What better way to thank your guests for attending your wedding than by sending them home with eco-friendly wedding favors as a reminder of your special day? We’ve all been to a wedding where we’ve accidentally left a wedding favor behind, given ours to another guest, or thrown away the favor to make room in our house. Though wedding favors are just a small aspect of the overall wedding day, we firmly believe that every action we take to be more sustainable adds up!
We’ve rounded up some of our favorite eco-friendly wedding favor ideas so that you can send your guests home with a reminder that is sentimental, useful, sustainable, and will stay out of a landfill!
1. Eco-friendly packaging
Before we delve into eco-friendly wedding favors, let’s talk packaging! As much as you can, try sourcing your wedding favors locally to support a small business and avoid shipping emissions. You can also try to source your favors from sellers that use eco-friendly packaging. If you are purchasing personalized favors from websites like Etsy, they actually offset shipping emissions, and many sellers specify if they use plastic-free shipping materials! When possible, choose minimal packaging and avoid plastic if you are comparing vendors/products.
2. Make a donation
As we know, the easiest way to cut down on emissions is to reduce consumption. Instead of buying your guests a physical token of thanks, consider making a donation to a cause or charity close to your heart. You can print a note (might we suggest seed paper or recycled paper?) thanking guests and telling them where you are choosing to donate to.
A creative variation of this is to pick a few charities and give each guest their own token and the opportunity to choose where their donation goes. Your family and friends will feel more invested in the donation process and can choose a cause they love too!
An excellent way to avoid plastic and packaging is by giving your wedding guests potted plants as a favor! Whether you choose to give your guests succulents, herbs, or repurpose your centerpieces, sending your friends and family home with a green gift is definitely eco-friendly. To add a special personalized touch to this favor, you could add seed paper printed thank you notes or choose personalized pots for each guest!
Bonus: If you still have leftover flowers after your event, you can donate them with us here at Petals for Hope to make sure they end up in the hands of those in need in your community!
4. Flower seeds
Another cute variation of potted plant wedding favors is giving your guests seed packets to bring home and plant themselves. There are so many personalized versions of seed packets available online, and they are also a very budget-friendly favor. If you’d like, you can even include a small vase or planter as an extra special touch or add on.
5. Edible gifts
One thing we love about edible wedding favors is how practical they are. After all-everyone eats! Locally produced preserves, honey, sweets, olive oils, beers, and wines all make great eco-friendly wedding favors that your guests can actually use! Not sure where to start? Try looking for inspiration at a local farmers market, or consider what products or shops are popular in your wedding location. Getting married in wine country? Try mini bottles of wine. Is there a honey seller nearby? Give a gift your guests will be buzzing about! Once you’ve selected the perfect product, you can print your own labels with your initials, wedding date, or a thank you note.
6. Soy or beeswax candles
Candles are the perfect wedding favor for a romantic wedding! After all, who doesn’t love coming home and relaxing with a lit candle? Candles are also an excellent choice for weddings with many of out-of-town guests, as there are no liquids to get through airport security and they are easy to transport. Just be sure to avoid purchasing candles made with paraffin wax-this is not very eco-friendly. Choose soy or beeswax candles as a more natural alternative, and try buying from a local candle maker if possible!
7. Locally made soaps
Another local product we love to see as wedding favors are handmade, locally-produced soaps. Bar soaps are sustainable because they do not come in plastic and are more concentrated than liquid soaps, meaning less effort is required to ship them. We also think locally-produced soaps are fantastic because they look great, smell heavenly, and are easy to label with a thank you for your guests! Farmers markets are a great place to look, but if you can’t find a local producer near you, check out Etsy!
8. Gift the glassware
Are you hopping on the mason jar trend? Serving your guests wine? Having a champagne toast? Consider purchasing personalized or etched glassware that can be used to serve guests at your wedding, and send them home with the glasses afterward. If you’re really feeling crafty, you can try thrifting mason jars or glasses to use and even etch them yourself!
9. Think zero waste
Want to share your love for the environment with all of your guests and give them a gift that our planet will love? Try gifting them some zero waste essentials perfect for eco-friendly wedding favors! Personalized tote bags, reusable straws, bamboo cutlery, reusable water bottles…these zero waste staples are gifts you’ll feel good about and can help your friends and family reduce their waste! A win-win!
10. Don’t stop at wedding favors
There are so many ways to incorporate sustainability into your wedding day, so don’t just stop at eco-friendly wedding favors! Invitations, caterers, venues, flowers…the list of ways to reduce wedding-day waste is almost endless!
Follow us on Instagram @petalsforhope for more eco-friendly wedding tips!
Here at Petals for Hope, we are passionate about reducing waste from weddings and events and helping our communities. To learn more about how our nonprofit can help you recycle your wedding flowers and distribute them to those in need, click here!
For more great tips on planning a sustainable wedding, check out these posts: