Real Holiday Cards   4 comments

I know that many environmentalists are proud to announce that they do not send holiday cards but that they send virtual greetings instead. I’m not one of them. I’m proud to announce that I do send actual Christmas cards. Yes, they use paper and fuel, but the pros outweigh the cons in my opinion.

For one thing, I love receiving cards. I love looking at pretty cards, reading the notes, and looking at any photos. It just feels good, and that’s what life is all about, right? I have gotten virtual greetings before (and I’ve used them, but mostly for birthdays), but there isn’t as much thrill. Since I love receiving the physical cards, I prefer to send out physical cards as well. That’s the same reason that I (occasionally) send handwritten cards to family and friends during the year.

Secondly, “it’s good for the economy”, as much as I am sick and tired of hearing that phrase. Someone got paid to make the card, someone will be paid to transport the card, and someone will be paid to deliver the card. Someone got paid to make the paper, someone got paid to design the card, … you get the point. Some card purchases also benefit a non-profit organization, too.

To modulate the environmental impact of sending cards buy some recycled paper or non-tree fiber paper cards printed with soy-based inks. Buy cards from a small printing company, small shop, fair trade store, non-profit organization, or make your own. Skip the glitter, foil, plastic inserts, and anything else that renders the card non-recycleable. Insert a photo if you want, but don’t weigh the card down too much (I think that rules out those singing cards, too; does anyone actually like receiving a singing card?). A heavier card means more fuel required during transportation. Yes, I know the plane is carrying thousands of cards but imagine if each of them weighed an extra half ounce; it adds up.


Posted December 5, 2010 by mayakey in environment, psychology, resource use, shopping

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4 responses to “Real Holiday Cards

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  1. I’m on the fence with the card issue, but your suggestions of how to green things a bit are helpful. Particularly since I have older aunts/uncles not on the Internet. thx!

  2. Yeah, there will probably always be situations where virtual cards won’t work for a handful of recipients. I know people in their 30s who don’t use the internet very much, so there will probably always be some people who wouldn’t receive a virtual card.

  3. My wife & I still send out cards each Christmas, but have gone to mostly sending photo cards rather than traditional-style greeting cards. For those folks who we do send a regular greeting card to, we also slip in a photo or two.

    Maybe it’s antiquated nostalgia, but I believe there’s still something special about sending and receiving Christmas cards!

  4. My husband and I don’t have kids yet, so we haven’t used photo cards yet. Environmentally, if you are going to send a picture insert, sending a photo card instead saves paper and maybe a little bit of weight, so we might do this in the future.

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