It's wedding season, and earth-loving brides are thinking about how to make their big day less wasteful and more green. One decision that green brides wrestle with is wedding favors. Eliminating them is the greenest choice, but a small take-away gift is a tradition some won't part with.

There are lots of green-themed gifts available now, but when shopping (or creating) for so many, e.g. fifty or more guests, you'll want to keep costs and labor to a minimum. At least I would!

Gifts made from all-natural or recycled materials are green, but the greenest gifts will also use local and reused materials as much as possible. So if you're creative and feeling a little industrious, here are several ideas:

1. A live plant. Purchase 4" flower pots made from 100% biodegradable material (such as peat and wood pulp) and plant a seed early enough so the plant grows to a height of 6" to 8" by your wedding day. Tie ribbon or raffia around the pot to dress it up.
2. Fresh cut herbs (pictured). Tie fresh herbs in a neat bundle with ribbon. This gift will fill the room with wonderful fragrance!
3. A tiny fruit basket. Pick up small baskets at your local thrift store. Thrift stores are an excellent source for baskets (no two will be alike!) and you can probably get a discount if you buy lots since thrift stores are generally overstocked with baskets.
4. Natural soap bars. See if a local soap shop or natural market sells handmade soap by the pound. You can cut your own bars off of blocks of soap made from natural ingredients, and wrap them in tissue and ribbon for your guests.
5. Organic treats in a "jar". It's back to the thrift store to find one-of-a-kind containers. Glass, ceramic and tin containers with lids can be washed and reused safely for edibles, and small wooden and paper boxes and fabric pouches can be used for non-edibles. Fill your unique gift receptacles with the treat of your choice. This could be loose tea, coffee beans, nuts, spices, bath salts, seeds, organic chocolate, etc. Use ribbon and cards made from recycled or non-tree fibers as needed.

If you'll have more guests than you can find reused baskets or jars for, look for containers made from recycled materials at

If you'd like to try and find some ready-made gifts online, check out these websites for wedding favors:

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