The printing process is by its very nature somewhat wasteful — you’re creating something that will be looked at a few times and then discarded. But, if you’re dead set on avoiding e-vites this holiday season — or anytime, really — here are some ways to make your paper invitations a little better for the earth.
- Choose recycled paper. Look for paper that’s at least 50% post-consumer recycled; the higher percentage post-consumer, the better. Sometimes 100% post-consumer recycled paper is referred to as “tree-free.”
- Explore other eco-friendly paper options. For instance, some companies will print on hemp paper, cotton paper, paper that isn’t processed with chlorine and even paper that contains seeds so your friends can turn your invitation into a beautiful potted plant!
- When it comes to ink, look for places that use soy- and/or vegetable-based inks, which reduce the amount of volatile organic compounds released into the air during printing. These inks have become more popular than you might think; newspapers like The Los Angeles Times have even switched to soy-based ink.
- Consider including a polite note on the back of your invitations urging your friends to recycle the invitation rather than just throw it away.