Weddings are a shared expression of a couples’ love for each other. My last article discussed why and how to create a green wedding.
Valerie Edmunds, author of The Green Wedding Guide, encourages her readers to create their own wedding elements. “Invitations, flowers, favors, food – and even the gown – can all be handmade by the creative environmentalist. Creating-it-yourself is a great way to save money – and can also be a fun means of involving your friends and family in your wedding preparations.”
One element of creating weddings has historically not been so eco-friendly – the paper correspondences. Why opt for green wedding invitations? Wedding stationary can pile up, create an excess of paper waste, and can be mighty costly. According to Sierra magazine, “The average U.S. wedding and honeymoon generates 9 to 16 tons of carbon dioxide emissions.”
Here are just some of the paper correspondences printed on paper for weddings:
• engagement announcements
• save the date cards
• shower invitations
• shower thank you notes
• wedding invitations
• ceremony programs
• place cards
• menu cards
• wedding announcements
• thank you notes
Wedding stationary-use can be greened-up for the environment at a substantial savings to the consumer. Since these announcements can set the tone for a wedding, green choices save money, trees and time. There seems to be two eco-friendly choices: evites (the greenest choice), or invitations made from 100% recycled paper or tree-free papers.
The San Francisco Chronicle points out: “Where as the average cost of paper wedding invitations is $943.00, e-mail invitations are free.” Here are 8 sites that offer wedding evites either for free or a small service fee:
1. Pingg: Stylishly designed online invitations for emailing and printing
2. Evite: Lots of wedding stationary for free
3. My Punch Bowl
4. Etsy: Digital save-the-dates from different artists who customize your design
6. Care2′s evite “love” category
7. American Greetings: Tips and tools for sending out wedding evites
8. Green Envelope
If you’re still keen on paper invitations, Wedding-Invitation-Ideas.com offers free printable wedding invitations. All the designs are free for your use and most of them can be printed on your home printer.
Here are sites from around the globe that offer environmentally-friendly paper wedding invitation options from Great Green Wedding:
Bag Lady Designs (Ireland) has fun unique illustrations all of which are made using recycled papers.
Dragon Fly Card Designs (Great Britain) have their heart in the right place. Designs are elegant and sophisticated.
Earthly Affair (USA) allows you to choose between either 100% post consumer paper or FSC Certified Cotton Paper.
Of the Earth (USA) will let you completely customize their 100% recycled paper.
festivale.net (USA) is made with handmade papers from 100% recycled abaca paper pulp. Invitations are embellished with complementary trim in raffia, straw, beads and other organic materials.
Green Field Paper (USA) provides Grow a Note cards embedded with a custom mix of wildflower seeds. …You can just toss them in the ground when you are finished, and a few months later– voila! –up pop flowers!! Green Field also has a 100% Junk Mail paper and Garlic Paper infused with garlic skins.
Invitesite (USA) has tree-free papers, 100% post-consumer recycled papers, archival papers (when this is important to you) and vellum papers that can be recycled.
Pistachio (Canada) is a letterpress with 100% post-consumer recycled papers printed with soy or vegetable inks.
Sweet Invitations (Canada) has several collections of handmade invitations that are made from discarded and shredded cloth using petals, flowers, silk, grass, colors, glitters which are acid free and 100% recycled.
Tasha Rae Designs (USA) specializes in custom designed invitations and have a wide variety of recycled papers to choose from. No charge for samples — Tasha suggests you donate a few bucks to your favorite charity instead!
Twisted Limb Paperworks (USA) offers a large line of handmade, 100% recycled, post-consumer waste invitations. This is a great company that walks the walk — at least half of their studio’s energy is provided by green electricity, and water used in the paper making process is recycled from the studio’s dehumidifiers and air conditioner whenever possible.
Ronnie Citron-Fink lives in New York with her husband, two children (when they come home to the nest), two dogs and a cat. Ronnie is a teacher and a writer. She has been a contributing writer for Family Fun magazine. She currently writes articles about education and home design. Her writings are in four books including Family Fun Home and Some Delights of the Hudson Valley.
By Ronnie Citron-Fink