Even if you’re a technology fiend you’re going to use a lot of invitations and stationary over the course of your event planning career. As easy as it would be to just send everything via email, having actual invitations for your events is always nice. Going green with your stationery and invites isn’t as difficult or expensive as you may think. So, here are some awesome tidbits on how to “green up” your stationery.
Paper has only been made from trees for about 150 years now, so in addition to using recycled paper, you can look for tree-free paper. is a great source for tree free event stationery. They also have great DIY kits for the crafty planner. Also, look for paper that is processed chlorine free (PCF). PCF paper is partially or totally recycled and is either unbleached or bleached with non-chlorine compounds. Though PCF paper is the most eco-friendly, also keep an eye out for these other common acronyms. ECF or elemental chlorine-free indicates that the paper fibers (virgin or recycled) are bleached with chlorine dioxide or other chlorine compounds. TCF or totally chlorine-free indicates that the fiber is 100% virgin and is either unbleached or bleached with non-chlorine compounds. Recycled paper cannot be TFC because the original processing of the paper is unknown.
One of the greatest trends right now is plantable stationery. has an entire plantable collection! Their 100 percent recycled papers are embedded with wildflower seeds so your guests and attendees can plant your invitations!
Though many companies advertise themselves as using sustainable printing methods, there are a couple of options when it comes to ink. Soy based ink is popular and definitely more eco-friendly than petroleum based inks, but the best choice is actually vegetable based ink. Most soy ink is only about 20 percent soy, and it produces more (VOC’s) than vegetable based inks. Vegetable ink is also considered more sustainable because it utilizes more than one crop, and it doesn’t compete with the market for biodiesel fuel. Soybean oil, on the other hand, is used to make biodiesel.
I highly recommend setting up an email address strictly for your event. Everything is online these days, and you’ll want all of your online event information coming to you in one spot. Once you’ve set up your event email, save some paper (and some money on postage!) and have your guests email their RSVP’s. Or, if you have an event website with an online RSVP feature, you can simply have guests reply there. Include your email address, or your website URL on your stationery invitation and give short directions for, including entrée choices, reply by date, and whether or not they will attend. If you have event planning software with bulk email and messaging capabilities, this step will be a snap.
With all of the stationery you’re sure to be using over the course of your engagement, this is a great, easy area to go green. Happy planning, and more sustainable event tips coming soon!