Bengaluru moms Anupama Harish and Charulatha R hosted a low-waste plastic-free marriage ceremony for his or her kids that lasted three days. From utilizing eco-friendly decor and metal utensils to preparations for meals waste to be composted, right here’s how they did it.
In 2023, Anupama Harish and Charulatha R’s households in Bengaluru had an thrilling begin. They have been over the moon as their kids Ashutosh and Nidhi have been getting married. In February, they finalised the date for the marriage, which was set for 3 months later. The households now had little time to arrange for the marriage.
Because the households met to debate marriage ceremony intricacies, the groom’s mom laid down one situation, which was non-negotiable — she needed the marriage to be plastic-free.
“We have been very happy to just accept Anupama’s situation,” says Charulatha, the bride’s mom in a dialog with The Higher India.
“Plastic litter has at all times bothered me. We already compost at dwelling and I’ve a terrace backyard the place I take advantage of it. Even the engagement ceremony we organized didn’t have plastic, so we gladly took up the problem of getting a plastic-free marriage ceremony,” she provides.
Anupama additionally took accountability for dealing with the waste and making certain that the marriage was plastic free. She mentions that half of the efforts required to efficiently execute such a marriage ought to be completed through the strategy planning stage, starting with the invites.
Planning a plastic-free marriage ceremony
To cut back waste, each the bride and groom’s facet printed minimal invitation playing cards, which carried the phrases: ‘We are trying a minimal waste marriage ceremony. We sincerely request you to keep away from bouquets and reward wrappers’.
Indian weddings are normally lavish and indulgent. If you happen to go to any marriage ceremony venue after the festivities are over, one can find it strewn with plastic bottles, cups, and ornament objects. As weddings get bigger, so is the wastage.
One of many main waste producers in a marriage is meals. In accordance with an article in Floor Report, “A mean Indian marriage ceremony generates about 200–300 kg of meals waste which quantities to virtually 20% of the meals going to waste. Cumulatively, it quantities to $14 billion value of meals.”
“We selected a menu that might contain much less cutlery and selected dishes accordingly. We additionally didn’t need any plastic cups or water bottles. We rented metal cutlery from Adamya Chetana, a free cutlery financial institution. Meals was served on banana leaves. We solely used metal plates for the reception,” says Anupama.
One would normally assume that low-waste execution is simply potential in small-scale weddings. However Anupama and Charulatha made certain the template labored for his or her huge fats Indian marriage ceremony. They’d greater than 1,000 visitors for the reception and muhurtam. But, no plastic waste was generated.
To make sure that no waste from the marriage results in the landfill, Anupama roped in her ‘composting guru’ Vasuki Iyengar to attain this feat. A member of the Strong Waste Administration Spherical Desk (SWMRT) Bengaluru, Vasuki together with the six different members of the SWMRT workforce was in control of dealing with all of the waste from the marriage.
In accordance with SWMRT, over 4,000 meals have been served through the marriage ceremony, unfold over three days.
This led to about 1,000 kg of moist waste, which was changed into 300 kg of compost afterward.
“Low-waste weddings are the necessity of the hour,” says Vasuki. “Biodegradable waste is normally combined with plastic waste and dumped in landfills. So our workforce was current on the venue, and we positioned drums stuffed with cocopeat to gather the waste. We instructed the kitchen, catering and cleansing workers to segregate the waste and put the moist waste within the drums. The paper and flower waste was despatched to the gathering centre.”
The moist waste collected from the marriage was composted on the Swachagraha Kalika Kendra.
He provides that through the use of metal cutlery, 30,000 single-use disposables have been averted.
Utilizing 19-year-old butter paper for items
One other huge facet of Indian weddings is the items. Whereas going by means of her attic, Anupama discovered an enormous bundle of butter paper which she had stowed away after her son’s thread ceremony in 2004. She used that to pack the items for the visitors.
“I gave everybody naturally dyed shirt items. Even when one doesn’t sew it, they’ll positively hand it over to another person. I additionally used all of the arishina kumkuma (turmeric and vermillion powder) that I had at dwelling and packed them in papers,” says Anupama.
In addition they used solely contemporary flowers for decorations. Afterward, the bride’s pals despatched the flowers to a studio in Mumbai which used them as pure dyes and created garments for the couple.
The moms say that it’s simpler to plan a no-plastic marriage ceremony. “It’s simpler and cleaner. There isn’t a waste mendacity round. The venue was clear on a regular basis. One simply must have the need to stay a plastic-free life,” says Anupama, including that if every marriage ceremony mandap begins having a dishwasher, a lot waste could be decreased.
“You’ll be able to have a cutlery financial institution of 50-100 utensils amongst your loved ones and pals, and flow into it round. Isn’t this how our moms and grandmothers lived? My marriage ceremony was effortlessly plastic-free; that’s how all occasions have been performed throughout my time. In the present day, we have to spotlight such an occasion,” she shares.
Anupama and Charulatha encourage us to return to dwelling naturally, like our moms and grandmothers did, for the sake of the atmosphere.
Edited by Pranita Bhat
‘Environmental Price of The Large Fats Indian Marriage ceremony’ by Palak Tripathi for Floor Report.