Clear Con­science

Cre­ative ways to make your wed­ding eco-friendly with­out sac­ri­fic­ing style

Hong Kong Tatler Weddings - - Contents - writes Emma Heyn

USE RE­CY­CLED PA­PER FOR THE IN­VI­TA­TIONS

The first or­der of busi­ness for any wed­ding is the in­vi­ta­tions, and Hong Kong-based de­signer Penny Fosker has an eco-con­scious way to get your big news out to your friends. Her sta­tionery com­pany, Pa­per-Roses, cre­ates hand-il­lus­trated, cus­tomised de­signs and prints them on re­cy­cled pa­per. If you would like to re­duce your car­bon foot­print even fur­ther, you could send dig­i­tal in­vi­ta­tions via sites such as evite.com and Paper­less Post. pa­per­roses­de­signs.com

PICK CATER­ERS WITH SUS­TAIN­ABIL­ITY IN MIND

If you need to hire cater­ing ser­vices for your venue, con­sider In­vis­i­ble Kitchen, which makes a point of us­ing or­ganic and lo­cal pro­duce and, as much as pos­si­ble, WWF-cer­ti­fied sus­tain­able seafood and meat from sus­tain­able farms. They re­use their cooler bags and food pack­ing trays to cut down on waste, and do­nate any clean, un­used in­gre­di­ents to char­i­ties like Food An­gel and Feed­ing Hong Kong for use in their meals for the needy. in­vis­i­blek­itchen.com

USE POT­TED PLANTS IN­STEAD OF CUT FLOW­ERS

Rather than tra­di­tional flo­ral cen­tre­pieces, con­sider us­ing el­e­gant ar­range­ments of pot­ted flow­ers and herbs. Small pots of or­chids, suc­cu­lents, sage, mint or basil in well-cho­sen ceramic vases, styled with fruit like figs, lemon and blush pears, make stun­ning ar­range­ments that look chic against white table­cloths. Not only do they smell gor­geous and pro­vide a talk­ing point, guests can take them home and make good use of them.

FIND AL­TER­NA­TIVE WAYS TO SHOP FOR YOUR OUT­FITS

For out­fits for the events around the wed­ding, such as the bridal shower, re­hearsal din­ner and post-wed­ding brunch, con­sider buy­ing pre-owned lux­ury clothes and ac­ces­sories through sites such as Guilt­less and Ves­ti­aire Col­lec­tive. You’ll look fab­u­lous and re­duce your car­bon foot­print at the same time. Re­dress, a Hong Kong-based NGO that aims to re­duce fabric waste in the fash­ion sec­tor, some­times does pop-ups for pre-owned clothes through On The List’s show­room on Dud­dell Street, Cen­tral. guilt­less.com; us.ves­ti­airec­ol­lec­tive.com; re­dress.com.hk

If you want to rent your wed­ding gown in­stead of buy­ing one—a move that will also save you some valu­able wardrobe space— Cen­tral Wed­dings now of­fers gowns for rent from Monique Lhuil­lier, March­esa, Anne Barge, Yolan­cris and more. cen­tral­wed­dings.com

GIVE TO CHAR­ITY

If you would like to mark your spe­cial day by giv­ing some­thing back to the com­mu­nity, you could sug­gest guests make a do­na­tion to your cho­sen char­ity in lieu of gifts, or you could make a do­na­tion on be­half of each guest as a wed­ding favour. For do­na­tions as a wed­ding favour, World Vi­sion Hong Kong can pro­vide post­cards for each guest cus­tomised with the name of the cou­ple. Or­bis Hong Kong pro­vides wed­ding cards that al­low you to write or print your own thank-you mes­sage in­side. Other lo­cal char­i­ties to which guests can do­nate in­clude Bring Me a Book, the Red Cross, Ox­fam and Plan In­ter­na­tional, which helps un­der­priv­i­leged chil­dren in Thai­land, Sri Lanka and West Africa. world­vi­sion.org.hk; hkg.or­bis.org

LET THERE BE CAN­DLE­LIGHT

In the words of English au­thor John Fowles, “Can­dle­light never did badly by any woman.” Time­less and in­ti­mate, can­dle­light cre­ates a ro­man­tic at­mo­sphere that will high­light the best fea­tures of your wed­ding and al­low you to rely a lit­tle less on elec­tric light­ing. The choices for can­dle­hold­ers are al­most un­lim­ited, from ones fea­tur­ing colour­ful Moroccan pat­terns to stately can­de­labras and

sim­ple glass ves­sels. Scents are also im­por­tant to con­sider. Home Es­sen­tials’ can­dles are made from nat­u­ral soy wax and housed in re­cy­cled glass con­tain­ers. Their range of deca­dent scents, which in­clude pome­gran­ate, lemon­grass and French vanilla, will in­fuse the room with a won­der­ful fra­grance all evening. If you love the Jo Malone aes­thetic, the brand of­fers a con­sul­ta­tion ser­vice to help you choose the best size and scent of can­dles for your wed­ding, be it Wild Fig & Cas­sis, Blackberry & Bay, Sweet Al­mond & Mac­a­roon or the many other scents in its range. jo­ma­lone.com.hk; home­essen­tials.com.hk

THROW SEEDS FOR GOOD LUCK

The ori­gin of the tra­di­tion of throw­ing rice at the bride and groom is un­cer­tain, but in­stead of rice and con­fetti, why not throw seeds? This is a greener so­lu­tion that might even see some flow­ers bloom­ing long after the big day.

SERVE OR­GANIC WINE

Robert Louis Steven­son wrote that “wine is bot­tled po­etry,” and we all know it’s an es­sen­tial in­gre­di­ent for a great wed­ding. Thank­fully, there are ways to make it a sus­tain­able op­tion, too, thanks to Cork Cul­ture. Hong Kong’s premier or­ganic wine mer­chant, it spe­cialises in hand-har­vested, au­then­ti­cally or­ganic Ital­ian, French and Span­ish wines. cork­cul­ture.hk

DON’T USE PLAS­TIC STRAWS

Cut­ting out plas­tic straws is an ex­cel­lent way to make your wed­ding more eco-friendly. If you don’t want to go with­out straws, there are green al­ter­na­tives to plas­tic, in­clud­ing re­us­able metal straws from Plas­tic-Free and biodegrad­able bam­boo straws from veg­ware.hk. Metal straws and sets of bam­boo uten­sils from Plas­tic-Free can also be used as wed­ding favours, help­ing to spread the word and en­cour­age peo­ple to cut down on their use of plas­tic. veg­ware.hk; plas­ticfreehk.com

GIVE WED­DING FAVOURS THAT YOUR GUESTS WILL TREA­SURE

Ate­lier Cologne’s per­fumes are made from highly con­cen­trated qual­ity es­sen­tial oils, with 95 per cent of its for­mu­las made from nat­u­ral in­gre­di­ents—a stand­out fac­tor in the world of per­fumery. The brand’s fra­grances are all avail­able in 30ml glass bot­tles that can be housed in leather cases en­graved with guests’ names, an ex­cel­lent op­tion for mem­o­rable and stylish wed­ding favours or wel­come gifts. There are more than 30 scents to choose from—such as their Joie de Vivre range, which fea­tures clean citrus scents like Pomélo Par­adis and Clé­men­tine Cal­i­for­nia that im­me­di­ately evoke mem­o­ries of a trop­i­cal hol­i­day. The ac­com­pa­ny­ing leather cases come in 15 colours, al­low­ing cou­ples to choose the right scent and colour for each guest. Fur­ther­more, the bot­tles have screw-on spray noz­zles, so the bot­tles can eas­ily be reused long after the fra­grance is gone. ate­lier­cologne.com

SAY NO TO SHARK FIN SOUP

While it has long been a sta­ple of Chi­nese wed­ding ban­quets, many ho­tels and restau­rants have ceased serv­ing shark fin soup due to the ques­tion­able fish­ing meth­ods. There are plenty of al­ter­na­tives to the del­i­cacy that are more de­li­cious and just as suit­able for a Chi­nese banquet, such as dou­ble-boiled con­sommé made with chicken and mat­su­take mush­rooms, which fea­tures on the wed­ding banquet menus of the Four Sea­sons Ho­tel Hong Kong. foursea­sons.com

CUT DOWN ON PLAS­TIC BOT­TLES

The quan­tity of bot­tled min­eral and sparkling wa­ter needed for a wed­ding can quickly add up. To cut down on the use of plas­tic bot­tles, you can check with the venue or caterer to see if they have an in-house wa­ter fil­ter­ing sys­tem and car­bon­at­ing de­vice, so you can keep your guests hy­drated with fil­tered and house-made sparkling wa­ter served in re­us­able glass bot­tles.

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