eco southern belle

"You know you have an effect on me when I have the 'eco-friendly' vs. 'southern proper' debate of sending you a thank-you card by mail."

Literally the only times I receive thank-you cards are following wedding or baby showers, when it's really expected of the guest of honor to send them. So receiving a gorgeously hand-written thank-you card from Michelle of Dixie Lust Blog this week following our New Year's Eve game night was a very pleasant surprise.

She closed it with the above PS that made me laugh, but it got me thinking. Much of what I write for Eco Cajun focuses on the small changes you make to go greener in your life. For example, if you love to send handwritten thank-you notes, you don't have to send an email just for the sake of being green. You can start smaller if you choose.

(For what it's worth, Paperless Post offers stationery in the same vein as their paperless Christmas cards I love to send. You can email a thank-you note to someone that's just as beautiful as a mailed notecard.)

But let's back up. By choosing more sustainable paper options, you can combine a love of paper stationery with a love of being green.

The Forest Stewardship Council promotes environmentally sound and socially responsible management of forests around the world. They judge the sustainability of forests on a set of 10 principles and 57 criteria. Paper that comes from forests certified by the FSC is kind of like organic food - it's produced with a smaller impact to the environment.

In addition to certified sustainable paper, you can also look for stationery made with recycled material. Pre-consumer recycled material means the paper or fibers were salvaged during the production process and reused. Post-consumer recycled material is what's collected from curbside recycling and reproduced to use again. The percentage you see tells you just how much of the paper is made of recycled materials. For example, "30% post-consumer recycled" means that 30% of the paper's makeup is composed of recycled material collected and the other 70% is virgin paper. (Side note: I hate the term 'virgin paper' or 'virgin material'! Like, is recycled paper "slutty paper" because it's been around the block? But, I guess I just haven't figured out a better term to use myself.)

Soy- and vegetable-based inks are an alternative to petroleum-based ink and don't contain harsh chemicals like volatile organic compounds. VOCs emit a harsh smell (especially in paint) and can be more damaging in larger quantities.

Now, where to look for your cards? Many stores have FSC and recycled options among their selection, or you can look around online for a style that fits you. Some places include:

By making a few adjustments and choosing more sustainable paper options, you can still be a southern belle and send thank-you cards on occasion without worrying! Think about the statement you'll make when someone receives a thoughtful and sustainable thank-you note in the mail!


Kora Bruce [Dixie Lust] said...

Yay! I'm so excited to look into more eco-friendly stationary options. I love how hand written thank-you notes seem to convey thanks with an extra-special touch - so glad I don't have to sacrifice them in my journey of becoming more earth-friendly. And once again - big thanks to you and Phillip for being such fabulous hosts!

Anonymous said...

Or, make them! I have written thank you notes or just letters on random paint swatches, paper samples (I create, so I come across these all the time) or those pesky notepads you get free places. I dash it up with some doodles. My favorite part is making an envelope out of newspaper or magazine pages. It always makes a statement and reuses!

Caitlin said...

They are definitely a faded art form, but know that your note was very much appreciated amongst the junk and the bills, haha.

Caitlin said...

Scrap paper samples are awesome for this! Great job reusing what you have on hand!

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