If you want to throw an eco friendly wedding then start off on the right foot with eco friendly wedding invitations. Every time we spend money we're casting a vote for the kind of world we want, and when you look back on your wedding day the feel good factor of opting for sustainable wedding invites will offset any extra costs incurred. Even Mother Earth will send you a thank you card...
Skip Sending Save the Dates
If you send your invitations early enough you can completely forego sending save the dates altogether. Unless you're super traditional, save the dates are a waste of paper and dollar! Most people only send save the dates if they are having a destination wedding and they want to ensure that everyone shows up. These days plenty of brides skip save the dates and the environment is much better off for it.
Image via papermonkey
Digital invites are the next big thing in wedding planning. No longer are you considered 'tacky' for being techy. With chic and stylish companies like Paperless Post and Evite offering couples a sophisticated way to invite friends and family to their big day online, you can't get much more eco friendly than doing away with paper invites altogether. Leave the formal traditions behind and jump on the digital bandwagon. The downside? Older and less computer literate guests could be left confused.
Image via Thomas Hawk
Handmade papers make a beautiful and elegant choice for your wedding invitations, and they are a far cry from the majority of unsustainably harvested commercial papers that stockists have on offer. Believe it or not, most handmade papers aren't even made from trees at all. Instead they are crafted from natural fibers including cotton, bamboo, rice and all sorts of other unique raw materials, leaving you with a soft and luxuriant feel.
Image via Borislav Domitrov
Use Recycled Paper
Recycled paper comes in all shapes and sizes. By making use of all the waste paper and upcycling it into brand spanking new recycled paper that can be used for anything (like your wedding invitation), you're helping to create a more sustainable world. Paper production accounts for around 35% of all felled trees causing a massive strain to the earth's already depleted resources, so why not do your bit to save the planet and reuse what would otherwise be sat on a landfill.
Image via Borislav Domitov
Opt for Unbleached Paper
In its natural state wood pulp is a brown or beigy color, and to get it that pristine white that so many consumer's demand, it has to be subjected to a bleaching process using either a form of chlorine gas or chlorine derivatives, both of which have devastating effects on the environment. If you don't want your wedding invitations to be marred with these environmentally harmful practices then opt for unbleached or totally chlorine free paper.
Image via amy
Look for Vegetable Based Inks
The problem with petroleum based inks, which are the ones most commonly used, is that during the drying process Volatile Organic Compound's are released in the atmosphere causing environmental pollution as well as health hazard's to those in the workroom. They are also derived from crude oil, a fossil fuel which is dwindling fast and they are much harder to recycle. Vegetable inks are an eco friendly alternative as they are derived from renewable resources such as corn, walnut, soy, coconut, linseed and canola. They are easier to de-ink during the recycling process and they produce far less VOC's.
Image via zzlich
Avoid Plastics and Foils
Keep your eco friendly wedding invitations simple by avoiding plastic and foil embellished invites or envelopes. Yes they may look pretty, but mining bauxite to create aluminium is extremely grueling on the environment (don't even get me started on plastic!) Stick to simple and sustainable materials that speak for themselves and let their natural beauty shine through.
Image via smcgee
Choose A Local Printer
One of the quickest and easiest ways to make a difference to the environment when shopping for eco friendly wedding invitations is to choose a local printer. By shopping locally not only are you helping to support small businesses in your area, you will also cut down on air miles and shipping costs.
Image via Visit St.Pete
You've probably heard about plantable wedding favors, but did you know that you can get plantable wedding invitations too! Whether you want your invites to grow wildflowers, edible herbs or trees, plantable wedding invitations are sure to blow your guests away. What better way to repay your debt to Mother Earth than by having your wedding guests replant an entire forest!
Image via Borislav Domitrov
Trim the Guest List
Nobody wants to trim the guest list in an attempt to greenify their wedding, but in reality minimizing your list saves on paper as well as everything else that is dependent on head count. Some people may argue that sacrificing the odd guest isn't worth it, but the bigger your list the bigger your impact on the environment (and your wallet).
Image via agsaran
How do you plan to make your wedding invitations eco friendly?
Share with us in the comments below...