Author: Claire Grant
Christmas cards are one of the most traditional ways to show loved one you're thinking of them over the festive season and who doesn't love to open the mailbox to find personal messages of goodwill from friends and family-
During the early years of kerbside recycling Planet Ark ran the ‘Cards 4 Planet Ark' program to demonstrate that used cards, which were dropped off at supermarkets or post offices, were recycled back into useful products.
With the roll out of kerbside recycling programs, which now cover more than 9 out of every 10 Australians, this recycling can happen at home. It's as simple as dropping them in the paper recycling bin.
As lovely as they are cards do have an environmental impact but there are ways to keep that to a minimum in terms of both choosing the cards to buy and of disposing of old ones after Christmas.
Make your own Christmas cards from craft materials, cut the patterns from old cards, and cut the backs off old cards to turn them into small gift cards. Check out our Festive Recycled Arts & Crafts Guide for more reuse ideas.
- Choose cards made from recycled paper or that have FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) accreditation, which supports sustainably-managed forests.
- Dispose of paper or cardboard cards (those without plastic or other synthetic additions) in your worm farm or compost bin.
- When recycling cards in your kerbside collection bin, make
sure you separate them from plastic and foil wraps, and remove any ribbons
or audio card devices (small attachments will be dealt with in the
recycling process so you can leave them on).
- Donate used cards to a local childcare centre, school or nursing home for use as craft materials.
Recycling in Australia has moved on from the days of the ‘Cards 4 Planet Ark' campaign but it is still easy to do the right thing with them once Christmas has finished.
For more ideas on having a fun and green Christmas visit Planet Ark's 12 Do's of Christmas.