A Guide to Planning a Sustainable, Eco-Friendly Wedding in Ireland

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Written By Katie McGarr

Your wedding is the most exciting day of your life but with bags full of disposables, food waste and leftover flowers remaining the next day, it can also be the most wasteful. There are over 20,000 wedding celebrations in Ireland every year and if we all did our part, we could drastically reduce the waste produced. Choosing an environmentally conscious wedding venue in Ireland is a great first step. Cahernane House Hotel in Killarney, Kerry, are working to improve our sustainability score throughout our property and we’re happy to work with couples to make their special day as sustainable as possible.

Sustainable Wedding Venue Ireland

Choosing a venue that is passionate about our environment and protecting the local community is key to an eco-friendly wedding. Cahernane House Hotel in Killarney is a member of The Green Hospitality Programme which is the only Irish Government certification standard for the hospitality sector. We are adapting our building and practices to best suit our environment. We provide bike racks and electric car chargers to encourage responsible travel. Our rainwater tanks water the plants in our gardens and inside the hotel. We compost any food waste or grass cuttings, which we’re working to reduce to their minimum. Our electric equipment is low emission, timed and metered so we can check our usage at any time.

We recently used Failte Ireland’s carbon calculator to check our carbon footprint against the international benchmark of 29.71kg. We were delighted to come in way under the national average at just 12.84kg of CO2 per guest night. We have improvements to make but it’s great to know that we are going in the right direction.

Reduce and Reuse

As part of the environmentally friendly pledge of our Kerry wedding venue is a commitment to reduce and reuse wherever possible. Our staff members have been educated on recycling best practices and on food waste reduction. We have monthly reviews of our practices to ensure they are impactful. We have reduced the need for printing, reducing paper waste.  Our heating and electrical systems are on timers and monitored to facilitate a reduction in unnecessary use. Recycling is taken seriously, cardboard, plastic, glass, and food bins have been implemented in every department. We are gradually removing single-use items from the hotel including straws, coffee cups, napkins, plastic bottles, and coasters. We welcome any suggestions for improvement from our guests.

Environmentally Friendly Wedding Tips

You shouldn’t have to compromise on your wedding day, after all, you only get one! However, there are some small changes you can make to reduce the environmental impact of your big day. These small details won’t make a big difference to your guest’s experience but will have a big impact on the environment.

Pick an Eco-Friendly Venue.

Don’t compromise on the quality, beauty or experience of your big day, but don’t accept subpar environmental policy from your venue. Ask about their sustainable efforts and work together to reduce the impact of your wedding.

Choose Sustainable Suppliers.

You’ll need external suppliers for your wedding, whether that’s cake, flowers, décor or invites. Choosing eco-conscious suppliers is the first step in reducing the carbon footprint of your big day.

Ban Single Use.

From straws and napkins to small plastic favours, you’d be surprised how fast the waste builds up from a wedding. Banning anything single-use from your wedding will drastically reduce the waste generated at your celebration.

Real Flowers Only.

While some suppliers encourage silk and fabric flowers as a budget-friendly alternative, only real flowers are fully biodegradable and leave minimal waste. Choose locally grown, seasonal flowers to reduce their carbon footprint.

Send Sustainable Invitations.

Set the tone for your wedding with sustainable invitations. Use recycled paper, make them plantable by infusing them with seeds and don’t include any glitter or plastic elements. If you’d prefer, you could also choose e-invites reducing physical waste to zero.

Donation, not Favour.

Instead of wasting resources and money on favours that many guests will forget to take home, opt for a donation to a charity of your choice. Chances are they won’t be missed, and the charity will be delighted with the support.

Donate Décor.

Look for built-in décor at your wedding venue and use what they have available. If you buy extras, donate them to the venue, to a local charity, or to another couple getting married. Buy good quality décor so it can be reused time and time again.

If you’re engaged and looking for an eco-conscious wedding venue in Ireland, Cahernane House Hotel is an excellent choice. Set against the stunning natural beauty of the Kerry countryside Cahernane House Hotel in Killarney is a unique and beautiful venue for your wedding in Ireland. Contact us for more information about our wedding packages.

 

Author Bio: Katie McGarr is a daytime writer for Cahernane House Hotel Killarney, a charming four-star boutique hotel, beautifully set on a picturesque private estate and near the bustling Killarney town centre. Her fondness for travel, food, and cultural appreciation makes it easy for her to write inspiring pieces of content about them. 

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