Latest trends in fine stationery, custom invitations and announcements from the Stationers Guild

In a recent article that was picked up by Planet Green, Cara Smusiak cites the advantages of setting up an online RSVP for your wedding invitations.  With little real evidence to support her claim, Ms. Smusiak argues that “Wedding invitations add up to a giant carbon footprint. Between invitation delivery and RSVP responses, there’s a lot of transportation and mechanical sorting involved—all of which requires energy, which is probably supplied by an unclean energy source.”

At the risk of being ostracized by the green community, I do think Ms. Smusiak’s claim is exaggerated and her advice may, in fact, cause more harm to the environment than sending out wedding invitations.  For instance, the Gartner Group and HP report that the average web user uses 28 pages of paper daily.   In fact, 115 billion sheets of paper are used annually for personal computers:  more than 3 times the volume of first class letters (non-sorted) in the United States.   I guess the question is:  Are we really any better off collectively if  the emailed recipient is simply printing the invitation and direction card at his or her work station?  I don’t know the answer, but I suspect that it is probably a wash.

While I am all for helping the environment, I would like to do so responsibly.  There are many talented invitation designers such as Oblation and Julie Holcomb who have been promoting green papers and eco-friendly printing solutions long before “eco-chic” and green weddings became fashionable.  While we may feel better touting questionable green claims, the movement would be far better served by addressing more serious problems than pretending that wedding invitations are destroying the environment.  ”Green wedding invitations“ sounds cool, but I suspect that it is just simply an ill-considered urban legend that continues to gather momentum without the benefit of much thought, let alone serious debate.

Environmentalists like Scot Case of Terrachoice, regularly point out the sins of “greenwash” and how exaggerated and deceptive claims undermine the environmental cause.    Beating the drum for this particular “cause” is guilty of the sins of irrelevance and lack of proof.

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