Today, eco-friendly travel is becoming more and more important as the population of people who consider their impact on the earth while traveling continues to grow. Although minimizing your carbon footprint during travel is important, traveling should still be a fun experience.
Souvenirs are often of main concern for travelers and if you and your significant other travel together they make great wedding favors to tie in your love for travel with your love for one another. One particular aspect of traveling that is not often discussed is finding eco-friendly souvenirs. Wanting to pick up something to remember your trip or as a gift for your upcoming nuptials is fine, but those souvenir store gifts are often pretty wasteful.
Instead of buying something new from a gift shop, grab one of these eco-friendly souvenirs:
Photos Last a Lifetime
One of the best ways to capture a moment and hold it forever is with a photograph. Not only will you remember the location each time you look at it, but you will also remember what you were feeling when that picture was taken.
For very special photos, you can decorate them with unique frames that you can find in a local thrift shop while on your travels. You can also use these photographs as center pieces for your weddings. You can decorate each table with a different photo from your travels together.
If you are having a destination wedding or a destination hen or stag party, photos make great inexpensive and easily portable souvenirs from the big event.
Everybody loves food (and that’s really the biggest reason to buy it as a gift). Depending on where you’re traveling to, you’ll probably be able to find unique, locally-grown or produced foods that make great gifts as well as wedding favors that guests will love. For example, you’ll find some of the best pistachios in the world in California and you can easily give those out to guests as a wedding favor in a small treat bag.
Local wines also make a great gift for adult friends and family, and support the local industry your are visiting. You can also serve the local wine at your reception to give it that authentic touch.
If you’re traveling internationally, just make sure you can get any foodstuffs through customs in advance. Otherwise, you’ll end up having to throw your souvenirs in the trash before you get on the plane.
Few things make better souvenirs of a trip than a piece of local art. While you might not be able to purchase pieces from major galleries in big cities, you’ll find plenty of quality art in local coffeehouses and smaller galleries. You can also often find local art a flea market or outdoor market. Purchasing small pieces such as handmade jewelry or ceramics can make great presents for those in your wedding party as well.
Best of all, you’ll be supporting local artists from the destination you are visiting and giving back to the community.
Housewares, like coffee cups, are perfect souvenirs and gifts, but new ones can be wasteful. Instead, check second-hand shops and thrift stores while you’re on vacation to find unique housewares that you can incorporate into your wedding decor.
Vintage pots and pans from local second-hand shops can make for great wedding center pieces with a bit of creativity. Using vintage ceramics as floral vases can give a unique and vintage touch to your wedding decor and shows off your finds from your travels.
The best place to shop for souvenirs that will not break your travel budget would be to check out local farmer’s markets and flea markets. You will often find great items that can help support the community you are visiting. You can also often find items that are much more interesting than what you find at a big chain store.
Shopping at these local markets will not only ensure that you will find a great gift for to share with your friends and family but also could be a great way to give back to the destination that you are visiting. Many local craftsmen, artists and farmers have booths at the markets with their products. Try stepping away from the many tourist trap stores at large shopping centers and trek over to the locals’ favorite shopping areas.
The travel industry has seen a big boom in the past year as more and more people are exploring every corner of the world. Many couples are going on destination weddings as well and with all the planning that goes into such an event it can be easy to forget to take into account environmentally friendly options.
Buying the right souvenirs – ones that aren’t mass produced and then thrown away a short time later – is more important now than ever as it can help the local communities and the environment.