7 Eco Friendly Wedding Gifts With Unique Environmental Impact (Trees & Wildlife)

By Vivian Duncan | Updated on September 21, 2021

Weddings are a time of celebration, unity, and joy, but they can also have quite a detrimental effect on Earth’s ecosystems and wildlife. To help combat this, consider these eco-friendly wedding gifts for the next ceremony you are invited to. 

To celebrate the happy couple and welcome them into a new stage of life complete with a love and respect for the Earth, be mindful of what you choose to give them on their special day. Especially with an eco-conscious couple, these gifts are sure to be not only appreciated, but used to better the planet, as well as save trees and wildlife!

Keep reading to pick the ultimate wedding gift…

A close up image of the hands of a newlywed couple with their wedding rings and flower bouquet.

The Environmental Costs of Weddings

From food products to travel, other industries around the world have adopted more sustainable and environmentally-friendly business practices, but the wedding industry has yet to show a commitment to the planet.3 In most cultures, the union of lovers provides an opportunity for elaborate and showy celebrations.1

For most couples, sustainability isn’t at the forefront of their minds when planning a wedding, let alone a priority.2 This is in part due to the industry itself, which depends on elaborate, extravagant— and expensive— weddings to survive, and uses heavy and manipulative marketing to do so.

This marketing can be seen in the expenses of a modern wedding, as the cost of the day they tie the knot has been steadily increasing. After tracking nuptial costs for more than a decade, it’s been found that the average amount spent on a wedding in 2021 was $28,427…even without including the honeymoon! But if that sounds like a lot, just five years later in 2017, the average cost rose to $33,391.4

Unfortunately, a large amount of that cost goes to items that are only used once during the ceremony before being thrown away, making up the whopping 400-600 pounds of waste produced by an average wedding ceremony… and that’s only the plastic and paper waste.6

A new study has shown that food waste is exceptionally bad in weddings, with a tenth of all wedding food being thrown away. This is the equivalent of $671 worth of food in just one day.5

This wastefulness certainly does not help the growing issue of food waste world-wide. In just a year, UK households toss 7.3 million tons of household food, with nearly three quarters of it still being edible.7 So, saving food from going to waste matters, especially when all that food waste sits in landfills generating harmful methane gases that speed up global warming.14
In most cultures, the extravagance of weddings makes it easy for the industry to profit from wastefulness. Many suppliers, venues, or caterers do not care how much you end up throwing away, only what amount you purchase. However, upcoming generations have shown that they are willing to dedicate their purchasing power to options that prioritize sustainability. 

A Nielsen report on sustainability found that 81 percent of people around the globe felt strongly that companies should adopt more environmentally friendly business practices.8

It cannot be denied… weddings produce a ton of waste, from single-use wedding dresses, to flowers, decor, invitations, food, and transportation. Luckily, mindsets are beginning to change to encompass the Earth in these plans. 

Wedding celebrations have the potential to be low-carbon, socially-responsible, energy efficient, and can embrace the four Rs: Reuse, Reduce, Recycle, Repair.1
Even with all of these factoring into the planning, the event can be just as exciting and memorable.

Whether you have been invited to the wedding of an eco-friendly couple, or you practice being so yourself and want to be mindful with your gift, this list of eco-friendly wedding gifts is for you!

Eco-Friendly Weddings Gifts that Any Couple Will Enjoy

Special Wedding Carbon Offset Package

With all this talk about how detrimental a wedding can be for the Earth, it makes sense that this would be the first option on this list.

This carbon offset package is made just for the special occasion! Using the revenue from the purchase of this offset, every bit of CO2 emitted during a wedding will be mitigated through the planting and conservation of trees… culminating to 181 new trees, which remove 16.8 tons of the harmful greenhouse gas, as well as the preservation of an entire forest of 1,810 trees!

This package covers: 

  • A wedding of 100 guests
  • Their travel and lodging accommodations
  • The wedding venue
  • Flowers (and more flowers)
  • Food
  • Celebratory wine and spirits

Gift the newlyweds in your life the chance to turn their joyous occasion into one the planet can celebrate as well. No matter where they are in the journey of sustainability, they will appreciate such a good thing coming out of their union from the very start. 

A Bee or Insect Hotel

You may have heard the buzz… Bees are very important to the health of ecosystems! They support the growth of trees, flowers, and other plants, which serve as food and shelter for a plethora of other creatures.10

An image of the Mason Bee elderberry bee hotel.

The perfect gift for any Earth or garden lover, a bee hotel is an excellent way to make a new home even better for the wildlife around it. Cracks and crevices located throughout the pine cones in the bottom of this enclosure, combined with the hollow elderberry tubes in the center, all provide a welcoming home for helpful pollinators. 

This bee house may attract other friendly insects as well, including lady bugs or butterflies that contribute to garden health. If your favorite couple has a garden they love, they may love it even more watching it blossom like never before with the help of these pollinating friends. Studies have shown that having bees near flower arrangements will spike pollination levels as they visit up to 1000 plants per day, leading to a healthier garden both in their backyard, but also throughout the local community.9

Matching Reusable Stainless Steel Water Bottles

Plastic water bottles are a big no-no for the planet, but hydration is still important! Your lucky couple can save the environment while staying hydrated with a reusable eco-friendly water container

You can choose a reusable plastic water bottle, but that doesn’t eliminate the issue of plastic once it eventually finishes its use and ends up in a landfill or the ocean. In fact, 8 million tons of plastic turn up in the planet’s oceans each year, and this plastic makes up 80 percent of all marine debris.11

An image of the 8 Billion Trees Steel Water Bottles.

To eliminate this, consider a stainless steel water bottle, which not only can be recycled at the end of its use, but will last a long time thanks to its durable material! They can be used on hikes, while working out, on trips, or just around the house, but are always eliminating the plastic that clogs landfills and pollutes the oceans.

These double insulated steel water bottles can keep a favorite beverage hot or cold, and come in two color and size choices. They all feature the same tree-saving logo, so even if you think the couple’s tastes may differ as far as color choice, they can still sport matching water bottles with pride. What’s more, each bottle bought will plant 10-15 new trees, and conserve another 100-150 existing trees!

US-Made Bamboo Bed Sheets

The lucky couple will be happy to enjoy their honeymoon, but nothing beats coming home to new, clean, comfy bed sheets. Now, there are options that are clean for the planet too! 

An image of the Degree 5 Dreamfit Bamboo bed sheet in the sand color.

Bamboo bed sheets are an excellent choice for bed sheets, both for practical reasons and eco-friendly reasons. These sheets are made of 70 percent bamboo viscose and 30 percent cotton, making them perfect for sleepers desiring the cooling effect of bamboo with the soft breathability and strength of high quality cotton. 

Because bamboo grows so fast and without the use of harmful chemicals like herbicides and pesticides, it’s an extremely good choice of material for eco-conscious brands. They also absorb CO2 and produce 35 percent more oxygen than hardwood trees, meaning a much healthier atmosphere.12

What’s more, these sheets are made in the United States, unlike many other main bed sheet companies, which means their carbon footprint from transportation is considerably smaller. That means a peaceful night’s rest for both body and mind! 

Bamboo Bathroom Bundle for Eco-Friendly Mornings

Speaking of the benefits of bamboo, you can help the newlyweds in your life upgrade their morning routine with a bamboo bathroom bundle

An image of the 8 Billion Trees Bathroom Bundle.

Help them eliminate carbon emissions and waste generated from plastic toiletries while getting ready in the morning, with this eco-friendly bundle that includes: 

  • 3 Organic Bamboo Washcloths
  • 200 Bamboo Cotton Swabs
  • 1 Organic Bamboo Toothbrush
  • 1 Jar of Activated Charcoal Tooth Powder 
  • 30-yards of Biodegradable Dental Floss 
  • 1 Eco-friendly Canvas Tote

And to make sure each of the pair has their own toothbrush, you can order an extra one separately. All of these items are biodegradable, carbon neutral, organic, hypoallergenic, chemical-free, made with recycled ingredients, and supports animal rehabilitation and tree planting. With every purchase, this bundle will also plant 16 new trees and save an existing 160 trees, making your gift all that more meaningful.

Hand-Blown Recycled Glassware

Did you know that glass is the only material that can be continuously recycled over and over without diminishing the quality? Using recycled glass to make more glass is also cheaper and uses much less energy.13 With that in mind, it’s a wonder that all glass isn’t recycled!

Instead of gifting the happy couple an expensive crystal set made halfway across the world, producing countless greenhouse gas emissions, look for recycled glassware options instead.

An image of the Novica recycled Glass

These beautiful glasses are an original NOVICA Fair Trade product, in Association with National Geographic. These hand-blown glasses reveal bright confetti colors, a piece of art as a result of recycled glass. Artists Javier and Efren create this set of six festive tumblers, and include an official story card that certifies their quality. 

The purchase of these glasses not only gives your friends or family a new statement piece in their dishware, but saves waste from entering the landfill, supports small artists, and preserves traditional techniques. 

Climate Loving Couple Carbon Offset

Sometimes it can be hard to find the perfect gift for an earth-conscious couple who already does so much for the environment.

Luckily, the search is over… if none of these other gifts seemed quite good enough for the climate-loving couple in question, this offset package is the answer! It is perfectly formulated to erase the carbon footprints of the couple’s daily routines, plus some. Each package includes a “carbon positive” bonus that means for every tree planted with this offset, an additional 10 trees are conserved for the future. 

By planting 283 trees, this powerful product offsets a full year for the lifestyle of a couple with two vehicles, and their household emissions (showers, laundry, appliance use and heating/cooling). Because that is not all that creates emissions during daily life, this package also covers movie and TV show streaming, and four hours of daily smartphone use… as well as a balanced diet for a full year. That’s a total of 26.2 tons of CO2!

As another added bonus, it includes carbon coverage for two round-trip flights and hotel accommodations, so that the happy couple can rest easy knowing that their blissful union is also helping the environment.  

An 8 Billion Trees Graphic of the Environmental Effects of weddings.

A Happy Wedding for a Happy Planet

With today’s urgency of climate reform, it can cast a shadow over everything in life reminding people of the planet’s declining health. A wedding can still be a time of joy and celebration, though, especially with these eco-friendly wedding gifts.

Whether you are trying to be more eco-conscious in your spending habits, or the lucky newlyweds are already in their journey of being eco-warriors, they’ll be glad to receive any of the options from this list. Plus with most of these items, you’ll not only be gifting them an item, but the knowledge that their union has helped save trees and wildlife, leading to a healthier planet overall.

Read More About Eco-Friendly Products:


References

1Stratton, J. (n.d.). Will You Eco-marry Me? – Our World. Retrieved August 30, 2021, from https://ourworld.unu.edu/en/will-you-eco-marry-me

2Something Borrowed, Something Green: Sustainability in the Wedding Industry | Syracuse University. (2019, April 10). Retrieved August 30, 2021, from https://onlinegrad.syracuse.edu/blog/sustainable-eco-friendly-wedding-vendor-planning/

3Corporate Knights. (2021, January 25). 2021 Global 100 ranking. Retrieved August 30, 2021, from https://www.corporateknights.com/rankings/global-100-rankings/2021-global-100-rankings/2021-global-100-ranking/

4Lee, E. (2021, February 11). This Was the Average Cost of a Wedding in 2020. Retrieved August 30, 2021, from https://www.theknot.com/content/average-wedding-cost

5Frost, K. (2017, July 28). A tenth of all wedding food gets thrown away. Retrieved August 30, 2021, from http://www.harpersbazaar.co.uk/bazaar-brides/news/a42951/wedding-food-waste-tenth-thrown-away/

6Perschbacher, E. (2017, May 30). How to plan an eco-friendly wedding. Retrieved August 30, 2021, from https://www.chicagotribune.com/lifestyles/sc-green-wedding-family-0530-20170526-story.html

7Wrap. (n.d.). Food and drink. Retrieved August 30, 2021, from https://wrap.org.uk/taking-action/food-drink

8KULKARNI, S., & LEFEBVRE, A. (2018). HOW CAN SUSTAINABILITY ENHANCE YOUR VALUE PROPOSITION? Retrieved August 30, 2021, from https://www.nielsen.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/2019/05/sustainable-innovation-report.pdf

9Alpha, C. (2021, March 2). Amazon.com: Mason Bee House – Handmade USA Natural Elderberry Bee Hotel – Bee Hive Attracts Peaceful Bee Pollinators to Enhance Garden Productivity : Patio, Lawn & Garden. Retrieved August 30, 2021, from https://www.amazon.com/Mason-Bee-House-Pollinators-Productivity/dp/B0845152PY

10Why do we need bees? | Friends of the Earth. (n.d.). Retrieved August 30, 2021, from https://friendsoftheearth.uk/nature/why-do-we-need-bees

11Marine plastics. (2018, May 24). Retrieved August 30, 2021, from https://www.iucn.org/resources/issues-briefs/marine-plastics

12The Top Ten Reasons Why Bamboo can Help Save the Planet. (2021, August 28). Retrieved August 30, 2021, from https://www.bamboogrove.com/why-bamboo-save-planet.html

13Glass Recycling Facts – Glass Packaging Institute. (n.d.). Retrieved August 30, 2021, from https://www.gpi.org/glass-recycling-facts

14Why should we care about food waste? (n.d.). Retrieved August 30, 2021, from https://www.usda.gov/foodlossandwaste/why