The printer I choose for Brian Moss Art Postcards incorporates 50% post consumer waste paper in their cardstock.
This is not the same as recycled paper and it is worth making a distinction because you may not know the difference. I didn't.
The generic label 'recycled paper' consists of many things including paper swept off of the cutting room floor, printing errors, customer cancellations, and other types of recycling which you would expect to happen anyway. Those aren't counted as part of the 50% I reference. That is pre-consumer.
About one half of each of my postcards already lived one or more lives in our consumer cycle, maybe as a disposable cup, a sheet of a magazine, packing material, a fast food paper bag, or maybe a newspaper clipping.
Industries prefer "virgin" paper—even moreso when prices are cheap—therefore if there is no demand for paper diverted from the waste stream, it will likely end up buried in trash anyway. Many municipalities have trouble finding a market for household paper that we take the trouble to recycle. Plenty of locales do not recycle because it is not profitable, and frankly who can blame them. The bottom line is that corporations have no financial motivation to reuse waste paper, so our individual choices add up, no matter the sum.
In addition to using environmentally conscious paper, the printer I choose for these cards is based locally in the U.S., and their facility is run on solar power. They also use a UV drying process that which according to them reduces VOC's when compared to that of a typical card manufacturer, making these "eco-friendlier".
I could cut costs by having these cards printed internationally and shipped abroad. I could find a cheaper printer that doesn't use post consumer waste recycled paper, but at what cost?
With respect to mailing cards out to customers, when possible I send all orders in paper envelopes or cardboard mailers, which are compostable or recyclable. This is also cheaper for me in most instances, allowing me to offer more affordable prices. To be clear I am not a treehugger and I am not preaching. In fact, I drive a gasguzzler, etc. That said, I am striving to minimize my impact by making small choices that add up over time.