Friday, November 12, 2010

Green Wedding Favors by Margo Smith

Green Wedding Favor Ideas

If you are looking for ways to reduce your carbon footprint and you are planning a wedding as well, you can find myriad ideas for making green favors for your special day. If money is no object, these items may be purchased, but for any looking to live the green lifestyle completely, this includes doing as much yourself as you possibly can. This is green because it reduces the need for machines to do the work for you and trucks to transport the goods to you.

One to Grow On

You can make paper that, when planted, yields a pretty flower patch. Start with recycled paper or paper products around your house that you would otherwise throw away. Junk mail, cardboard tubes from toilet paper, egg cartons (not the Styrofoam kind) are all good choices. You can use tissue paper too. Avoid papers with any gloss or sheen, as these do not break down well. Rip it into chunks about 2 inches or less and place these in your blender. Add warm water so that it covers these bits of paper. Blend this until it becomes pulpy and looks suspiciously like your Quaker oatmeal.

Now you can add the seeds. Just a note: choosing the seeds is easy – the smaller the better. You can select tiny flower seeds or even seeds for herbs, either works well. Carefully stir in your seeds and any flower petals you would like. You can also add an herb or spice for an extra special touch of fragrance. Just be sure not to blend those fragile seeds with those blender blades. Next, ladle the pulp into a towel-lined colander and allow it to drain. (The towel will keep your pulp and seeds in while letting the excess water drip out.)

The best way to drain this pulpy mix is to place a towel and a large piece of felt on your surface, spoon it out then spread it to your desired thickness. Allow it to dry completely overnight. Use flower-shaped cookie cutters to trace or free hand cut out flowers from this paper. Assemble these into tiny bouquets to match your own and present them as your favors. Be certain everyone knows they can plant these thoughtful gifts. Everyone will think of you and your special day each time they see their flower garden.

Life’s a Beach

If you are planning a beach-themed wedding, this next idea is for you. Gather shells from anywhere and everywhere. Choose the ones with a deep enough cavity that a tea light will fit well inside. Clean and dry the shells completely. Place tea lights inside the candles, then melt wax and pour around the tea light, making sure it is covered. To ensure that you are not using petroleum-based paraffin, select beeswax or wax made from soy or palm oil. Be sure your tea lights are also made from one of these types of wax. If you would like these to match your wedding colors, crayons can be peeled and added to the wax as you melt it to give you the ideal shade. (You can buy 100 percent recycled crayons, by the way.) Fragrance can also be purchased at your local craft store if you would like these to be perfectly scented. The tea lights then become your wick and allow your guests to think of the happy couple as they light these unique favors.

Planting Love

These next ideas are great for their sustainability and their simplicity. Your wedding favor can be a tiny plant, herb or flower. Present this in an itty bitty pot tied with a pretty bow that fits in with your wedding theme. Bulbs make for gifts that last too. Choose bulbs that grow well in the region where most of your guest live. Wrap each one up in a bit of a bag made from one from yet another eco-friendly product: unbleached muslin.

Remembering the earth while you are making your vows will add to your glow as a new bride. It will add to your smiles as you recall this special day because you know you thought ahead and gave eco-friendly gifts that will lastingly remind everyone of your growing love. So here’s to you and your spouse and to making a difference!

About the Author

Margo Smith is a graduate of Brigham Young University. She enjoys writing about a variety of subjects from weddings to online classes to skydiving. She draws from her own education, her years in college and an author’s perspective on life when compiling articles.

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