco-friendly baby announcements for their first baby and couldn’t find any with a contemporary voice which was the impetus behind founding Paper Culture. Our whole mission is to let customers know they don’t have to sacrifice beauty to be sustainable. Internally as a company, it might be harder to find products that are both but we believe it’s the right thing to do to address the climate crisis.

Tips for hosting your planet-friendly wedding

According to the Green Bride Guide Book, an average wedding produces up to 400 lb of trash with all the food, flowers, favors, paper goods, and all the other details. Fortunately, there are so many more resources and vendors that are offering sustainable options for their wedding. Here are some creative and easy ways to decrease the carbon footprint of your wedding:

Save The Dates, Wedding Invitations, and Wedding Stationery:

While sending paper invitations may not seem green at first, it can be very green when choosing the right kind of paper. If you select invitations that use 100% post-consumer recycled paper, then no trees are harmed. Random fact: 100% recycled is not the same as 100% post-consumer recycled. A material can be 100% recycled but still require a new tree to be cut down by using excess materials from the newly axed tree, but post-consumer paper uses only material that has served its intended end use and would otherwise end up in a landfill or incinerator. Both are good, but 100% post-consumer is even better.

Nowadays, it’s a lot more convenient and efficient to order invitations via online options. It’s a great time-saver for busy brides and grooms-to-be; you can get your proofs via email and do all the customization online.


Use alternatives such as silk flowers that can be used long after the wedding. If you use real flowers, stick with local and organic to eliminate toxic chemicals. You can also donate your flowers after your wedding to organizations that will repurpose and deliver them to nursing homes, children's hospitals, and veteran care facilities.


Choose your wedding rings and jewelry from a responsible retailer like Blue Nile, which is committed to selling only conflict-free diamonds and no dirty gold. You could also opt for lab-grown diamonds which are made above ground in a lab rather than being mined from the Earth.

Wedding Favors:

Instead of traditional favors that might include a lot of plastic, focus on meaningful favors such as:
-Personalized seed packets
-Donation to your favorite charity
-Edible foods in sustainable jars from your local market such as jams and honey

Wedding Attire:

Fashion is one of the most polluting industries on the planet. Here is how you can reduce the impact of your wedding attire:
-Choose sustainable fabrics such as silk.
-Purchase a gently worn wedding gown or veil from vintage stores or online consignments
-Donate your gown after you wear it or repurpose it into something else

Photo Albums:

With photographers handing over digital files now, it’s easier than ever to create a sustainable wedding album. Paper Culture offers many different design options for your wedding photo books to feature your big day with 100% post-consumer recycled paper.

We believe that the solution must start with each one of us. By choosing Paper Culture, you start with a small act: selecting products made with 100% recycled paper and other eco-friendly materials. We then offset 100% of the carbon footprint of production. Finally, we plant a tree with every order and by doing so, actively make the planet better than before your purchase. Together, we’ve planted over 1,000,000 trees.

At the same time, we’re not naive. 1,000,000 trees are impactful, but it won’t solve the Climate Crisis. That’s where you come in. We hope that by delivering an amazing experience, we can inspire you to incorporate design & sustainability into other parts of your life - to share your stories and in turn inspire others. That’s how a single purchase becomes a pattern that becomes a movement.