Planning Ahead: Attending a Wedding

April showers bring… wedding receptions. Right? Next weekend, I’m headed to my first wedding of the year, and I’m pumped. Staying zero waste gets a little trickier with more formal events, and I try to walk that thin line between bringing everything I need and nothing more. When what I’ll use has to fit into a little clutch instead of my everyday tote, planning ahead is a must. Here’s a peek into what I’m bringing, and what I’m leaving behind.

In my bag:

Handkerchief. Essential for noses, lipstick smudges, hands (in case there are only paper napkins), and maybe even tears.

Toothbrush and tiny jar of toothpaste. I mean, it’s a long day. I use a bamboo toothbrush, which I initially chose because it's compostable but in this situation has the added benefit of being really lightweight. I also decanted a little toothpaste into a tiny container I had lying around, left over from an old project.

Lipstick in a recyclable glass jar. RMS Beauty has been a favorite of mine for years (even pre-zero waste) because it’s organic and nontoxic. When my current supply runs out, I might try making my own lip stain instead.

Etc. Pared-down wallet, phone, and spare hairpins.

Leaving at home:

Snacks. As a vegan, I can’t always count on being able to eat enough at an event where someone else is doing the cooking or planning, unless it’s a close friend or family member. For less intimate events (think fundraisers or talks), I stick a piece of fruit in my bag in case I need something else to eat once I’m there. But, at a wedding, that just seems rude. Instead, I’ll eat a snack before I get to the reception, and I can always eat one afterwards, too.

Water bottle. I almost never go out without a water bottle or mason jar so that I don’t have to use a plastic or paper cup in a pinch (like coffee cups, disposable paper cups are typically lined with plastic and hard, or impossible, to recycle). But taking my water bottle to a wedding would mean sizing up to a larger purse, and most venues are formal enough that they use reusable dishes anyway. I’m skipping bringing one this time, and I’ll report back.

Silverware. Ditto – I usually stow a small fork in my purse, but I’m counting on the formality of the event to make it unnecessary this time around.

What am I missing? What would you pack differently? I’d love to hear! And, you can find more posts on how to plan ahead so that you can stay sustainable and zero waste no matter what the day throws at you, here.