October 10, 2008

How To Purchase Earth Friendly Invitations

As I settle in to write my guest post, let me first thank Susan for giving me the opportunity to do so. I love checking in to see what everyone has been writing here and I'm honored to be in such good company.

As you may or may not know, I run the online invitation boutique, EarthlyAffair.com, where we create beautiful wedding invitations in the most earth friendly way possible. Today I'd like to share some of the things you should look for when purchasing environmentally friendly wedding invitations and I'd like to show off some of our own as well.

The Alcazar Invitation at EarthlyAffair.com

First, it's more than just recycled paper. Sure, buying "recycled" paper is good, but what you really want is 100% post consumer recycled paper. This type of paper is created from consumer products, usually retrieved from curbside recycling, and averts waste from landfills. There are also other eco-friendly options, such as FSC certified paper, which guarantees the fibers in the paper come from responsibly maintained forests, and tree free papers, such as bamboo and hemp.

The Pinwheel Invitation

Second, inquire about printing methods. This is where it gets a little tricky. There are four common types of printing for wedding invitations: offset printing, letterpress printing, thermography (raised printing), and digital and inkjet printing. I could rattle off a page long list about the benefits and drawbacks of each, so let me keep it short and simple: Talk to your invitation provider about what environmentally friendly methods they implement first. Digital printing is typically better for the earth than offset printing, but that doesn't always mean it's the better choice. You may have a local print shop who offers to print your invites for a great price, but perhaps they don't recycle (you'd be surprised how many don't). While Crane & Co. utilizes offset and thermographic printing, they work hard to minimize their carbon footprint by investing in pollution prevention strategies and tree free paper.

The Shade Invitation.

Third, inquire about business operations. Environmental awareness shouldn't stop at the invitation. There are so many other things a company can do behind the scenes, such as recycling, investing in renewable energy, and simply turning off electronics when not in use.

Well, that about wraps it up! If you've made it this far, then I sincerely thank you for reading my post!

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