Getting Carded

It is now time to send out your holiday cards.

Wait… First, think about what kind of cards you want to send.  Most holiday cards are made from virgin (not recycled) paper and will not or cannot be recycled.  Photo cards are the worst because of the additional chemicals required to make them.  

Here are some alternatives to consider.

Take a look at your list.  Are there people on it who would be ok with receiving an e-card?  There are all kinds of websites where you can create e-cards and send them off, or you can design your own.  That way you can add pictures, videos, a long-winded letter, what-ever you want without extra cost or environmental harm.  Your recipient can keep it as long as they want and simply delete it when they are done.  This is becoming more and more acceptable, so don’t think you are being rude by going the e-card route, you are being green!

If you do want to send traditional cards in the mail to some or all of the people on your list consider the following.  Most cards are made from virgin material, try to find cards made from recycled content or tree-free paper.  There are papers made from all kinds of fibers like hemp, banana, grasses, even elephant dung.  I don’t think the elephant dung would be the best choice for your stuck-up great aunt, but maybe for your ex.

Don’t buy cards with metallic ink, flocking, foam stickies and other add-ons that can’t be recycled.  No matter how festive they are, you are just contributing to the local landfill.  Skip the photo for all but your closest friends and family who will actually keep the photo instead of throwing it away after the holidays.  Photos are expensive anyway.  Email them or post them on a site like Flickr or Shutterfly for free.

Consider making your own cards.  You can find blank cardstock at any craft or office store, often even recycled.  Sit down with the kiddies (or without) and get creative.  People will appreciate these cards much more than pre-printed ones.

Most of all, have fun and remember that the season is about joy and love.

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