With environmental changes on the rise, there has never been a more crucial time to make eco-friendly choices, especially when planning and events such as weddings since they are huge generators of waste and emissions. According to Green Bride Guide, each of the 2.5 million annual American weddings will produce an average of 62 tons of carbon dioxide and 400-600 tons of garbage. That's why helping brides and grooms make earth-friendly choices is part of the Botanical PaperWorks mission. To help you get started on your green wedding planning journey, we've created an Eco-friendly Wedding Checklist. No matter what kind of wedding you're dreaming of, there are so many ways to make it sustainable and this list will help guide the way. You'll find reminders, tips and green alternatives for a variety of important elements of your wedding like invitations, food, venue, rings, attire, transportation, and much more! All you have to do is download the PDF, print it on recycled paper, and you'll be all set with a fantastic checklist that will help you make the greenest and most sustainable choices. And if you'd rather save the paper, we've included all of the points below and even included extra links that will take you to even MORE helpful wedding planning pages. Download the Eco-friendly Wedding Checklist here! Save The Date/Engagement Announcements Choose a paper that doesn’t leave waste behind like Seed Paper Save the Dates or opt for an email announcement. Determine Your Guest List Use a carbon calculator like the one at Green Bride Guide to watch the amount of impact your wedding will have based on the number of guests and their travel needs. Keep track of your guest list with this free printable found in our FREE Wedding Planning Binder! The Venue/Location Choose a location that is closest to the majority of your guests and have the ceremony and reception in the same place or close together to reduce travel costs. Then you can research the venues in your chosen location to find ones that offer eco-friendly options. Caterer Book a caterer who offers local, seasonal and/or organic food. Ensure Event Day Recycling & Composting Discuss options for recycling, composting or even donating leftovers with your caterer and venue. Invitations Choose an option made from recycled paper or better yet, choose Seed Paper Wedding Invitations that can be planted to grow wildflowers while leaving no waste behind. The Flowers Choose local and seasonal flowers or plant a garden yourself with the blooms you’d like for your wedding. If you hire a florist, be sure to communicate your values so they can give you the most eco-friendly options. Love the look of wildflowers? Take a look at these 7 Ways to Use Wildflowers in Weddings! Lighting Choose natural lighting where possible to reduce energy usage. Lanterns and solar lights are lovely options. The Dress Wear a vintage or gently used wedding gown or choose one made from eco-friendly materials like organic cotton, bamboo or hemp. If you must buy new, consider donating it after so another bride can re-use it. Wedding Party Attire Allow your bridal party to choose their own attire within your color scheme so they can wear the dresses again to avoid waste. Choose rentals for the groomsmen or pieces that they can also re-wear. Registry When registering for gifts, consider shops that produce locally and request natural products where possible. For example, if you need new sheets, specify organic, fair trade cotton. Only register for essential items that you will definitely use to avoid unnecessary waste. Travel Help arrange carpools for guests that are coming from the same area to reduce emissions. You can also arrange shuttles for loved ones if there’s a longer journey to the venue. Guestbook Instead of using a paper-based guestbook, try making your own using elements found in nature that they can sign such as smooth rocks or a tree stump. Alternatively, you also get creative with an upcycle DIY craft using found items like an old globe, photographs or even old wine corks that you can display the home after. Place Settings Choose wooden plates and cutlery over plastic or china like the ones found at Green Munch. They look amazing and you’ll save a ton of water as well as the energy required to run dishwashers during cleanup! Want to give a gift that grows? Browse through our stylish Seed Paper Place Cards! Wedding Favors Choose earth friendly wedding favors that don’t produce unnecessary waste like Plantable Seed Bombs or Seed Paper Wedding Favors. You could also make your own using natural, locally sourced products like fresh fruits, plants, honey, and jams. For packaged items, choose biodegradable packaging like seed paper boxes. The Rings Find eco-friendly wedding ring options like the ones from Brilliant Earth that are made from recycled metals. You can even choose wood rings like the ones from Touch Wood Rings to be even more in touch with nature. Vintage rings are also a great eco option! Decor Choose to re-use decoration instead of buying brand new. Once the planning begins, make frequent visits to various thrift stores to look for unique decor items like chairs, vases, candle holders, books and mirrors so you can re-use them as home decor or donate them again. Using rentals is also a great way to reduce waste! Looking for decor inspiration? Take a look at this post to see 10 Wedding Upcycles That Save Money and Reduce Waste! Seating Chart Use recycled items like a window or chalkboard to tell guests where they’ll be sitting instead of paper cards. Are you looking for more ways to plan an eco-friendly wedding? Take a look at this inspiration board to see TONS of beautiful ideas for reducing waste on your big day. Still looking for more stylish wedding ideas? Check out our Inspiration Boards page as we're always getting inspired by gorgeous color combinations that are trending in the world of weddings! Take a look at our Wedding Printables and Wedding Planning pages - it'll be your one stop shop for all things wedding related! Or, if it's simply stationery you're after, we have tons to choose from including reply cards, menus, favors, seal and send wedding invitations and more! All printed on quality eco-friendly seed paper that grows flowers when planted. Like what you see on our blog? Join our mailing list to receive emails with freebies, projects, coupons, green living tips, and decor ideas and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.