Recreational Cooking Classes
Local culinary schools often offer recreational cooking classes in a variety of categories like wine studies, ethnic foods or even cooking basics. Cooking classes can be a fun activity for the newlywed couple to do together, and it will expand their recipe repertoire, reducing the amount they eat out. You may have to sign up at the beginning of class terms, so look up the school nearest them in advance. Cost usually varies by school and length of class.
Luxurious Bamboo Towels from Nandina
The unique blend of bamboo and organic cotton fibers makes Nandina towels absorbent and fast-drying. And they're sustainable: spun from hand-harvested bamboo and organic cotton, woven in a wind-powered factory and colored with natural dyes. Nandina towels are also anti-microbial and hypoallergenic, so you won't sacrifice luxury for responsibility. Bath towels are $50 each from Satara Inc., or for your local retailer visit Nandina's Website.
3-Bin Recycling Center from Green and More
This Stainless Steel recycling center from Green and More is divided into three four-gallon bins for easy sorting of recyclables. Because of the clean design and step-on lids, the newlyweds can keep it in the kitchen without mess or fuss, and even better, each bin comes with a handle-equipped plastic insert for when it's time for emptying -- so no arguing over whose turn it is to take out the recycling. Priced at $139.99.
Handmade Glass Carafe and Cups from Branch Home
Handmade from recycled glass stock in an electric furnace powered by wind, every piece in this set from Branch Home is one-of-a-kind. The carafe and matching cups are wrapped in sustainable jute rope, which provides a built-in cushion and coaster. Priced at $468 for the set.
Colorful Serving Trays from Branch Home
Made of bamboo, water-based adhesive, natural lacquer and food-safe polyurethane, these colorful serving trays from Branch Home are certified safe for you and the environment. Because they are hand-manufactured by Bambu, they also come with a Co-Op America Seal of Approval for the company's commitment to fair working conditions. Their slender design makes them perfect for serving hors d'oeuvres or margaritas, and they come in five fun colors: kiwi, cayenne, sunflower, hazelnut and spice. Each tray is $24.
Bamboo Box Knife Holders from VivaTerra
Bamboo, an easily renewable resource, is known for being a hard yet light wood, making these chic knife holders an eco-lover's dream wedding gift. The bamboo boxes, handcrafted in Europe and sold by VivaTerra, protect and store cutlery with the hundreds of bamboo skewers that fill them. They come in two sizes, $49 for small and $89 for large, and two colors, red and white.
Energy-Saving Slow Cooker from All-Clad
Instead of giving the usual toaster or blender, give a slow cooker, also known as the energy-conscious Crock-pot. Encourage the newlyweds to use their oven less and save money with one of The Green Cheapskate's favorite appliances. The 6.5-quart model by All-Clad MetalCrafters from Macy's has a sleek ceramic insert and only uses 320 watts of electricity, compared to an electric oven which guzzles 4,400 watts. At $199.99, All-Clad's Crock-pot is not the cheapest model, but its rave reviews and extra settings make it worth it for the happy couple.
Green Gourmet Cookware Set from Cuisinart
Sold at gift registry hot spot Bed, Bath & Beyond, the Greenware nonstick cookware set from Cuisinart is a green alternative to your everyday set of pots and pans at a decent price -- $149.99. The aluminum pan construction offers excellent heat conduction for saving energy, and the set is petroleum free thanks to ceramic-based nonstick technology. Because of the PTFOA and PTFE-free coating, the pots and pans make cooking healthier. Oh, and the handles, which stay cool on the stove top, are made from 70 percent recycled steel.
Pastel Boatwood Clock from VivaTerra
VivaTerra's boatwood clock is anything but drab, fashioned from dismantled Thai fishing boats. The pastel panels are artfully combined to create cool, marine hues and a calming feel. For $69, spruce up their home and support eco-living.
Organic Herb Window Gardening Kit from Clean Air Gardening
With the help of this window gardening kit from Clean Air Gardening, the newlyweds can get started growing their own organic herbs, even if they don't have the yard space for a garden. Each kit comes with four garden cans with your choice of tomato, basil, herb mix or dill seeds (get one of each or any combination of four), as well as enriched growing mix and nutrients for $24.99.
Artistic Grill from John T. Unger Designs
When the average person sees a pile of discarded propane tanks, he or she sees trash, but artist John T. Unger sees potential for functional art. Unger said in an interview about his craft with Lateral Action, "creative re-use has the potential to spark new ways of looking at the world ... if one thing can be turned in to another, what else can we change?" This recycled, hand-cut grill made from scrap metal is suitable for wood or charcoal fires and perfect for intimate backyard barbecues. Because every grill is handmade, each order is unique, so you'll be sure to be giving the the most memorable gift. Order from John T. Unger Studio for $129.
Community Supported Agriculture Subscription
Community Supported Agriculture, known as CSA, is one of the best ways to experience locally grown, seasonal produce and to get to know the farmers in your area. Give the gift of ultra-fresh food. How it works: The local CSA farms sell "shares," which are like memberships or subscriptions, to people in their area, and then provide a weekly box or bag of freshly harvested food during the growing season. The shares normally cost a few hundred dollars, but vary by farm. You can also check out the "Get Local Info" tool on TheDailyGreen.com homepage.
Recycled Glassware Collection from Target
Made from 100 percent recycled glass, Luigi Bormioli's glassware collection from Target is both beautiful and affordable. All of the newlywed's glassware needs will be met with just one set for $22.49, including a pitcher, goblets, tumblers, divided dish, and chip and dip serving set.
Organic Gardening Kit from Organic and Nature
There is nothing better than walking out to your garden, picking fresh fruits and veggies, and eating them that evening without worrying about pesticides, recalls or where your food came from. This gardening starter kit from Organic and Nature has everything the newlyweds will need to begin home-growing herbs, fruits or vegetables, including a canvas tote, five tools, gloves and all natural plant food and soil booster for $19.95.
Comprehensive Organic Gardening Book from Barnes & Noble
Organic gardening is a great way for your newlywed friends to build a healthier life together, but it does take some skill. Tanya Denckla's The Gardener's A-Z Guide to Growing Organic Food is one of the most popular gardening companions, with directions for care of 765 different types of herbs, vegetables, fruit and nuts. Order it from Barnes & Noble for $21.33, and help get their garden started.
Beautiful Entertaining Dishes from Terrestera
Dishes by Riverside Designs from Terrestera are made from post-industrial recycled glass, but the newlyweds' guests will never be able to guess due to their luxurious design. Handcrafted by experienced artisans, these dishes, starting at $26 a piece, are perfect for dinner parties and special occasions. Also check out Riverside's Plates with Purpose collections, which benefit charities such as the National Autism Association and Court Appointed Special Advocates and start at $36.
Wine of the Month Club from the Organic Wine Company
The newlyweds will have much to celebrate for months after their nuptials. Toast them with an earth-friendly alternative to a classic gift: a membership to the Organic Wine Company's Wine of the Month Club. For $49.99 per month, three bottles of the companys best wine will be shipped to the couples home.
Natural Grain Acacia Serving Bowl from Bambeco
Straight out of a still life, this wood serving bowl from Bambeco has natural beauty. For $64, it's made from the ever-sturdy (and sustainable) acacia wood, so it will provide years of holding fresh fruit or serving salads.
National Parks Annual Pass
Each of the 58 national parks and 74 national monuments sprinkled across the country is accessible with The National Parks and Federal Recreation Lands Annual Pass sold in the USGS online store for $80. Give the newlyweds the gift of enjoying the natural wonders their home state has to offer. The pass covers the holder and up to three accompanying adults (no entry fee for those 15 and under), so one pass will cover the couple plus two friends, perfect for double dates!
Basic Ivory Blanket and Sheets from Loop
On every couple's wish list are basics such as sheet sets and blankets, but cotton is one of the most heavily sprayed crops. For a great alternative to traditional cotton products, check out these organic cotton woven blankets and basic sheet sets from Loop. The Ivory blankets run $95-$155, and sheet prices vary by color and size.
Sweet Dreams Bamboo 500 Tread Count Sheets
The bride and groom will sleep like royalty on these amazingly soft sheets from Sweet Dreams Bamboo. Made of 100% bamboo and boasting a luxurious sateen finish, these sheets are a marriage of eco-friendly and elegant. Sheet sets range from $250 to $285, but The Daily Green readers get a $20 discount by using this coupon code #SDB-20-FROM-TDG .
Organic Cotton Bed Sets
Check out Under the Canopy's organic cotton shams, duvets, quilts, pillowcases and more.
Charitable Ideas for Weddings Without Registries
When your presence is the only present requested, giving to a charity in the couple's name can be an eco-friendly gesture that makes you and the couple feel good. We suggest supporting conservation efforts by sponsoring an animal at the local zoo or adopting a polar bear with The World Wildlife Fund's adoption program. Or you can consult Charity Navigator, a watchdog's list of financially responsible environmental organizations, before donating to the cause of your choice.
Bamboo Serving Spoons
BranchHome, one set of spoon and fork $12
Organic Cotton Pillowcases
Under the Canopy, $36-$40
Stainless Steel Compost Pail
Clean Air Gardening, $39.99
Recycled Aluminum Bark Candlesticks
Organic Cotton Duvets
Under the Canopy, $110-$150
eGO Vehicles, $1,549-$2,149
Organic Cotton Towels
Under the Canopy, $8 and up.
Organic Cotton Sheet Sets
Under the Canopy, sets range from $120-$190