Each festival of the year goes by and eventually culminates with the wedding season. Perhaps the most eagerly anticipated season in India, a time of joy, cheer, familial unity, delectable food and timeless memories.
The traditional ‘Big Fat Indian Wedding’ has long been established as the template to host weddings. This has also been well embraced by numerous Indian families. Often characterised by exotic locations, lavish decorations, indulgent menus and extravagant attires, it screams opulence. As undeniably glamorous as this is, it puts a heavy load on people’s pockets and the planet.
In recent times, the younger generation, particularly, has been choosing to make more planet friendly decisions. The younger generation chooses to articulate their values through their conscious purchasing decisions and choices, which is rooted in mindfulness. For instance, we notice Generation Z becoming more mindful and asking manufacturers the right questions like: “What’s in my products?” The emerging conscious millennial population wants to align itself to certain causes by virtue of its consumption choices.
This conscious change in mindset is now evident in wedding planning, where couples now aspire to plan their weddings in a zero to low waste manner. Every aspect of a wedding from invitations to venue and decor to catering and gifts is sustainable.
Where can we help?
Now, let’s be clear. As much as we’d love to, we’re no zero waste wedding planners. Although, there is one aspect of wedding planning, which we’re pretty good at! Wait, it’s not eating the foods (which we are also pros at), it’s the gifts!
Large scale weddings see the use of single use plastic in gifting, which serves no purpose after its first use. It also poses a huge recycling challenge. Gifts that follow a certain norm are still incorporated rather than thoughtful or mindful gifts, which take into consideration footprint.
Being the sustainable gifting ninjas that we are, we have chartered out a plan to have your gifts sorted. It’s one of the easiest ways to incorporate a zero waste element into the wedding. Gifting that is plastic-free, mindful, made with earth-friendly ingredients and supports small businesses or businesses that are striving to make an impact, can be a wonderfully thoughtful addition to a wedding! It is possible to try and go minimal and meaningful when it comes to gifting.
Some suggestions here are to:
- To ensure that the gifts given are essential goodies, so that they don’t go to waste. Additionally, to add a handwritten note or postcard to make the gifting experience more personalised.
- Gifting couples potted plants, instead of bouquets, which generally come with plastic wrappers. Potted plants will not only avoid plastic, but it is also sustainable memorabilia, special to the couple.
- Plastic gift wrappers can be replaced by more sustainable gift wrapping options such as newspapers or alternative packaging such as cloth, twigs, cloth ribbons etc.
- Couples can also choose to donate to an organisation that has a special meaning to them. Additionally, they can also encourage their friends, families and loved ones to donate to them as well and set the ball rolling on something positive.
- Another great way to support a noble cause is by purchasing gifts from an organisation, whose values are in close alignment with their own.
- Gifting experiences to the couple are a great way to incorporate a thoughtful gift
- Our Bare Necessities goodies not only make for great gifts but they also support local and small suppliers and vendors along with creating stable green jobs such as our women run manufacturing team.
Most importantly though, it is important to communicate to your guests why you chose to give a gift in a certain way. For example, most recently, we were putting together a beautiful bundle for a couple for their wedding. They notified their guests that they were doing this to ensure they are being mindful of the planet as well. Communicating such actions helps raise further awareness.
In the spirit of wedding festivities, an often ignored facet is the amount of carbon footprint being generated. While it may seem overwhelming at first, it is definitely possible to make zero waste weddings the norm. As a young social enterprise that believes strongly in this vision, we went ahead to curate mindful gift bundles. For weddings or any other festivities, we have two broad gifting options:
- The option to choose from our pre-curated gift bundles like pre-curated mindful gift bundles that are great options for gifting, such as the Gratitude Gift Bundle, the Festive Zero Waste Gift Bundle or, we also put together customised bundles as per the customer’s wishes.
- The option for customised gift bundles, through which we can add a personal touch on behalf of the couple from their stamp to a personalised message to make it heartfelt for their guests! The way we look at it, it isn’t always about company logos of corporate gifting during this time, couples, families and friends are all becoming increasingly aware of their footprint and there is the urge to incorporate mindful and sustainable gifting.
Sharing a testimonial here from one of our brides:
“After a lot of hunting for the perfect gift for my family and friends, I stumbled upon Bare Necessities and it spoke to me. The concept of sustainable living has always been close to me and I’ve been trying to incorporate it somehow or the other. Their little boxes with the various balms and soaps was just the perfect bridesmaid favour and to help spread their message. They have been extremely prompt and helpful right from the get-go and it's been absolutely hassle free! It was the easiest process of picking out and curating the box with them…thank you for everything! It is definitely something that will make this new phase in my life memorable.” ~ Sharanya Menon, Bridesmaid Gift Boxes
It is pertinent to note here that zero waste weddings for a country like India is not a novel or unheard of concept. Our grandparents, great grandparents and generations before that got married in the most zero waste manner possible! If we were just to reach out to our grandparents as our zero waste ready reckoners, we are sure to get some insight on hosting zero waste weddings! Weddings are a coming together of families, friends and loved ones, while also sharing deep care for the planet that we call our home. Weddings actually present an opportunity to share a closer camaraderie with the planet in being kinder, gentler and more compassionate with it.