Green Wedding Favors and Ideas
Believe it or not, every decision you make in planning your wedding also involves our planet. Along with the energies expended by the planes, trains, and automobiles required to bring your loved ones together, you must also consider the water and electricity used during your celebration and that which is needed to clean up after the festivities are over.
Rather than giving your guests a wedding favor that collects dust on a shelf, consider providing them with a gift that gives back to the earth instead. Though a famous frog once said, "It's not easy bein' green," we at Beau-coup would beg to differ—especially when it comes to doling out environmentally friendly wedding favors. Some wedding trends may change with the times, but saving the Earth will never go out of style. Tootsie Pop.
Our suggestions for eco-friendly wedding favors are certain to provide your guests with some helpful ideas for saving the environment:
Eat it up
Edible favors are one of the best ways to fill your guests up without leaving waste behind. Cookies, mini-pies, or tarts are always appreciated. Or, you might look for something that is local to the area like Vermont maple syrup, Kansas City barbeque sauce, or Georgia pecans. If nothing comes to mind, take a trip to your locatl farmer s market, and pick up something fresh home-harvested honey, a collection of locally grown fruit, or organic herbal tea. Beau-coup offers whole leaf organic tea sachet favors that can be personalized with our mini oval custom labels. Not sure if your guests drink tea? Choose chocolate instead (organically grown and produced in accordance with fair trade practices, of course). Endangered Species offers organic milk and dark chocolate bars (www.chocolatebar.com). Each wrapper features a different animal at-risk, and a portion of the proceeds helps save the species. These gifts are sure to leave a good taste in your guests mouths at the end of the night.
Make a toast
Send your guests home with a half bottle of locally produced organic wine, and they will have good reason to toast you in the months after your wedding. Organic wines are free of pesticides, herbicides, chemical fertilizers, and other synthetic chemicals. In non-organic wine production, chemical residue from insecticides that are sprayed in the vineyards may be absorbed by the soil, which is in turn absorbed by the plants' roots. Buying organic ensures that your guests have a bottle of wine which is chemical-free—and it guarantees a cleaner and safer environment for us all. Try to ensure that the bottle is made from recycled glass whenever possible, too. If you can buy unlabeled wine, dress up your bottles with personalized wine labels and put your special brand on your special day.
Plant a tree
Who knew that a tree could fit in a box? For a mere $3, the National Arbor Day Foundation offers a variety of baby trees in recyclable plastic tubes. You can even personalize the label to commemorate your wedding day. Guests can plant the tree outside, grow it indoors for months, or even store it in a refrigerator. For tropical weddings, give your guests mini palm trees to take home. They'll evoke the balmy, sandy beaches in no time. And finally, Tree in a Box provides just that—a kit with everything your guests need to grow a tree from a seed. Let your guests plant their memories right in their own backyards— and your wedding really will be something they enjoy for the rest of their lives.
Scatter seeds of love
A wise person once said, "Happiness held is the seed; happiness shared is the flower." If that's true, then why not send your guests home with seeds of happiness? Beau-coup offers personalized plantable seed cards and Baby Sprinkles plantable seed favors that are certain to remind guests of your love with each blooming flower. The seed cards can even be custom printed with your names, a personal message, and the date of your event. Or, you might consider giving your guests a mini palm plant or a lucky bamboo plant. They'll bring your guests luck that'll last long after your wedding!
Keep it clean
Natural soaps, lotions, and handcrafted lip balms can make amazing gifts. The lack of chemicals and the handcrafting process used to make these items minimizes the likelihood that they will cause any skin irritation or dryness for your guests. And in addition to smelling nice, the essential oils often found in these products are thought to have their own healing powers. Lavender bath salts can help your guests relax, while a bar of peppermint soap will help wake them up the next morning. So if your wedding goes late, they'll have just what they need to recover from the festive evening!
Pass the flame.
Soy wax candles burn up to 50 percent longer than petroleum-based paraffin candles—and they produce less soot. That means the burning of soy candles does not increase the carbon dioxide level in the atmosphere. Soy is a renewable resource, which gives it an obvious advantage over petroleum-based paraffin. In addition, soy candles burn at a lower temperature, which allows the scent of essential oils in the candle to disperse faster. Soy wax candles are also cheaper than beeswax (another natural wax alternative). Though they might be more expensive than paraffin candles, this cost is outweighed by a longer burning life. But if, after hearing this, we still haven't convinced you to use soy wax candles, it's none of our beeswax.
Donate to a good cause
Your guests' presence at your wedding can do more than support the two of you—it can also support a worthy charity. The I Do Foundation's Favors for Charity program enables you to make tax-deductible donations to the charity of your choice. You can give a set amount or donate a couple of dollars per guest. It's a great way to honor a loved one or remember that special someone who cannot be there on your big day. Add a note to the program or inside the escort card that reads "A donation has been made in your name to (the name of the charity)." If you wish to explain why you chose a certain charity, you may want to create personalized donation cards (but of course this will use more paper, so make sure it's recyclable).
Wrap it up nicely
Be sure to use handmade, fair trade gift-wraps and recycled containers for packaging your favors whenever possible. Beau-coup offers modest mini gable boxes constructed from a single piece of sturdy, recycled, eco-friendly cardboard. We also have sheer favor pouches made of sinamay, a natural fiber from the Philippines with a great classic look. But if those aren't your bag, check out our mini floral favor bags, made from textured mulberry paper that contains hand-pressed natural flower petals. Our green wrappings are sure to tie your favors together perfectly!
Shrink your carbon footprint
The travel involved to bring your loved ones together is often the biggest contributor to your wedding's carbon footprint. Use the wedding calculator at carbonfund.org to estimate your carbon footprint—then make a donation to the cause and offset the impact of your wedding on our planet.
You may find that eco-friendly favors cost a bit more than the alternatives, but you only have one wedding. Favor your guests—and the planet at the same time. Beau-coup is happy to preserve wedding traditions by providing modern green suggestions for you. In doing so, we preserve the Earth for the generations of children that are certain to result from so many happy unions.