Do you really need to decorate your bachelorette party with all those mylar balloons?

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There are many ways to make your wedding a more eco-friendly occasion, and keeping your wedding party in the loop is a great way to make it a communal effort. Rather than increase your carbon footprint with disposable decorations, one-time-use clothing, and throw-away gifts, here are six simple ways you can focus on bringing sustainable, ethical practices into your wedding and the events leading up to it.

Opt for earth-friendly, ethically made attire.

In today's retail environment, there are plenty of options for green attire that's also beautiful. For dresses, brands like Reformation and Dôen take a sustainable and ethical approach to dressmaking. For suits, brands like Boden and Theory carry ethical options.

Consider reusable attire.

If you're less interested in customizing and tailoring the looks for your wedding party, reusable and rented attire is a great alternative to buying one-time wear clothing. The Black Tux, Rent the Runway, and Union Station all offer wedding options in a variety of colors and styles. Another alternative to one-time wear clothing is to let your wedding party wear something they already own. If you're concerned about unity, you can specify a color they're likely to have in their closets.

Communicate the fact that you're aiming to create a low-waste experience with your wedding party.

If the members of your wedding party know you're trying to keep a minimal carbon footprint with your wedding, they're more likely to make smart choices that are waste-conscious when planning your pre-nuptial celebrations. While you may not have a lot of say in how these parties are planned, it's perfectly acceptable etiquette to let the people in charge know that low-waste is a major priority for you.

Stay close to home for your bachelor and bachelorette parties.

While traveling to and from your wedding day may be unavoidable, it's easier to focus on keeping small carbon footprint for your pre-wedding parties. Maybe there's a local organic winery you can all carpool to for the day, or a destination that's accessible via trains for a long weekend trip.

When gifting, keep reusability in mind.

You'll likely give your wedding party attendants a few gifts and notes throughout the process of planning your wedding, and these should always be selected as keepsakes. It's tempting to buy a bunch of disposable décor to make things feel more festive, but experiences are what people remember in the long term.

Consider volunteering together.

If you're looking for a bonding activity to do with your wedding party leading up to the big day, consider volunteering with a local environmental group. Maybe you can work together to plant trees in a local forest, or head to the beach nearest you on a clean-up day. Not only will you do something great for your community, but you'll be able to introduce your wedding party to each other in a setting that's meaningful and interactive.

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