India is a country obsessed with weddings. Indian weddings are lavish with grandeur spread all around. From decoration to clothes- the great Indian wedding is a massive celebration. While a wedding is a lovely ceremony, what are its impacts on the environment? Greenmyna takes us through their journey of planning eco-friendly weddings.

“Our garbage is our responsibility,” say eco-friendly wedding planners Ashwin and Nupur who started ‘Greenmyna’. Their mutual love for the environment is the foundation of their sustainable bond. However, while planning their wedding, they realized the hurdles faced by other couples who want to go green. This is how Greenmyna was born.

They believe that weddings should be a symbol of love and not wastage. During their research, they found eye-opening statistics about Indian weddings. For a two-day wedding with 500 guests, one orders about 15000 bottles of drinking water of 300 ml each. This means roughly 30 bottles per person. The packaged mixers that go into Patiala peg or Virgin mojito are a different statistic altogether.

There is also non-biodegradable plastic cutlery which makes it a real eyesore the morning after. A colossal amount of food is wasted at weddings. It is one of the largest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions. This is the extent of the impact that weddings have on the environment.

Greenmyna is not against the concept of a luxurious wedding. However, they believe that a holy union should not turn into an environmental disaster.

So, the question arises that how can one make a change? How can one conduct an environment-friendly wedding? Will the cost be higher? Will the gloriousness be deficient? There are so many doubts to be answered and myths to be debunked.

Here are some of the queries answered by Greenmyna:

Are eco-friendly weddings more lavish or simpler?
It totally depends on the couple and the families. Indian weddings have always been sustainable until commercialization took over. If we look at photos of our parents’ wedding, we’ll get our answers there.

Are eco-friendly weddings cheaper or more expensive than “normal” weddings?
It is almost the same cost. Yes, certain elements may cost more, maybe because we are stuck in the
vicious loop of demand and supply. However, this can be balanced by managing the cost of other elements like a prewedding photoshoot, wedding cards, etc.

Are artificial flowers better than natural flowers?
No, they are not. Natual flowers go into composting, thus closing the loop. Any artificial flower arrangement for a wedding is used only for 3-4 weddings, after which they are discarded. They ultimately find their way to a landfill.

Now we know that the amount of waste that one wedding generates is a lot. We also know what can be done to stop it. The effects of climate change are already upon us. We can talk about climate change all day long but if we don’t act on it, very little will change. The more we delay our actions, the higher the risk. In the words of renowned environmental researcher Dr Jane Goodall, “What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.”

Greenmyna is a Mumbai based Eco-event planner that specialises in weddings and operates pan-India.
With help of research and enthusiasm for the environment, they help clients via consultation, planning and execution. You can reach out to them on Instagram at @greenmyna.


Also Read: Moving Towards Zero Waste Homes- Steps for Beginners