The 10 Greenest Gifts You Can Add to Your Wedding Registry

by - Wednesday, April 25, 2018

10 gifts to add for a green eco-friendly and zero waste wedding registry

You are getting married! Congratulations! As you are embarking on your new future together, you may be noticing that a lot of the talk about the future is extremely grim- plastic is choking our oceans, fossil fuels are warming our planet, Scott Pruitt is building more soundproof phone booths. It might be tempting to just block all of this noise out, because you want to be happy! This is a happy time!

I agree, it is! And what makes it even happier is that you have power to help your future with how you handle your wedding. The planet is in trouble, and you as a couple have a bunch of power to help, from skipping plastic silverware to completely greening your registry.

All of this might sound like a lot of work, but I am here to help. Check the blog, I have tons of ideas, and I even did your whole registry for you.

If you want to add some green elements to your wedding registry, these are the most green options you can quickly add to make a huge difference in your life and on the planet. Check them out (and add them on).

Links may be affiliate links to Etsy or Amazon. I highly recommend you don't buy things from Amazon when you can help it, but try to put your money into local businesses instead. No seriously. 

Let's do this!

1. A Honeyfund

Yes, your grandma will absolutely hate it. But you will be just as married.

The absolute greenest thing you can do with your registry is STOP once you have picked the things you need. Don't get more filler you don't want. If what you really need is nothing, why not be honest and ask for help with the honeymoon instead?

I have been with my husband for 15 years, and it isn't because of any possessions. Everything good about our marriage comes from years of jokes, shared experiences, adventures, and memories. If your guests can help you invest in that collection instead of a collection of silverware, that seems like a beautiful way to start a marriage. Register for what you need, of course, but just stop once that need is met and ask your guests to invest in a huge memory instead.

So this is my best, biggest piece of advice. Don't register for stuff just to do it. Once you have what you need, be done.

2. Cloth Napkins

Old fashioned? Yes. Fancypants? Not so much. Of course you can get ones for when company comes over, but the real trick is to have a collection you use for all those everyday meals you are going to enjoy just you. If you are married for 50 years and eat in 300 days a year, the two of you will use 30,000 paper napkins in the course of your marriage. Just the two of you.

Instead, 4-8 cloth napkins you get now could last you a decade (and then graduate to cleaning rags). Such a simple addition that can do so much good! Pick ones that are 100% cotton, avoid synthetic fibers, and you can't go wrong.

My favorites are from Clear Sky Home and Oh Little Rabbit. A new favorite might be Cute Bright Things. From Amazon, Cotton Craft sells simple cotton napkins that could perfectly get you started.

3. Dryer Balls

Dryer Sheets are another one time use item that is basically instant garbage. They are also often covered in chemicals (read the box), and those chemicals (some potential carcinogens) get all over your clothes and you. It comes at a high environmental price, so get dryer balls instead, because they will last a thousand trips to the dryer and save so much waste. One of the easiest switches we made, and it would be a perfect low cost item for a registry.

(Yes, hang drying is so much more eco-friendly than using the dryer. I get that it doesn't always make sense for life, but if you can get away with some hang-drying, DO IT! Need a cord? Try Great WhiteXcords, or use American-made Paracord.)

You can find these dryer balls all over the place. Here are a few of my favorites- A Little Green BeeWonderful Wool Balls Ovella, and LooHoo.

4. Salt and Pepper Shakers

I grew up with those little McCormick plastic bottles, but you can go through a LOT of those in a marriage. I mean, if you have a salty palette, that will add up fast!

Instead, register for a salt and pepper grinder (and buy your salt and pepper in bulk). It will cut out some plastic waste and just sets another little green habit. We use Fletchers' Mill grinders, which come in lots of designs and materials, and are made right here in the US. You can also try William Bounds and Chef Specialties.

5. A Water Pitcher or Filter

Don't be that couple with a huge pack of disposable water bottles. Just. Stop. We know for a fact that a lot of those bottles are just filled with tapwater, and they are creating so much plastic waste all over the world. Buy yourselves reusable bottles you love (we are all about ,LifefactoryLiberty Bottleworks and even this Nalgene) and register for a water pitcher.

People probably don't often register for a Brita pitcher, but it is actually a great choice for the environment. Even better? More eco-concious choices come on the scene every year. My favorite is the SOMA pitcher because it is made of glass with a plant-based filter. And in the US! No, you may not have heard of it before, but I promise it is worth it. Other options? Aquagear and a Maeva pitcher.

You could also go with a water filtration system for your space. Check out the  APEC system or an iSpring system.

6. Soap Dishes

Millenials tend to dislike bar soap, but we shouldn't. They can cut down on massive plastic waste, save us money, and there are about a million great options for it. You can start with these-  Dr. Bronner'sBurt's Bee'sCetaphil,  Badger Organic Bar SoapL'Occitane Shea Butter Extra Gentle SoapPaul Mitchell Body BarAveda Rosemary Bath BarLUSH soaps but check Etsy and what is local too!

So, if you want to register for soap dishes or trays, it's a great way to keep down this path (though you can often find soap dishes in thrift stores super cheap as well). Check these from BellaTerraCeramicsTheBubbleBakerySoapsMeganLouiseCeramics, and  Aspen Kay,

7. Gardening Tools

Plan for a marriage that just keeps growing. Yeah, metaphorically speaking. But also, grow stuff.

Want to appreciate your food more? Grow some of it. Want to build a life together? Start with things you nurture, not things you purchase.

You may not have the space for an all out veggie garden. That's fine! Register for planters and keep plants in your space. It is well proven that plants in indoor spaces increases happiness and prevents depression. Perfect- the more happy in your marriage, the better! You could also grow herbs in your kitchen together, because the more basil in your marriage, the better!

Other gardening tools you could add to your registry? Shovels, Trowels, or even buckets (though they are SO easy to find free- ours is a fondant bucket from a bakery).

8. Unsponges, Dish Rags, and Dish Sponges

Those Scotch Brite sponges we all use create a lot of waste, especially when you consider you are supposed to throw them out pretty often to avoid the growth of bacteria. Instead, we use unsponges, which we run through the washer and dryer and they can last so much longer. These small items could be perfect for the lower pricepoints, and they will last. Definitely longer than a regular sponge, hopefully shorter than your marriage.

So many options here, including dish rag and dish sponges as well. I LOVE the unsponges from marley'smonsters, but etsy has tons of options so something will fit your dish-doing style: TheLittleWanderersCoUpcycledCreationsCAD, and Huggable Earth.

You can also try Full CircleRubbits, scrubbers out of bamboo and loofah, Peachy Clean sillicon scrubber. Check Redecker and Full Circle as well.

9. Unpaper Towels

Paper towels have the same problem as so many other paper goods- your spills may not be totally worth cutting a tree down. An average American will use 700 pounds of paper goods (paper towels, napkins, tissues, etc) a year. You can cut so much of this out by just using reusable unpaper towels instead. We still have paper towels, but we use unpaper towels for 80-90% of the jobs.

Here are some good ones: Marley'sMonsters fandcsewingThisJoyfulHomeetcgenerationMeTheEcotopia, and CreeksideKid. If you don't want snaps or fuss, these ones from Juniperseed would be perfect.

10. Compost Bin

The least romantic and most environmentally awesome registry item EVER. A banana in compost will break down in 9 days. It may never decompose in a trash bag filled with plastic. Think of how much extra waste there is in this world because our green waste isn't give the air it needs to become useful again. That feels tragic to me. Also, totally preventable.

Composting seems super complicated, but it is practically effortless once you establish it as a habit. You just need something to hold your green waste inside (we use this one from Natural Home) and a composter outside. Tons of options to check out for this, all of which are the height of sexiness and romance:

Good Ideas' compost bin is 90+ post-industrial plastic.
Yimby is based out of Canada and makes a spinny version out of recycled plastic.
Forest City Models has a dual batch composter, so you can test different combinations at once.
This Spinbin looks like the most fun (and space efficient).
Mantis also sells a pretty wide variety of compost bins, so you can find one that fits your needs.
Nature's Footprint sells shelf versions, but I can't recommend it, because I don't understand how they work (worms? Something with worms. I know it sounds gross, but if you have a yard, you already have worms too).

Are you feeling totally overwhelmed with the romance of marriage? I understand, it doesn't get much more Nora Roberts than a composter. That said, these simple additions to your registry are not only awesome tools for your home, but they help you protect the many, many years you have coming. That is pretty powerful stuff! Happy wedding and happy registering! 

10 gifts to add for a green eco-friendly and zero waste wedding registry

Want an environmentally responsible registry? Be sure to read The Eco- Friendly Wedding Registry.

Want more Green Wedding goodness? We have SO MANY ideas here of how to make your special day kinder to the environment and that much more original. Check out the Green Wedding Page for more ideas.

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  1. oh I love the idea of a honeymoon fund! I wish I had thought of that when I got married 13 years ago. : ) Great ideas!

  2. Wow this is such a great list. I recently got engaged so it's something I'll be looking at in the near future!

  3. Cloth napkins though may sound old fashioned are what I have preferred all the while. Its a high time that we add more greener and organic things for daily use.



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