RSA House is a Georgian townhouse providing an inspiring venue for your wedding day! RSA House seamlessly combines original period architecture with modern design and technology, all with an emphasis on being as sustainable as possible. If you are looking for easy ways to make your wedding more sustainable, RSA House has you covered!
How sustainable is the wedding industry currently?
Currently the wedding industry is not very sustainable. Events and weddings in particular generate a huge amount of waste each year. In fact, The Sustainable Wedding Alliance, estimates that this averages nearly 1/3 of a metric tonne of solid waste produced and 14.5 tonnes of carbon dioxide emitted per wedding!
How can couples have a more eco-friendly wedding?
Having a sustainable wedding does not mean that a couple must have a fully plant-based menu or cut back on their floral dreams to play their part. Merely taking some small steps, like carefully considering each supplier they choose and that supplier’s sustainable and ethical practices, will go such a long way. Michelle Miles, Founder of The Sustainable Wedding Alliance put it beautifully when she said, “It is all about progress over perfection”.
When planning your wedding, think about each element of the day and see if there is a way that you could make that element more sustainable. For example, could you serve local, biodynamic and organic sparkling wine, instead of prosecco? Could you forgo the wedding favours and instead offer your guests small bouquets to take home that were repurposed from your ceremony or table flowers? Could you opt for recycled or plantable stationery as an alternative to normal paper products? Could you serve a vegetarian starter or main instead of having both be meat offerings? All of these decisions can make a real difference when trying to reduce your wedding’s carbon footprint and help to leave the planet a better place for future generations.
What are your top tips for planning a sustainable wedding?
When it comes to food, plant-based is always going to be the most sustainable option. But if you really want to serve meat on your wedding day, make sure that it is being sourced locally, and consider serving ‘better meats’ such as pork and poultry rather than red meats. Menus should also use seasonal ingredients and you should avoid any products that need to be air freighted as this drastically increases the carbon footprint.
In order to avoid food waste, work with your caterer to make sure that they have an accurate guest count in advance and opt for a plated meal rather than a buffet. I know many couples want to make sure that guests have plenty to eat throughout their wedding day, but trust that your caterers know how much food to prepare – they likely have been doing this for a very long time!
Question all of your potential suppliers about their sustainability practices and policies. There are some truly amazing suppliers that care about the environment and are taking positive steps towards protecting it. For example, some of our recommended suppliers are working to offset their carbon footprint by planting trees and other initiatives through partnerships with Ecologi and (TAG) Carbon Neutral Britain. Also, look for certifications from an independent party who will have verified a company’s data to avoid greenwashing.
Rent furniture, décor and fashion where you can and consider upcycling where you can’t. There are some wonderful re-sale websites for wedding décor and wedding dresses, which can be a great way for items to be reused and repurposed rather than thrown away.
Don’t forget about your digital footprint (or your suppliers’)! Michelle Miles, founder of The Sustainable Wedding Alliance recently commented at RSA House’s ‘Weddings Without Compromise’ panel discussion that your digital footprint matters when it comes to reducing your carbon footprint. She noted that if the internet were a country, it would be the 7th largest carbon emissions emitter in the world. Start thinking about what you put on the internet and into the cloud and ensure that your website and emails are being hosted on servers that use renewable energy.
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What can your new sustainable wedding package offer couples?
Our Sustainable Wedding package focuses on RSA House’s new sustainable menu offering, brilliantly designed by Executive Chef, Darren Archer, from RSA House’s catering partner, Company of Cooks. The menu showcases low-carbon fine dining at its finest without compromising one bit on creativity, taste and presentation. The package also benefits from the steps RSA House has and is taking as a venue to commit to a greener future including reducing the overall waste produced by their weddings, including food waste, and reducing the carbon footprint that they leave behind. Couples will enjoy the benefits from these changes solely by holding their wedding at RSA House.
A few commitments that RSA House has already made include:
- Having a target of net zero for 2025, with all waste oil collected and turned into biodiesel and all food waste collected by Greener than Green which is then used to produce green energy.
- Our kitchen is run on 100% green energy with no gas appliances.
- The entire building has also gradually been converted to the use of LED lighting, with many of these on sensor timers, to reduce electricity consumption.
- Upcycling and reusing furniture where possible.
- Replacing carpet, only when and where necessary, with new carpet made of discarded fishing nets from some of the poorest communities in the world. The nets are recycled into new yarn for carpet tiles.
- Encouraging plant-based menus where possible.
Another key part of the Sustainable Wedding package is that all suppliers that RSA House recommends are aligned in their eco-conscious values and practices.