This wonderful news comes to us from India.
Ashwin Malwade, a chief officer in the Merchant Navy and Nupur Agarwal, a market researcher are a couple with a difference. So much so that when they met through common friends they bonded instantly and were drawn to each other. They met each other at a beach cleanup and doing so has become a weekly ritual with them.
Naturally the couple wanted a sustainable wedding and after a bit of convincing, their families too were game for it. But they were in for a surprise when it came to the plans for the wedding. Firstly the couple wanted to use paper made from rhinoceros dung and eventually reached a compromise with their families; there would be handmade paper for the tech unsavvy and e-vites for the rest of the guests.
Nupur says, “Sometimes our zero-waste approach becomes overwhelming even for our friends, that’s why it’s important for both the people in the relationship to be equally driven towards a cause.”
A sustainable wedding was the choice of the couple and their aim was to have a wedding that would be carbon neutral. Here is what all they plan to do for the wedding.
In Maharashtrian weddings, guests shower the newlyweds with grains of rice as a form of blessing. Normally 7-8 kgs of rice are required. The couple was not okay with it and decided to use one bowl of rice for the entire ritual and donate the rest to those in need. Thus the ritual will be more eco-friendly and less wasteful.
The couple chose Pune as the venue for their wedding because Pune has a very evolved recycling system and it would help to reduce the carbon footprint when it came to travelling. The couple have decided to plant 4 trees for every person attending the wedding to offset the expected carbon footprint and have already planted 30 saplings.
Plastic bottles are one of the biggest contributors to any wedding and the couple is conscious of that too. They will have water dispensers available everywhere during the wedding for the guests to avail of.
The wedding wardrobe will see Nupur wearing her mother’s wedding lehenga and she has been careful to avoid any sequin work because that contributes to plastic waste as well. Both Ashwin and Nupur have got “Climate change is real” embroidered on both the wedding outfits.
Nupur says, “We encouraged our caterer to use sustainable alternatives like bagasse instead of plastic for the cutlery and crockery. Our caterer was so surprised by how easily it was available and impressed with its benefits that he has decided to use the same for all the events he caters.”
Ashwin has bought glass bottles for the hotel where the guests will stay and plans to leave the bottles with the hotel in a bid to ensure that plastic bottles are not used for the wedding at all.
The couple is having a budget wedding so that they can make a local BMC school zero-waste. To that end Ashwin has planned waste segregation, solar panel installation and rain water harvesting for the school.
Image source: Tweak India