The truth about holidays cards is that 6.5 billion greeting cards are bought each year. Annual retail sales of greeting cards are estimated between $7 and $8 billion. Nearly 2 billion cards are sold every year specifically for the holiday season. You do the math. Now add in the fact that almost 300,000 trees are being obliterated only to end up in a recycling facility that requires water and energy to renew or a landfill. Piling up with all the other junk we threw away.
Out of sight, out of mind. In my opinion, we can’t anymore.
So what can we do? I want to send a card and show my appreciation for my loved ones just like we all do but I would hate for it to be atthe expense of the planet’s future. I came up with 5 different ways to send cards this year that have a much smaller carbon footprint.
1. Sentimental Card. Don't send anything. Write an individual sentiment for each person on your list. Find a way to tell them either in person, on the phone, email or Facebook. Why not? Make meaning out of it for yourself and the other person even if it’s just a few sentences. It’s the thought that counts not the paper.
2. E-cards. Send out e-cards. Just Wink is really cute and free, all you have to do is create an account.
3. Eco-cards. If you are really committed to keeping traditional alive send bio-degratable cards! Or better yet, Blooming cards. These cards are plantable and have seeds in them that grow plants and flowers. How rad is that? Watch your card grow? I’m in! Bontanical Paperworks and Bloomin’ both have cute collections.
4. Recycled Cards. If you really want to make a statement you can RE-USE other cards. Simply scratch out the other persons name and put the new one in and a new message. That would actually result in a lot of laughter if you made a cleaver blurb or something like that.
5. Creative Card. For those of you who want to give a more meaningful card to your close loved ones you could act out a card. Write a story about how that person makes you feel. Write a song. Write a poem and read it to them. Give a photo card that way you can just cut the photo out and frame it.
Not that creative? Don’t have time? Have someone to that for you. Like Jibjab! or FunPunch. They are incredibly hilarious and very customizable. Jibjab costs $4.99 for one animated card, or $18 for a yearly subscription which is unlimited. I’m bet that $4.99 is about as much or less then you spend on cards anyway and no carbon footprint. I believe FunPunch is free so you could send cards to your hearts content.
If you’ve already sent yours but want to get on board, don’t worry just find ways to make small changes elsewhere. Be observant and try to find places in your life that you can make a difference to the community, your family or friends and/or our plant. If you do any one of these things I recommended I would love you to share it with me if you feel so inclined.