In the day and age of technology, it seems almost strange to receive snail mail from a friend or business. I'll be the first to admit I get excited over a card in the mail, however, the chance of a response to it is not likely... you're getting an email.
I'm currently working with our local hospital foundation on their upcoming gala and after much research they have opted to just send out electronic Save-the-Dates. Not only is this a more eco-friendly option, but it will save them money on their printing costs! (Great option for non-profit organizations.)
If you know you want to print your invitation anyway but still want to be green, there are a few options for printing.
1. Print on recycled paper- this is available at most print shops or for purchase online. If you're working with a graphic designer, they can be very helpful finding you the right paper and envelopes to stay green!
2. Print double sided- use less paper by printing your invites double sided. You could also consider doubling up your programs by including the reception program and menu all in one. I've done this for weddings and galas and it works out great!
3. Forgo RSVP cards and envelopes- just because your invites are paper doesn't mean your RSVP's can't be done electronically! Create a new email or website (many available for events online) for guests to respond to. An event specific website is great for emailing out updates, directions, and other need-to-knows.
If you want to get really creative, there are invitations you can buy that after your guest is done with them you can plant them in the ground and they grow!
Remember, an invitation is your guests first look at your event and how well you design and present it sets the tone for the entire event. Keep this in mind as you go forth with your invitations!