It wasn’t until I started planning my wedding that I began to realize just how much paper is involved with this one day. You have save the dates, invitations, RSVP cards, programs, menus, place cards, thank you notes… whew! It’s quite the list. The honest truth is, majority of these things can easily be eliminated right off the bat cutting your paper use in half! For the remaining paper items, I have come up with some environmentally friendly alternatives to all that darn paper!
Perhaps one of my favorite discoveries in the wedding planning process is seed paper, which is exactly what it sounds like: paper made with seeds. This eco-friendly option allows guests to plant their invitations and watch wildflowers or herbs grow! Perfect for the green thumb couple who wants to share their love of gardening, but easy enough that the average person can successfully do it. Even if the guests just throw their invites away, it will still decompose faster than your average paper invitations that tend to be coated with plastic or wax. We ordered ours through Botanical Paperworks, a Canadian based company that specializes in seed paper invitations. They also have a plethora of great items for favors, eco-friendly confetti and menu cards.
This should seem like a no brainer! Make sure any paper products you do use on your big day are made from recycled paper. Some invitation companies have the option to use recycled paper but they don’t always advertise it. If you find an invitation company you like, make sure you specify that you would like them to print your invitations on recycled paper. Look for the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) label to ensure your products are made with real recycled materials. For more information on choosing sustainable paper options check out the World Wildlife Fund’s “6 Steps to Responsible Paper Purchasing” by clicking HERE. A great company for recycled paper invitations is Paper Culture. They make their invitations from 100% post-consumer recycled paper, and for each order placed they plant a tree. That’s one way to feel good about your money spent!
Website and Evites
Today’s culture is so steeped in the internet that the popularity of wedding websites should come as no surprise. Not only are they a great paperless alternative to conventional invitations, they are easy to create and far cheaper too (majority of wedding websites are free). There are many great options to chose from when it comes to creating a wedding website, but my favorites are Zola and the Knot for two different reasons. Zola is incredibly intuitive and has a fantastic easy-to-use app to help you monitor your guest list and control your website from your phone. If you are an avid smart phone user I recommend using Zola. The Knot, on the other hand, has great menu options for your website and is easy to edit from your laptop. But to me the biggest benefit to the Knot’s personalized wedding websites is that you can link a charity to your registry and if guests buy any items through there using your Knot website, a portion of the cost will go towards your charity! It’s the gift that keeps on giving!
You can also cut down on the amount of paper you use by sending out your Save The Dates and invitations via email. Companies such as Paperless Post and Greenvelope which offer beautiful online invitations with easy to track RSVPs. Additionally, this option greatly reduces the amount of carbon emissions as you are eliminating the need to use trucks to deliver your post. However, if Great Aunt Tessie is not very technologically inclined, you can always opt to send her a physical invitation from one of the options above.
Signs In Place of Paper
Are ceremony programs really needed? Practically everyone who will be at your big day has attended a wedding before and therefore knows the drill. Rather than print off hundreds of programs that will just get tossed after the ceremony, why not use upcycled materials such as window frames and pallets to list any pertinent information. This is also a great way to display the menu, timeline of activities for the day, or table assignments. There are plenty of great examples of this on Pinterest. Not only will the re-purposed signs cut down on paper use, it will also add to your aesthetic. A good rule of thumb is anything you would use paper for, stop and ask yourself “Could this be a sign instead”.
Do you have a tree friendly paper option that you recommend? Tell us all about it by commenting below!