Eco-Friendly Wedding Invitations and Stationery

http://www.motherearthliving.com/Wiser-Living/eco-friendly-wedding-invitations-stationery.aspx

Erica BinnsEvent planner by day, seamstress by night, Erica Binns helps run the Mother Earth News Fairs and owns the Etsy shop Barefoot Sewing. Wedding bells will ring for Erica and her fiancé Matt on June 22, 2013.  

Matt and I (well, I) have decided that our wedding theme will revolve around blue and purple orchids. I found this lovely gem, a real orchid preserved in resin, and plan to wear it on my walk down the aisle.

Orchid pendant in blue and purple 

Now that we have colors and a design theme, it's time to look at stationery. I've found several places that use recycled or partially recycled paper stock, but it's tricky to find small businesses that use soy or other environmentally friendly inks.

I stumbled upon Tasha Rae Designs last week, and her one-woman design studio seems like a perfect fit. She's located in Denver, which is approximately 600 miles from where we live, but her business plan is perfection itself:

  • All papers used are 20-100 percent post-consumer recycled content, and/or made by companies that use Well Managed Forests, which are certified and audited to ensure they comply with environmentally sustainable practices and principles
  • She prints with Xerox Solid Ink, which is toxin-free, doesn't require a cartridge and uses a nearly waste-free printing process
  • Shipping supplies and packing materials are reused, and she donates paper scraps to her daughter's school

Fortunately, we don't need to buy a huge number of invitations and other printed materials, so the carbon footprint of shipping them from Denver to the Kansas City area should be quite small. We also plan to order everything at once, which will reduce the amount of packaging needed, as well as the shipping footprint.

One of her designs in particular looks perfect for our needs. This all-in-one wedding invitation actually folds up to become its own envelope, which will reduce the amount of paper needed!

All-in-one wedding invitation Tasha Rae Designs 

A new trend has popped up in wedding stationery recently: RSVP postcards. They eliminate the need for an additional envelope, and save on postage as well. Who would've thought you could send out 100 invitations and RSVP notes without using a single envelope? How fantastic!

My main quandary now is thank you cards. Writing a note on the all-in-one invitation paper would feel awkward, and I wouldn't need all that extra space - just the square in the middle. I wonder if she could make a fold-in-half variety with an extra flap and adhesive strip, so we can still omit the envelope. I haven't seen them before, but that doesn't mean they don't exist—especially for a girl on a mission. Wish me luck!