Christmas Cards vs. Environment

vs. Tradition

My annual tradition is to write my Holiday card and family letter updates the day after Thanksgiving.  In addition to the timing of my writing, I have been choosing a ‘Peace’ theme for the past 7 years on my cards and the last couple years purchasing my cards from UNICEF.  While this year I don’t have the day after Thanksgiving off work, I was still planning to compose that annual letter and write my cards.

With Facebook, Twitter, and E-mail people are more connected now than ever. However, I still find joy in receiving that card from a friend I haven’t heard from in awhile and sitting down to write my letter and cards allows me to reflect on the year, more than I may have otherwise.

With regular questioning and conscious living, I am working to rectify the feeling of constantly producing more waste than is necessary.  I’ve also decided I can’t stop living and doing things that bring joy.

Sure you can e-mail cards but I enjoy using the cards for decorations above my mantle and admit that we receive so few letters via mail anymore, there is something special about opening up that handwritten card and letter.  Not to mention e-mail still requires energy to produce.

In trying to find a reliable statistic for the amount of trees actually destroyed to produce annual Christmas Cards, the numbers are fuzzy.  Hallmark reports that 1.5 billion Christmas cards are sent annually, what that equals in trees I can’t be sure, but it sounds like a lot.  So, now I’m considering my options this year.

The first thing I am going to do is pull my Christmas box out of our shed this weekend and see what old cards and wrapping paper I have and try to re-use them creatively to make my cards this year.  I’ll probably need some suggestions from sites like craftstylish.com.  I’ll have to find envelopes, but I’m sure I can find recycled one’s.  Given my significant lack of time I think I found a version I am going to try and recreate in some way (http://www.homemade-gifts-made-easy.com/handmade-christmas-card-ideas.html).

If my stash of old cards or those sent last year from friends and family aren’t enough to make cards, then I’ll resort to purchasing preferably recycled cards and hopefully, find one that is “green” and supports a good cause.

According to the Greeting Card Association (2011), Americans spend 2 billion annually on Christmas cards.  Imagine what good could be done if a portion of that went to charitable organizations.  The website cardsthatgive.org provides information regarding organizations that sell cards to support a cause.

Plus, I’ll be including a little note at the bottom of my cards that reminds my friends and families to recycle, not just my card but everyday!

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