By Tricia Goss, Yahoo! Contributor Network
Searching for the ideal wedding gift is difficult enough, but when you are hunting for a gift that is special, appropriate, and environmentally friendly, you might find it next to impossible. Rather than spend hours scouring malls and specialty stores, check out this list of 10 spot-on ideas for go-to green wedding gifts.
1. Buy bamboo.This woody plant grows rapidly, making it a green option to other trees and plants. While you could certainly opt for bamboo kitchenware or furnishings, opt for something more romantic such as luxurious sheets, thick towels, or his-and-her bathrobes made from bamboo fibers.
2. Turn them into tree huggers. If the newlyweds are also new homeowners, present them with a sapling native to their area. Even if they are apartment dwellers, you can give them some green in the form of lush, potted plants.
3. Make Memories. A wedding gift does not have to be tangible to be terrific. Spring for a class that the couple can take as a team, be it gourmet cooking, pottery making, or dancing lessons. While they will not recycle your gift, they can certainly reuse it.
4. Help keep the flame burning. Dating should not stop after the wedding, and you can give a green gift that encourages the couple to spend time together such as an annual pass to a local museum, zoo, or national park.
5. Feed them well. Community Supported Agriculture is a system in which consumers obtain produce and other items straight from the farm. Pay for a CSA share from a local farmer on behalf of the couple to supply them with a season's worth of organic foods.
6. Recycle something sentimental. If you are especially close to the couple, get ahold of something that is meaningful to them and make it into a keepsake item. For instance, turn favorite old, scratched CDs into a set of coasters, or their favorite but ratty college t-shirts into pillow cases.
7. Put together a green home gift bag. Fill a chic reusable shopping bag or sturdy wicker basket with eco-friendly cleaning supplies, kitchenware, or laundry needs.
8. Make recycling easy. Give them a set of home recycling bins that are labeled for various materials, a countertop compost bin to hold organic scraps for the garden or repurpose an antique wood crate to collect yesterday's newspapers. If you are exceptionally skillful, paint or engrave the couple's monogram or last name onto the bins.
9. Give them fine linen. Paper napkins are so passé and not at all eco-friendly, but linen napkins are lovely, elegant, and green. Provide two sets: one for everyday use and another for entertaining.
10. Start their mornings with delicious, eco-friendly coffee.A French press will produce pot after pot of rich, satisfying coffee with no more electricity than it takes to heat your water. Combine the press with a charming BPA-free thermal carafe and your favorite newlyweds might just be thanking you for years to come.
SourcesAuroville Bamboo Research Centre
Missouri Department of Natural Resources