There’s nothing more thoughtful than to give your wedding guests loving gifts to show your appreciation of them. But it can be a challenging task if you’re wanting to keep waste to a minimum and sustainability at the front of mind, so choosing gifts that are eco-friendly is essential.
Some of the key things you want to keep in mind when looking for eco-friendly wedding favours are;
- Make sure it’s recyclable, biodegradable and/or compostable
- Avoid any products that are made from single-use plastics
- Choose gifts that wildlife will enjoy as well as your guests e.g. flower seeds
- Can you make something to gift them with e.g. homemade jam
- Seek out organic and fair trade items that are ethically made
- Give something that can be used and reused multiple times e.g. tote bags
- Are there charities you could donate the money to on behalf of guest
Ultimately you want guests to appreciate the wedding gifts you give them, whilst knowing they will take them home and they’re not going to cause more harm to earth than good!
It’s also worth noting that you can personalise your wedding favours based on what is more suited to your respective guests – for instance, if you know one of your guests is more of a gardener than a bird lover, you can switch up what you give them.
We have rounded up 14 of the best eco-friendly wedding gifts that we know your guest will love in the list below.
Soy based wax candles
Who doesn’t love candles? This is an ideal wedding gift, especially when choosing a candle that is soy-wax based and uses natural essential oils like lavender, eucalyptus, lemon and others.
Make sure to choose candles in containers made from recyclable materials that don’t include plastic or chemicals, and are packaged in biodegradable / compostable boxes.
These handmade soy wax candles come in packs of three, so you can choose different scents for guests.
Flower, veg or chilli seeds
Choose flower seeds that are sentimental to you, or something that you know your guest will love to see grow. These wildflower seeds are ideal for bees, butterflies and birds to enjoy.
Alternatively, if you think your guest would prefer to grow vegetables or they enjoy spicy seasoning, then gift them with some veg or chilli seeds.
This tin vegetable kit has 15 different varieties of seeds which is brilliant for capturing all seasonal veg and it includes chilli seeds too!
Natural soap bars
An essential household staple is always a good idea for a wedding gift as you know it’ll be used. Soap is exactly that. A practical and thoughtful favour that you know your guest will take home and use.
These UK handmade vegan friendly soap bars are ideal, as they come in over 10 natural scents, are plastic packaging free and palm oil free.
A simple yet thoughtful touch to gift your wedding guests with is a personalised handwritten letter – don’t worry, it doesn’t have to be five pages or anything, a few loving lines is all you need.
Tailor the words to each of your guests with a shared memory to make them feel special and it’ll put a smile on their face.
If your family or friends are massive bird lovers and have a garden or apartment with something to hang a feeder off, then this is an ideal gift for them.
What better way to show your knowledge of what they like, whilst giving them something that they will 100% use – in addition to something that birds will enjoy – than bird seed.
This heart-shaped bird seed mix is ideal, as it looks good and will feed the local wildlife too.
For the herb loving guests who love to cook with plenty of flavours, then gift them with a pre-planted herb. Anything from rosemary to dill will work and not only will they smell sensational in their homes, but they can be enjoyed multiple times when cooking.
Succulents in biodegradable pots
Elegant, minimal and one of the most low-maintenance plants to keep in the household are succulents.
They look beautiful as decor on your wedding table too, so you can use them as decoration to start with, then gift them out at the end of the night – adding a zero-waste dimension to your special day.
Homemade jam, marmalade or chutney
Making your own preserves, such as jam, is a wonderful way to not only utilise all the fruit in your fridge (which is a great way to reduce food waste), but once made, they have a long shelf-life.
This means you can make multiple jars using different fruits over a few months in the lead up to your special day, then placing them on the wedding table with personalised labels.
Reusable coffee cups
Let’s face it, there is always a coffee lover in the family or your circle of friends. A reusable coffee cup is a useful, yet eco-friendly, gift that keeps on giving.
In the UK alone 2.5 billion coffee cups are thrown away, with less than 1 in 400 of them being recycled – which makes this an evermore pressing item for those coffee lovers to have and helps reduce plastic waste.
These award winning reusable cups are 100% recyclable and made using single use coffee cups, making them the perfect eco-friendly gift.
Sustainably made Fair Trade coffee
Coffee that has been accredited as Fair Trade indicates that it has been ethically made using sustainably sourced coffee beans. This means the farmers have been paid a fair living wage, using sustainable farming methods, which helps lower the environmental impact of coffee production.
There is a wide-range of deliciously tasting eco-friendly coffee, which come in all forms, from ethical coffee beans, fair trade ground coffee and sustainable coffee pods. So you can choose whatever you think your wedding guest will appreciate most.
Organic eco-friendly tea
You’ll struggle to find a household in the UK that doesn’t have tea in the cupboard – and your wedding guests are no exception.
Loose tea leaves are the most eco-friendly choice, as many traditional tea bags contain mico-plastics which take years to biodegrade. However there are some eco-conscious companies which make fully biodegradable tea bags, such as Pukka who are a certified B corporation and 100% carbon neutral.
It takes around 200 years for a plastic straw to decompose, and it’s estimated 8.3 billion plastic straws pollute the world’s beaches. It’s devastating to think of how much wildlife is harmed simply because of throwaway plastic straws, often used for only 10 minutes in a drink.
We all know wedding guests will be enjoying a drink or two on your special day, so give them a bamboo or stainless steel straw to use and they can take it away as a gift at the end of the night. These bamboo straws are perfect and you can personalise them for guests.
Donation to a charity
If you really are wanting to keep waste to a minimum and don’t want to risk your guest not using your chosen gifts, a great alternative is donating to a chosen charity on behalf of them.
You could send an email or message to each of your guests with a selection of charities you’d be happy to donate to, so they feel part of the donation process. In one of the wedding meal speeches, one of the hosting members giving a speech could mention the thoughtful donation and raise a toast.
We hope this has been a helpful guide and given you some eco-friendly gift ideas that you can take away for your wedding day. The fact that you are thinking about ways to reduce waste and share sustainably made favours with your guests is brilliant.
Keep in mind that you want the gifts to be useful, reusable, plastic-free, recyclable or biodegradable, homemade and ultimately thoughtful tokens of appreciation for your loved ones.
If you know of a eco-friendly wedding gift that we haven’t covered, or you have an sustainably made product that you would like us to feature on the site, email us with your details: firstname.lastname@example.org