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A recent Blog article called my attention to some advice given by Talley Sue Hohlfeld, Etiquette Expert for Martha Stewart, on whether bridal couples should send E-Vites for a Wedding.   Ms. Hohlfeld, blindly jumping on the “save-a-tree” bandwagon, acknowledged that she was “firmly against using e-mail for something as momentous as a wedding invitation.”  Nevertheless, she added that “putting a website URL on the lower left corner of your invitation would . . . save paper on your end.”  As an etiquette adviser to Martha Stewart, Ms. Hohlfeld should know that putting a website URL on an invitation is not only improper etiquette but is also quite TACKY.

Look, I have no issue with people sending out email invitations to save money.  Nevertheless, to justify sending an e-Vite on ecological grounds is either stupid, deceptive or simply dishonest.   First and foremost, many quality wedding invitations are printed on paper made from cotton and not wood fiber.    In fact, Crane & Co. has been printing paper from cotton (a renewable crop) and cotton rag from textile mills (recycled cotton) for over 200 years.  Perhaps, this is one of the reasons why Ms. Stewart decided to partner with Crane & Co. to launch her new line of Martha Stewart wedding invitations.  Perhaps, Ms. Hohlfeld should consult Ms. Stewart and ask her whether she would like to see a URL at the bottom of her invitation.

Secondly, the “save-the-tree” war cry of environmental righteousness is simply a banal sound-bite probably concocted by online email advocates like AOL and eVite to justify their services as “green.”  I think we all know the expression that if you repeat the same sales pitch or lie and nobody questions it, overtime people will believe it to be true.  Wake up wantabe environmentalists, it’s a hoax!  Most serious paper companies like William Arthur and many others source and produce papers made from wood fibers using the highest “green” standards.  In fact, harvesting wood may be beneficial rather than detrimental to the environment, according to  David Foster director of the Harvard Forest Project.

Martha Stewart Weddings

Thirdly, if Ms. Hohlfeld honesty believed what she was saying, she would most certainly recommend to Ms. Stewart that she immediately cease the publication of Martha Stewart Weddings in the interests of saving a forest, not simply a tree.  Or how about the fact that the average PC user consumes 28 pieces of paper a day.  Should we simply abolish PCs to save a tree?   Ms. Hohlfeld and others who promote themselves as experts should take the time to seriously research issues before simply repeating self-serving slogans that have little basis in fact.  Civility and good taste would be far better served by “Etiquette Editors” who understood the difference between etiquette and a sales pitch.

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