If you watch any television, you most likely saw the buzz around Chelsea Clinton's upstate New York wedding. Nothing was left unexplored, from what she wore to the organic grass fed beef and vegan menu, where all the guests stayed and got their hair done. It seems no expense was spared for this occasion. The invitations must've been gorgeous.
We're sentimental creatures of habit. I've saved nearly every birthday card I got until I was 16. Yep, all that paper taking up precious closet space because my grandmother signed her name to someone else's poem or picture. After a while, the act of toting around these decorative reams became more meaningful than the actual cards themselves. It's a paperweight of significance, one I flip through typically only when I'm moving to a new home, when reflecting seems appropriate as I figure out how to wedge that box up into my new closet.
Like many people nowadays, without a second thought I'll skip the paper whenever possible and opt for the environmentally friendly choice (most cards are 100% recyclable anyway) for birthdays and holidays.
But, what about invitations?
Surely Chelsea didn't send out Evites to Madeleine Albright and Mary Steenburgen. Most likely hers were of the former-tree kind, but there are all sorts of alternatives available. From fabrics, reclaimed/recycled wood, aluminum /metal etchings or plastic and acrylics, there are even edible invites such as decorated chocolates or cookies with all the important details frosted in sugary goodness (for your tongue's pre-party party).
According to TheGoodHuman.com, a typical American household throws out 2,460 pounds of paper every year. Of course some of that is unavoidable, but making conscious choices can avert much of it, too.
If you're planning a small event, you can even handcraft your own invitations with recycled materials at relatively low costs. At the very least, you can offset your paper usage by planting a tree in honor of your guests. Organizations such as The Fruit Tree Planting Foundation (www.ftpf.org) offer affordable donation programs. Imagine if Chelsea and Marc had honored their guests with an orchard they can visit any time. It might've been useful before the event--the paparazzi would have taken days to find Vera Wang hidden amongst the trees, or at least minutes.