In our house, like many others, we don’t send many Christmas cards anymore. Just a small handful to our nearest and dearest, whereas a few years ago it would have been dozens.
Why is this? It’s because we feel split between wanting to let other people know that we are thinking of them, but also knowing about the environmental impact of manufacturing, sending, and disposing of the waste created by Christmas cards and decorations, it’s hard to reconcile.
At best cards can be recycled, but more often than not they end up in landfills because of glitter and foil that prevents recycling. Add to this the carbon imprint of being posted and it seems ironic to send a card to wish people a Happy New Year when the very act of sending the card just adds to the bleak forecast for our environment!
So what’s the best thing to do? Sending emails also increases our carbon footprint but is a better alternative. Or a Christmas phone call or letter, something personal like a small gift of food or a plant is a lovely thought.
If we do send a card, it’s good to reuse, make and upcycle rather than just buying new. And also it’s very important to consider if it can be recycled by the recipient after Christmas. When we receive cards we can save the pictures for craft projects through the year, such as making bookmarks and new cards, or just hang the nicest ones on the wall.
If we can deliver the cards by hand to local people rather than posting them that’s brilliant too. It’s a great excuse for a festive meet-up!
There are many more ways to wish our friends and family a Happy Christmas and protect the planet for many more Happy Christmases!