Are you already panicking, trying to find the best zero-waste wedding favors? Well, our list of sustainable choices is here to help. If you want to plan an eco wedding that doesn’t just add more waste to the world and makes it better instead, you have to look at these eco friendly wedding favors.
Let’s start with a quick look at our top picks, then keep reading for all the glorious details.
CHECK MORE: LGBT Wedding Favors
Zero Waste Wedding Favors Top Picks at a Glance
If you see the value in these products and choose to purchase via my referral links, I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.
- Zero Waste Vegan Confetti Soap
- Herb Seeds
- Reusable Straws
- Plantable Seed Paper
Check the table below for a side-by-side comparison of our favorites!
7 Zero-Waste Wedding Favors Your Guest Will Love
Planning an eco-friendly wedding takes a lot of effort, but it’s something every couple should consider. You can still have a beautiful venue and opt for sustainable choices. An average wedding ceremony produces around 400 lbs. of garbage, so the best we can do is reduce it to a minimum.
Some of the best tips for a low-waste wedding include using recycled paper and soy-based inks for invitations, finding sustainable wedding dresses, minimalist themes, and more. But what happens when you need to choose favors? We prepared a list of eco-friendly wedding favors that will significantly reduce waste and keep your guests happy.
#1 Zero Waste Vegan Confetti Soap
Soap is one of the most useful ethical wedding gifts for guests. Everyone loves a handmade favor that will last a long time and smells divine. There’s no better way to treat your guests than with a soap bar that’s made using sustainable practices and reduces unnecessary wedding waste.
One of our favorite sustainable options is this confetti soap by Thistle Soapery, made with a lot of love, no plastic, and no harmful chemicals. Their handmade soaps are decorated with trimmings from other soaps and are available in several fragrances.
They’re very gentle, moisturizing to the skin because the brand uses nourishing ingredients such as shea butter, coconut oil, almond oil, olive oil.
- A CLEANING POWERHOUSE – Get your dishes clean with DISH BLOCK from NO TOX LIFE, the ultra-concentrated Vegan Dish Bar Soap that lathers up and cuts stubborn food, grime and grease on dishes, pots and pans. Includes 1 x 6 oz solid dish soap bar.
- IT’S FOAM-TASTIC – Experience the rich, sudsy lather…a little goes a long way. It’s an effective and easy-to-use dish soap that cleans in all water types, including hard water and cold water. No residue, long-lasting and septic safe — enjoy our new 2021 formula!
- DISH BLOCK THE BOTTLE – The ZERO WASTE DISH WASHING BLOCK is a plastic-free, palm oil-free and biodegradable alternative to plastic bottle dish soap. This ecofriendly soap helps you reduce your kitchen plastic consumption without compromising on results.
#2 Herb Seeds
Make the world a better place, one seed at a time. Is there anyone out there who wouldn’t love to grow their own herbs? Herb kits are an innovative zero-waste wedding idea that perfectly fits your sustainable theme, eco-friendly invitation, and low-waste food efforts.
The Gifted Tomato sells herb kits with seven favors that you can also customize to your liking. Each herb comes in a box, together with planting instructions, a plant marker, and a peat pellet. Your guests can easily grow these herbs in their garden or even in a planter and a balcony. Each time they see the herbs sprouting, they’ll remember your special day.
- USDA Certified Organic by Oregon Tilth
- 10 culinary herbs packed fresh for the current and following year
- thyme (Thymus vulgaris), italian oregano (Oreganium vulgare), caribe cilantro (Coriander sativum), giant italian parsley (Petroselinum crispum), english lavender (Lavandula angustifolia), genovese basil (Petroselinum crispum), broad leaf sage (Salvia officinalis), bouquet dill (Anethum graveolens), garlic chives (Allium tuberosum), & thai basil (Ocimum basilicum)
Related: Wedding Champagne Gift Baskets for Guests
#3 Reusable Straws
Eco-friendly, reusable bamboo straws as favors will pleasantly surprise all your guests. These straws are meant for long-term use, are so helpful around the house, and perfect for traveling. In general, eco-friendly straws aren’t processed; they aren’t treated with dyes, chemicals, or pesticides. Also, there is no plastic involved in the straw or the packaging.
Our personal favorite is an Etsy brand named Gift 4 Angel. Their reusable straws come with a Thank You note made of kraft paper, meaning that the entire package is sustainable. In addition, you can choose the text you want to include on the note, and the font, so it will be completely personalized.
What’s even better, the brand uses real coffee to engrave the text and the logo and uses no chemicals in the production.
- 【Premium Material】These drinking straws are made of GENUINE premium, silver-colored 18/8 stainless steel.Unlike other cheap straws with low weight and bent easily, our straws have thicker walls, so that they are very strong, not too heavy nor too light.
- 【High Quality Polishing】With our polishing technique, the surface of our straws are well polished, very smooth for your lips and hands to touch and it is easier to get the silicone caps on/off than other metallic staws. Our metal straws have smooth rounded edges at each tip,they won’t cut your lips or gums by accident even without the silicone sleeves.
- 【Safe to Use and Environmentally Friendly】These sustainable straws and the covers are made of food grade stainless steel and silicone,no metal aftertaste, BPA free,lead free, non plastic,non toxic.They are extremely durable,dishwasher safe,washable,rust and scratch proof. One stainless steel straw can last for years and replace hundreds of plastic straws for you.
Who doesn’t like candles? If you opt for muffins or cookies for favors, many guests will forget to get theirs and will leave them at the venue. But, candles are so irresistible, especially when they come in nice, reusable packaging.
The ones we chose are personalized and come packed in a cool silver tin. They’re small, easy to take with you when traveling and feature a divine smell. Their vanilla scent will instantly hook your guests, and they’ll even be asking where they can get more. The tin is reusable, and people can use it to store things such as hairbands and other small items.
- An intoxicating and masculine blend of musk, patchouli, sage, and mahogany cologne
- Long-lasting 110 to 150 hour burn time
- Quality paraffin grade candle wax delivers a clear, consistent burn
#5 Plantable Seed Paper
If you’re not a fan of herbs, but you still want to host a zero-waste wedding with sustainable wedding favors, you should think about plantable seed paper. When your guests plant this paper, they will get colorful blooms that will bring joy to their yards.
The blush pink seed paper we love comes in a heart shape, and it includes red poppies, blue bachelor buttons, pink cosmos, black-eyed Susans, marigolds, columbine, snapdragons, godetia, and Shasta daisies. The paper comes together with the heart, is made of recycled materials, and is 100% biodegradable.
You can personalize it by adding the date of your wedding party and your names. You can also choose the color of the seed paper when you get in touch with the seller.
- Made from recycled Cotton Waste
- Wildflower Seeds Embedded inside card to plant
- Bee Friendly Pollinators
CHECK MORE: Animal Themed Party Favors
#6 Lip Balm
Instead of investing in expensive cookies, no one will eat, you can order eco-friendly lip balm as a wedding favor. It’s great for everyone, no matter the age or gender. Plus, your guests will be more than thankful that you’re taking care of their lips at the end of the night, after they spent hours dancing, having fun, and they end up with chapped lips.
This Gils Honey Bees Balm is eco-friendly, packed in a biodegradable, compostable cardboard tube. Each balm in the batch is handmade, without using any toxic ingredients, pesticides, preservatives. Their formula is based on natural beeswax and also includes almond oil, avocado oil, unrefined coconut oil, etc.
- MEDICATED LIP BALM: Prevent dryness, cracking, and chapping with this lip care product that has an easy glide formula to provide complete coverage and will help avoid further irritation of chapped lips.
- SEALS IN MOISTURE: Ideal for both men and women, this hydrating lip balm seals in moisture to alleviate dryness and prevent drying of the lip tissue and reoccurrence.
- SPF SUN PROTECTION: This lip moisturizer uses SPF 15 to provide sun protection to help prevent sun burn while outdoors for an extended period.
Another very useful idea is a bookmark. But, since you’re hosting a sustainable wedding, you can’t just choose any bookmarks. Make sure that yours are handmade, from recycled paper, and unique.
The ones we chose are zero-waste, fully compostable, and made of recycled scrap paper. They are decorated with daisies that are locally grown, then pressed. Whichever pattern you’ll go for, you won’t be wrong.
- ENOUGH QUANTITY: Three magnetic bookmarks (Misty, Ocean, Emerald). Five pieces for each style, 15 pieces in total. Various styles and colors are available for your choice. Enough quantity to meet your use and replacement needs.
- HIGH-QUALITY: Our magnetic bookmarks are made of paper and magnet materials. Advanced and elegant color, not easy to fade, durable, can be used for a long time.
- POWERFUL MAGNETISM: The bookmark’s magnet is whole-sided, it is as big as paper. Powerful magnets don’t fall easily from books.
Bonus: 7 More Zero-Waste & Sustainable Wedding Favors
- Succulents. As wedding favors, succulents not only serve as beautiful and colorful choices, but they also last a long time. For one, they are considered low maintenance – your guests won’t have to water them everyday. Plus, succulents have been proven to help get rid of toxins in the air. You can go for succulents that come with intricately painted ceramic pots, crocheted pot jackets, rustic metal boxes, or even glass containers.
- Organic Tea Blends. Organic tea would make an excellent wedding favor to go with your eco-friendly wedding. And every time your guests drink a cup of your tea, they just might be reminded of how awesome and magical your special day was. What better way to manufacture lasting memories than with a cup of flavorful and healthy organic tea. Cheers to that!
- Customized Reusable Tote Bags. You can never go wrong with giving away tote bags. Not only are they made with sustainable materials, they can also be re-used for various purposes. Bonus points if you can customize your tote bags with a dedication, poetry, quote, or a print that serves as a memento of your awesome wedding. You can also pick a color that matches your wedding theme.
- Sustainably Sourced Coffee. How do you know which coffee beans are sustainably sourced? If they come with a Fair Trade accreditation, then you can bet that those beans were sustainably made. But why give coffee as wedding favors? Because coffee is life, that’s why. And if you have guests who don’t drink coffee, they can still use coffee when baking, gardening, and even cleaning.
- Sugar Scrubs. There are plenty of recipes for sugar scrubs from the Internet. So it’s very easy to create your own. For great results, we recommend choosing a recipe for colored sugar scrubs to match your theme.
- Eco-Friendly Woven Fans. If you’re having a summer or beach wedding, picking woven fans for your wedding favors is a no-brainer. Pick woven fans that are made with eco-friendly materials like straw, palm leaves, or seagrass. You can also customize their colors or incorporate lovely and eye-catching patterns. You can even tie ribbons on the handles to match your theme or to carry dedications or messages from you and your significant other.
- Cork Coasters. If you want a coaster material that’s 100 percent sustainable, choose natural cork. Coasters made from natural cork have come with a natural rustic look and country charm. Plus, they’re so easy to customize. You can have them printed with your names and wedding date. You can also add graphics and patterns (Pro Tip: Take advantage of sepia tone designs).
Check out this amazing zero waste wedding:
Is it OK not to have wedding favors?
Not giving wedding favors on your wedding day is completely fine. However, if you’re worried that you’re too wasteful by giving favors, you can choose one of the sustainable wedding favors we listed and make everyone happy with eco-friendly options.
What can I use instead of wedding favors?
If you’re not a big fan of traditional weddings and want to avoid traditional favors, you can have your wedding guests donate to charities or organize a photo booth with cute shots that the guests will take home.
How much waste does a wedding produce?
On average, a single wedding can create around 20 kg of plastic waste. In addition, these ceremonies produce a lot of leftover food, and according to research, each wedding creates approximately $677 of food waste.
Weddings create so much unnecessary waste, so being mindful of what you use is so important. If you want to opt for a zero-waste event, intimate weddings with sustainable favors are the best way to go.
You can start by using an online invitation service, using only glass bottles, choosing sustainable materials for the wedding dress, reusing bridesmaid bouquets, using recycled paper for the seating chart, considering wedding rentals whenever possible, and more.
Couples that want a zero waste wedding take the extra mile to do what’s best for the planet, but that doesn’t mean you should altogether avoid physical gifts for your guests. There are numerous sustainable options that you can go for, such as seeds, candles, reusable straws, handmade soap, which are just a part of the ideas you can try, and everyone will love.
- Botanical Paperworks. 2016. “A Look at Wedding Industry Waste with Eco-Friendly Wedding Guide.” Botanical PaperWorks. Botanical PaperWorks. May 31, 2016. https://botanicalpaperworks.com/blog/a-look-at-wedding-industry-waste-eco-friendly-wedding-tips/.
- Reum, Carter. 2012. “The Secret Waste That Weddings Leave Behind.” HuffPost. HuffPost. April 20, 2012. https://www.huffpost.com/entry/the-secret-waste-that-weddings-leave_b_1439118.
- Smithers, Rebecca. 2017. “For Richer, for Poorer … a Tenth of All Wedding Food Is Thrown Away.” The Guardian. The Guardian. July 28, 2017. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/jul/28/tenth-of-wedding-food-thrown-away.
What are your favorite zero waste wedding favors? Please share with us below!
I’m a freelance journalist/writer/content marketer with BA Hons in Journalism.