December 8th, 2011 by Chris Keenan
The holidays are fast approaching and with the season of giving comes the season of waste. One Christmas item that is most commonly going to waste is the Christmas card, whether it’s by being tossed out once the holidays are over or the extras are being thrown away.
Not only are cards a huge source of waste, so are the envelopes that they are delivered in. Below we will discuss various ways to decrease the amount of waste you produce with Christmas cards this holiday season.
Cut Out the Paper, Send E-Cards
Perhaps the simplest, and greenest, method of sending holiday cheer to your family and friends is simply cutting out material cards altogether. E-cards can be sent to your loved ones online, spreading the same message as well as saving paper and stamps and cutting back on the carbon monoxide produced by the trucks that deliver them.
A wide variety of websites feature e-cards, many of which are free to use and send. You can choose from literally thousands of e-cards on the net, from humorous and animated, to childish or musical, or serious and heartwarming. While one of the downfalls of sending e-cards over regular greeting cards is that there is nothing tangible for your loved ones to hang on to, e-cards are a great, eco-friendly way to spread holiday cheer and cut back on your overall carbon footprint.
Send Cards Made From Recycled Materials
If you really feel you must send out actual Christmas cards this holiday season, be sure to purchase ones made from 100 percent recycled materials. There are tons of cards made from recycled products now, so your options are pretty wide open. Cards made from recycled materials tend to say so on the front of their packages (or, at least, the back), and usually are accompanied with envelopes also made from recycled paper.
Sending cards made from recycled materials not only shows your loved ones you care about the environment, it helps spread the word about recycling and may give them the idea to start buying cards made from recycled materials, too.
Save Your Breath
We all have that one (or two, or possibly more) relatives who never fail to enclose in their Christmas card a novella about their past year. Perhaps you yourself are even said relative. If this is the case, pause a moment before you sit down at your computer and start composing your annual newsletter. Ask yourself, does anybody really care about every single detail of your year? Are you sending the letter as a means to communicate and keep in touch, or simply to brag to your relatives about how successful you are (or want them to believe you to be)?
Remove your hands from the keyboard, and save your breath on the storytelling. Most people don’t care to read these individual or family newsletters and only end up tossing them in the trash. Think of all the paper that’s wasted by printing out all those copies of your newsletters, only to have them thrown away! If you want to go green this Christmas, you’ll have to cut out any unnecessary waste, even if it does mean holding your tongue for this year.
If you absolutely, positively will shrivel up and die from not being able to spread the news about your wonderful year, go ahead and write your yearly newsletter, but don’t print it. Email it to those who you think are interested in it. Not only will your loved ones thank you, you’ll be lessening your amount of Christmas waste.
These are merely a few suggestions of how to go green when sending Christmas cards to your loved ones this year. Rather than racking up a pile of cards that will only end up in the trash outside your family’s garage doors, think smart and cut out on the amount of paper you use.
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