TIRUCHY: Weddings are an exercise in extravagance. A big celebration, it ends up generating a lot of waste, starting from the wedding cards to plastic cups and water bottles.
Wedding cards have become a status symbol for many, with cards running into pages.
Selvamathi Venkatesh, the special deputy collector in Kancheepuram and native of Tiruchy, decided to change the trend at her son Balaji's wedding with Saranya in Tiruchy. She printed the wedding cards on a handkerchief.
From the invitations to the return gift, everything was planned keeping the environment in mind.
"Wedding cards are extremely expensive, and for what, they are thrown into the dumpster a day after the wedding. I always used to feel bad when I saw fancy wedding cards, as they serve no purpose. Therefore, we designed the card on cloth. After 2-3 washes, the print will fade away and it will
look like a regular handkerchief," says Selvamathi.
In fact, the pouch in which the card was given was a huge hit with the ladies, who say they can use it to store jewels. Printed in three colours, Selvamathi says she got a lot of requests for all three.
Another big waste generator at weddings are the plastic cups and tissue papers.
Selvamathi kept only steel tumblers and gave a cotton towel to everyone to use. The return gift was also environment-friendly, a cloth bag, two seed balls and a cotton towel.
"We got 2000 seed balls made for the guests. The seeds include those of vegetables, neem trees and teak trees. I wanted to spread awareness at least in my own family. We have printed how to plant the seed balls on the cover so that people don't throw it," adds Selvamathi.
Such weddings not only save the environment, but they also don't burn a hole in your pocket. It's a win for the environment and your wallet.