One of the most fun parts of preparing for a wedding or the arrival of a new baby is creating a gift registry. After all, who doesn’t love gifts? Even though luxuries can be exciting, however, receiving green, eco-friendly items can be even more rewarding.
Giving and receiving green and alternative gifts doesn’t mean your options are limited. There are many ways to give green, whether it’s a product made from recycled materials, like reclaimed wood-based kitchenware; or something that makes it easier to live eco-friendly, like cloth diapers. The gift of an experience, like money toward a honeymoon or college fund, can also be more sustainable than material items that often go unused (like the fondue pot I insisted on registering for, yet haven’t touched in ten years of marriage!).
Check out these alternative registries to give green:
This online store is dedicated to selling only environmentally friendly products, including furniture, home goods, and baby gear. With A.R.E. Naturals, you can register for eco-friendly versions of even typical gifts, like dining wear and baby blankets. Aside from being green in and of themselves, many of the items available on this site are also products of free trade.
Zankyou is more than just a gift registry site; it’s an all-in-one tool to create a communication hub for your wedding or baby, cutting down on the paper and resources needed to mail save-the-dates and other necessary correspondence. Choosing from several templates, you can create your own page on which to add personal stories, provide information about your big day or new arrival, upload photos, set up event invitations, and create a unique registry for the solicitation of money toward things like your honeymoon or energy-efficient appliances. In partnership with GreenPeace, Zankyou even helps you create a green registry where you can facilitate donations toward an eco-friendly cause you’re invested in.
SoKind Registry allows you to deliver just about anything, from charitable donations to a helping hand. Personalize your registry page to give detailed explanations of items you’re willing to receive—like a handmade book of family recipes—along with any links and an uploaded picture to illustrate your interests. Instead of the typical registry items, you can get really creative with what you ask for. After having two babies, I’d much rather have some home-cooked meals I don’t have to make myself than a few adorable onesies my kids will outgrow in a flash.
With Traveler’s Joy, your friends and family can give you a gift that lasts a lifetime: the priceless memories you collect while on your honeymoon. I’ve already broken half the dinner plates I received as a wedding gift, but I will forever carry with me the memories of relaxing on a white-sand beach in Jamaica. Set up a page where you can share your own honeymoon plans, and your guests can contribute travel-related items like airfare or scuba gear. Honeymoons are even more memorable when planned around eco-tourism or a volunteer vacation.
I Do Foundation
Sometimes it’s better to give than to receive, and with an alternative gift registry like the I Do Foundation, you can use your wedding as a great reason to help others. Instead of signing up for gifts, this site allows you to create a registry where your friends and family can donate to a cause that’s meaningful to you.
When putting together your wedding or baby registry finder, think outside the box and consider green alternatives to the items you want or need. Gravy boats and baby booties are cute, but a new home or quality education is a lifetime investment that won’t eventually end up in a landfill.
Image sources: Flickr | Sher Warkentin
This article was brought to you by Tom’s of Maine. The views and opinions expressed by the author do not reflect the position of Tom’s of Maine.