Recycled Paper: Harmful or Helpful to Mother Nature?
The exhilarating day you've been dreaming of since you were a little girl is just a few months away. You've chosen an exquisite wedding venue that showcases your personality and passions. Your dress is beyond breathtaking. All of the details are coming together. Now it is time to pick your invitations!
All invitations made by Forever Fiances'
Choosing a recycled paper invitation is a great way to send a message to your guests about your values and set the tone for your eco-friendly event. But the variety of recycled papers to choose from can be dizzying. There are invitations with pre-consumer content and post-consumer content. Then there are the products containing "recycled content" that don't have the "PC" prefixes attached. How do you know which options are the best?
We've compiled a Green Invitations 101 dictionary and guide to make things easier for you!
The following is a breakdown of terms, facts and figures about recycled paper.
First, "recycled" is an umbrella term. A label that says the product is made from recycled paper content could contain either pre- or post-consumer waste or a combination of the two. Recycled paper can actually be more harmful to the environment than regular paper if you do not choose wisely.
According to www.echopaperstore.com, "many recycled papers that claim they are made of recycled materials do not save trees and are made from the waste generated during the manufacturing process (pre-consumer waste). Only 100% post-consumer waste recycled paper is produced completely from waste paper from offices and homes across the country." Therefore, the best options for your wedding are ones that containing the words: post-consumer.
Post-consumer waste can be represented in a variety of acroynms.
Post-Consumer Material (PCW) = Waste paper that has served its intended purpose and has been separated from solid waste to be recycled into new paper. This is what we take to the recycling center.
Post-Consumer Content = Material from products that were used by consumers or businesses and were collected for recycling instead of being discarded as waste.
Pre-Consumer Content = Material from excess or damaged products generated during the manufacturing or converting process, before the product reached the final consumer.
Process Chlorine Free (PCF) = Recycled paper processed back into paper using no chlorine or chlorine derivatives. The waste paper being recycled was most likely made with chlorine the first time around. This method melds the ability to use our waste paper with processing that is chlorine free. PCF eliminates dioxins from paper mill effluent.
Look for paper and products that contain the words Post-Consumer Waste. This content is preferable, as it has much less of a chance of ending up in a landfill than pre-consumer waste. Many products contain 10%, 30% or 100% PCW paper. The more PCW content the better the product is for the environment, but all choices are better than conventionally produced paper.
Another green alternative? Find an online printing service that uses waterless technology. This environmentally friendly process allows for significantly less paper waste. To find a waterless printer try a Google search or try overnightprints.com. While they don't have a lot of wedding templates, you can upload your own design to their website and they will print and deliver to your doorstep.