Anyone who has ever attended a wedding knows – the favors, while thoughtful, often get left behind or thrown away. And considering how expensive these little trinkets are (the average cost is $400 according to WeddingWire’s Newlywed Report 2020), it would be nice to know that money is actually doing some good.

That’s why, instead of giving out bags of fancy almonds or monogrammed glasses, many couples are now using that budget to give back with charitable favors.

Need some do-good inspiration? Here’s a list of altruistic favor ideas that your guests and the rest of the world will appreciate.

1. Favors that Grow

Create life – literally – with favors made from biodegradable paper embedded with seeds. When planted in soil, the seeds grow into flowers, herbs or vegetables, and the paper composts away for a zero-waste favor. These types of favors come in a variety of shapes to fit your wedding style, including hearts, snowflakes, bookmarks, flowers, leaves or even whole pencils.

These favors also pair perfectly with a larger donation toward an environmentally-focused charity, like The Nature Conservancy, which protects ecologically significant waters and lands, or the Sierra Club Foundation.

2. Wedding Cake Gum

Ensure your guests feel fresh throughout the wedding festivities – no matter what’s on the menu – with this sugar-free gourmet gum from Project 7. Not only does it taste delicious, but it also helps provide emergency shelter for people impacted by natural disasters. Or, if something bubblier is more your taste, you can hand out packets of the company’s Champagne Dreams gum, which supports the planting of trees to fight deforestation.

3. Socially-Conscious Soaps

Another way to keep your guests smelling great: handmade soaps with a vision. B.A.R.E. Soaps (Bringing Antiseptic Resources to Everyone) is a socially conscious company that produces sustainable soaps.

These soaps are cruelty-free, made with all-natural ingredients, and packaged with either plantable paper or reusable cotton bags. All proceeds are reinvested back into the business or non-profit initiatives, such as the Sundara Fund, which employs women in India with fair wages.

4. Rescue Chocolate

Indulge your guests’ sweet tooths and their soft hearts with this tasty wedding favor. Rescue Chocolates are high quality vegan dark chocolate bars that also give back to animals by donating a portion of sales to different animal rescue organizations each year. Past recipients include Pets for Patriots, Midwest Rescue of Illinois and Hurricane Pets Rescue.

5. Treats for a Cause

You can also send your guests home with a tasty treat via baked goods with a cause. Dog Tag Bakery in Washington, D.C., for instance, offers a variety of cookies, brownies and other individually wrapped delicacies for events. But it’s no ordinary bakery; it also serves as a living business school to empower veterans, military spouses and caregivers with hands-on learning and professional experience.

Or you can support food-insecure children across the U.S. by ordering a box of baked goods from That’s Caring. Each purchase from the bakery sends funds to Feeding America-certified food banks for the weekend bag program, which distributes bags of nutritious food and snacks to kids in need.

6. OneHope Wine

Toast your nuptials with a vino that also makes the world a little better, thanks to OneHope Wine. The award-winning Napa Valley winery donates 50% of profits from each wine variety to different charities. Love a bold red? Try the Cabernet Sauvignon and support children with autism. Prefer a refreshing white? Check out the Pinot Grigio and fund pet adoptions at the same time.

7. Symbolic Stand-ins

You can also keep things simple by donating the entirety of your wedding favor budget to the charitable organization of your choice and informing your guests with a small symbol. For example, if LGBTQ causes are close to your heart, leave a note about the donation tied with a rainbow ribbon on your guests’ place settings. Or, if you want to support breast cancer research, tie a pink ribbon to the card.

©CTW Features