Thank-you cards are sent to well-wishers following weddings, baby showers, sales events and many other celebrations and events. Thanking those who were there for you is an act of gratitude and moral responsibility. Another act of moral responsibility is to live a lifestyle that does not harm the environment, which is why it is good news that you can go green with thank-you cards. Not all "green" printing companies are created equal, so the following details what you need to know to print eco-friendly thank-you cards.
Choose recycled paper
Printing thank-you cards on recycled paper is the easiest way to go green. Don't worry - today's recycled papers are a far cry from the grainy off-colored stocks of past; instead, they're as smooth and bright white as non-recycled papers (but without the waste). Choose 13-point recycled matte paper stock for your thank-you cards, and you'll have premium, professional-looking thank-you cards that did not necessitate environmental damage to create.
Print with soy-based inks
Many printing companies still print with petroleum-based inks, and while petroleum-inks represent the traditional way to print thank-you cards they have a nasty side effect: they release large volumes of environmentally dangerous volatile organic compounds (VOCs) during the drying process. An alternative is to choose a thank-you card printing company that uses only soy-based inks. Soy inks emit very low volumes of VOCs, so they're much better for the environment than petroleum inks. What's more, soy inks are brighter and more vibrant - so you can go green without sacrificing quality. Best of all, you won't spend an extra dime for soy inks, so it costs you nothing extra to print eco-friendly thank-you cards.
Skip the envelopes
Most thank-you cards are packaged in envelopes, but you can buck the trend and save the environment by printing thank-you postcards instead. Not all envelopes are 100 percent recycled, and they add weight to your mailings so postage is more expensive. Postcards, on the other hand, do not require envelopes and are the cheapest thing you can mail. All you have to do is affix a stamp (or have your printing company mail them bulk for you) and you can save money along with the environment.
Get an electronic proof
Hardcopy proofs are a great way to ensure your thank-you cards look perfect off the press, but they're not the most eco-friendly way to do so. This is because hardcopy proofs must be sent in paper packaging and shipped via pollution-emitting vehicles. They also cost money. Electronic proofs, on the other hand, only require you to open your web browser. The eco-friendly factor might be subtle for a single print job, but when you add up the millions of print jobs run per day the overall effect of getting an electronic proof for your thank-you cards is substantial.