Weddings are elaborate affairs in India. The big fat Indian wedding industry is valued at more than INR 100,000 crores and is growing at 25-30 percent every year. There are many ways you can cut down on carbon and other emissions on your most special day. Read on.
1. Invitation Cards
Invitation cards are usually made of paper, which means cutting trees. The greenest invite is an email, text or call. You can design really cool animated e-invites and send them over social media or WhatsApp. Use recycled paper if you have to print cards and keep it small and compact. Avoid cards which have polythene lining in them.
2. Venue And Weather
Choose an open air venue which is naturally vented instead of air conditioned halls. Winter and night time weddings are also a better alternative that help you in terms of energy consupmtion.
3. Flowers And Decor
Instead of flowers, decorate the venue with potted plants. Potted plants continue to remove carbon while plucked out flowers don’t. If you need flowers, choose locally sourced ones as the emissions due to transportation would be minimal. Though plastic is not a green material, plastic flowers can be a greener choice as they can be reused. Keep lighting to a minimum and use efficient LED lights wherever absolutely necessary instead of halogen flood lights.
Keep processions or baraats to a minimum. Most have speakers and lights powered by polluting diesel generator sets. If you plan to have less speakers and lights, you can manage with a battery-inverter setup charged from the mains or even from solar. Avoid fireworks. Hybrid and electric cars are extremely well suited for slow moving processions as they do not consume any energy when idle, unlike gasoline cars. They also recover energy from continuous braking. Air pollution would reduce and fuel cost too will be very low. Car lenders, take note.
With proper planning, you can avoid food wastage which usually happens at most weddings. Locally sourced food has a lower carbon footprint. It is better to make food that has a longer shelf life so that it can be consumed later. Use LPG, electric stoves instead of wood. Normal ceramic and melamine plates are fine as they can be reused. Avoid thermocol or polythene lined plates at all costs as they will not decompose and will clog drains and landfills. You can use earthen or biodegradable plates that will decompose in the soil. Make sure the food waste generated is sent for composting properly. Avoid paper towels.
Use clothes made out of organic materials. Some clothes can be made out of recycled materials such as plastic too. Choose clothes that you can wear later. If possible, rent a tux instead of buying it.
7. Court Marriage
The greenest wedding is no procession, less food and lesser people (read the closest and most special people). Keep your wedding celebrations to a minimum, make an eco-sustainable plan and your wedding will get noticed.
 Business Insider India – The Big Fat Wedding Industry in India: Recap of 2015 and outlook for 2016 dated 16th Feb, 2016.