Friday, November 20, 2009

Sending a Green Message

Send the Write Message

With eco-friendly greeting cards

WriteMessageWith so many options for free e-greeting cards available on the internet; it’s surprising how many people still choose to pay for paper cards. According to the Greeting Card Association, 90% of American households purchase paper greeting cards. Sometimes you may want to send that special person a tangible reminder that you’re thinking of them. So what’s an eco-conscious citizen to do when the occasion calls for a good old-old-fashioned, personalized greeting card?


Top Tips

  • Buy recycled. Is it really necessary to use up virgin paper to let someone know you love them? Not when there are cards made of recycled paper and are just as cute, funny and heartwarming as cards made out of new material. You can find greeting cards made out of recycled paper in just about any store where you would normally by cards. Anything labeled “made from 100% recycled material” is good, but try to look for a label stating the card is made of 100% post-consumer content.

  • FSCFSC Certified. The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is an independent, non-governmental, not-for-profit organization established to promote the responsible management of the world’s forests. They set internationally recognized standards to promote responsible forestry. You can now purchase greeting cards that are certified by the FSC, so if you’re going to send a paper card, you can really make a statement – and a contribution – to a good cause.

  • Make your own. If you find the lack of personal touch in e-cards unappealing, try getting creative and making your own. By using 100% recycled paper or cardstock you can design and personalized your own greeting card whenever and for whomever you want for any GrowingThePaperoccasion. Since there is so much more about greeting cards – toxic inks and bindings, for instance – that make it harmful for the environment, making your own is a very eco-friendly option.

  • Plant them. Grab a pot filled with soil, put the card in, and grow a garden! You can purchase cards laced with seeds so that when the person is ready to discard the card they can plant it in their garden. This is a great idea for party and wedding invitations that people don’t typically keep after the occasion. Besides, it’s a great party favor for your guests.


Other Considerations

  • Receiving cards. Some people receive cards and keep them “forever”, and sometimes those symbols of sentiment only get thrown away. You can either toss them in the recycling bin with the rest of your newspapers and magazines, or you can keep the love going by reusing them as gift tags. Rip the card at the crease, and if there isn’t writing on the back of the cover you can use a hole-puncher, tie a ribbon through it and, voila! Instant gift tag.

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital accepts donated used Christmas cards. The children trim the cards and glue them onto the used, pre-printed card-backs which are then sold to the public through the St. Jude newsletter, Gift Shop or by word of mouth.

  • Internet newbies. In this day in age it’s difficult to wrap our heads around the idea of not having e-mail, but when sending cards and invitations electronically it’s important to keep in mind the people that may not receive them because they either don’t have access or simply never check their accounts.



…to you

  • Not only are e-cards free and eco-friendly, they are quite simple, even for the not-so-tech-savvy individual. So, although you may not want to send Grandma’s 87th birthday wishes via the internet, for any other occasion of the year you can personalize and send e-cards conveniently at the touch of your fingertips.

  • Making your own cards for the holiday is probably not advisable for your 4 ½-page holiday list of important family and friends, but for birthdays and anniversaries it could be the perfect personalized touch. It also gives you a chance to get in touch with your creative side, so tap into that drawer of glitter, glue, and colored pencils and turn that recycled piece of paper in to a work of art.

…to your wallet

  • Did I mention that you can send e-cards for FREE? Many greeting card websites use free e-cards as a way to boost membership, so you can send cards and invitations to as many people as you want whenever you want for FREE. Not to mention, you don’t have to pay for postage.

  • Making your own cards can also be quite inexpensive, especially if you already have the needed supplies such as markers and colored pencils.

  • Recycled store-bought cards typically are not any more expensive than regular cards – and cheaper than those crazy new musical cards.

  • Seed cards can cost a little more than regular cards, but they serve as beautiful party favors – particularly for weddings – so you don’t have to splurge on too many gifts later.

…to the earth

  • Sending e-cards cuts down on paper used to make the cards as well as the fuel it takes to deliver them. While the mailman was probably going to deliver to your area anyway, the added weight of the 7 billion greeting cards Americans ship each year adds to the amount of fuel needed to ship, truck and fly that paper across the U.S.

  • Purchasing seed cards keeps more waste from entering the landfills and saves the energy and resources associated with recycling the paper. Not to mention the beautiful plants and flowers they produce when planted.


Further Reading

Turn Your Wedding Green

50 Green Gadgets

The 3 R’s and Beyond

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