Royal Wedding Aims to Keep Things Green

Hemp and peace silk wedding gown

OK, so I admit it. The romantic in me has unabashedly taken over and I’m caught up in the royal wedding frenzy. While it’s not known if bride-to-be Kate Middleton will be donning an eco-friendly wedding dress made of hemp, peace silk, bamboo, fair-trade cotton and natural dyes, I was glad to hear that the royal couple has adopted a number of environmentally-sound practices for their big day.  

While it’s hard to conceive of a “low-carbon” wedding for 1,500 people, they are at least making an attempt to keep things as green as possible with seasonal flowers like lilacs, tulips, bluebells,  and sweet peas, food from sustainable sources, and facilities powered in part by renewable energy. Too bad all their guests can’t travel to London in hybrid cars.

With only three days to go, a series of measures are being taken to reduce the wedding’s environmental impact at the service, lunchtime reception, and dinner at Buckingham Palace. This includes printing all documents on recycled paper and using FSC-certified wood for the media stands.

The carbon emissions from the wedding will also be offset as part of the royal household’s efforts to keep their carbon footprint down.  That’s going to be one giant offset! The guests will dine on sustainably sourced food and drink, and will be surrounded by seasonal flowers, locally grown I hope.  If salmon is served it will undoubtedly be Scottish and asparagus will come from the Vale of Evesham.

The post-ceremony ride from Westminster Abbey to Buckingham palace will be in a carbon-friendly carriage. At least the use of the Queen’s Rolls-Royce will only be used for a short distance to get the bride to the church on time.

Prince Charles has a long-time commitment to the environment, so it’s no surprise to see these measures being taken. The royals aim to minimize their carbon emissions and make any event they host as environmentally-friendly as possible. The household annually costs its emissions at market rate and contributes the money towards sustainable forestry projects in the U.K. and overseas.

No need for guests to worry about the proper gift for the happy couple, they have designated Earthwatch for charity donations in lieu of gifts. Earthwatch seeks to find social and scientific answers to environmental issues.

Sadly, the wedding guests will be breathing in polluted air as they enjoy the festivities. High levels of pollution are currently plaguing London and some say the Mayor should issue a royal wedding smog alert.

So congrats to Will and Kate for their efforts to keep the biggest wedding of the century green, even if it’s only a light shade. To be truly green they would run off to Africa and being married in a tent.

Learn how you can offset your own carbon footprint at

Published: April 26, 2011