Sustainable travel is becoming more and more important to travelers. Ensuring tourism continues long-term without harming local, natural, and cultural environments is something most travelers are mindful of. A recent study reported that 82% of travelers said the Covid-19 pandemic made them want to travel more responsibly in the future.
That holds true for couples planning a destination wedding too! At first glance, a wedding seems counterproductive to sustainability. After all, you only wear that dress once! But, with a little careful planning, a sustainable destination wedding is easy to achieve! We’ve put together some suggestions to get you started:
All-inclusive resorts are still the best option for destination weddings, and many of them have environmentally friendly practices. Choose resorts that have pledged to be carbon neutral by a certain date, grow their own food (or source food locally), use décor handcrafted by local artisans, and have stopped offering single-use plastics.
Look for the resort’s “green” certifications such as GreenKey.global, GreenGlobe.com, LEED, or the Global Sustainable Tourism Council.
Whenever possible, book nonstop instead of connecting flights and try to frequent airlines such as Delta, Alaska, JetBlue, and United (among others) that invest in biofuels. Pack your headphones for in-flight entertainment too which reduces the need to use the headphones offered by the airline. Once you arrive at your destination, choose busses or shared transfer services. Your wedding guests will all know each other so why not get the party started on the way to the resort?
Pack lightly – but be sure to bring 1)your toiletries to cut down on the single-use plastics in your room and 2) your insulated mug. You’ll reduce the resort’s dishwashing, and your drink will stay colder longer in the warm temps. You can also bring your metal or bamboo straws.
Other suggestions are using reef-friendly sunscreen that doesn’t contain octinoxate or oxybenzone and reusing the towels in your room, so you don’t need daily replacements.
Avoid animal attractions, especially those that involve contact between animals and humans, such as elephant or camel rides, swimming with dolphins, visiting captive whales, etc. Practice responsible snorkeling and scuba diving by not stepping on coral or touching marine life. And don’t forget to wear reef-friendly sunscreen.
Find local projects and activities that give back to the local community, and be sure to try local cuisine and buy souvenirs from local artisans. Not only will you probably taste some of the best food of your life, but you’ll bring home unique mementos that will remind you of your wedding trip for years to come.
Work with the resort to see what options are available for sustainable food selections. Is a farm-to-table menu a possibility for your reception dinner? Another easy-to-implement idea is to use eco-friendly wedding invitations. Or better yet, skip the invitations altogether and send digital Save the Dates instead.
Encourage your wedding guests to contribute to local charities or plant trees in your honor instead of giving you a physical wedding gift.
More and more often, engaged couples want to find ways to get married in unique and beautiful destinations and host amazing, memory-making experiences for their wedding guests. All while being mindful of the impact travel has on local communities and the environment.
Reach out to set up a discovery call to discuss more ways to plan a spectacular, sustainable destination wedding.
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