Even if they’ve requested no gifts, showing up to a wedding without something for the couple can feel awkward. Newlyweds may direct guests to donate to a favorite cause or charity on their behalf, but when they don’t, it can be hard to find an alternative to arriving empty-handed.

In the same way a couple would appreciate a donation in their name, they may appreciate knowing you’ve chosen to buy them something that supports a small business. They may also enjoy knowing you’ve selected a gift that helps them live more sustainably.

The eight ideas that follow come recommended by environmental activists and social-justice advocates who have dedicated their time to making the planet more equitable and inhabitable. They include gifts both practical and charitable, all of which do a bit more good than your traditional toaster oven.


Hive Brands grocery box, from $10

“Customize a zero-waste kit from Hive Brands for the couple. You can pick and choose items to stay within a budget. It saves them the hassle and helps them get started in their new home.”

The Box of Life Worm Studio Vermicomposter, $210

“This worm composter is a useful gift and a hands-on learning experience. It turns food scraps into nutrient-rich compost for a garden. You can place it in a kitchen without having to worry about the smell or pests.”