Earth Month: Eco-tip #8: Go electronic with greeting cards

Eco-Tip #8: Reduce waste by sending electronic greeting cards

This cost $4?

It’s long been predicted that the end of paper greeting cards was near. According to the Greeting Card Association, Americans purchase seven billion greeting cards each year. The average household purchases 30 individual cards in a year. If that typical card costs $3, that’s $90 per year on greeting cards (plus postage). Undeniably, we’re living in the age of the Internet, so why spend so much money on paper and postage ? That card will be read in 15 seconds and then promptly trashed, killing trees and taking up precious landfill space when an email greeting is free, instant and in some cases more personal.

Some cards even contain a small chip to play music or a funny audio sample. But in an ideal world the paper and electronics would be separated and individually recycled. Most people probably just trash the whole card.

There are some even better, green and free ways to keep in touch with friends and family (and they won’t feel so impersonal either):

  • Set up a blog full of photos and send that link to your friends, family and co-workers. They’ll see what you’re up to and get to read comments/messages/captions – far more detailed than any store-bought greeting card might offer.
  • Consider an e-card sending service like Blue Mountain  or eGreetings where you can send an electronic card (often animated with sound and Flash video) directly to your loved one’s mailbox.
  • Recycle. Not the greenest, but if you have an empty card, just tag your name on a sticky note and send. The idea is that your recipient will do the same to his/her loved ones.
  • For the creative types, design your own small card on the computer and send in a private email message or to a list of your choosing.

Have any more ideas? Comment below and let us know.

Stay tuned for more from USAgain!


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