Make (or Buy) Holiday Christmas Cards

December 22, 2011 View all articles in Re-Use-It

Christmas is the largest card-sending occasion in the United States , with Americans sending nearly 2 billion cards throughout the season. That's certainly a lot of holiday cheer and well-wishing; but it costs the environment 300,000 trees to fulfill the demand, which is hardly in keeping with the spirit of Christmas.  You can send your Christmas and New Year's messages to friends and family while saving pulp, water, fuel, and landfill space while also minimizing industrial pollution and emissions simply by buying cards made from 100 percent recycled materials or by making your own.


  • Send used holiday cards to St. Jude's, where children earn money by making recycled cards. You can send your cards with the backs cut off or you can leave them intact. Ship your cards UPS “ground” to St. Jude's Card Recycling, 100 St. Jude Street, P.O. Box 60100, Boulder City, NV 89006.
  • Use the photo side of your holiday cards as post cards. Just remove the message portion of the card first.
  • Cut the photo side from a holiday card and glue it to a folded piece of recycled construction paper or a section of a paper grocery bag.
  • Cut all the messages from your holiday cards and save the photo sides for art and craft projects throughout the year.
  • Make your own holiday card with images taken from magazines or catalogs that you glue to recycled or reused paper.


Be on the lookout for the content of holiday cards that claim to be recycled. They aren't always made from 100 percent recycled content and can actually contain a mix of recycled fiber pulp, pre-consumer waste, and virgin wood pulp. The recycled cards you purchase should also be chlorine-free.

  • Botanical Paper Works: These unique, personalized Christmas cards are made from 100 percent post-consumer waste and are embedded with seeds that grow into flowers or cinnamon basil when planted! These eco Christmas cards come in a variety of colorful, cheerful styles for you to choose from.  
  • Bloomin' Flower Cards: This range of handmade cards is made with 100 percent post-industrial paper, soy-based inks, and organic pigments. The cards can also double as ornaments, as they can easily be hung from trees or gifts. If all of these qualities weren't enough to sell you on Bloomin' Flower Cards, you can also plant them and they'll sprout flowers!
  • Cards for Causes: These cards are made of environmentally, eco-friendly recycled stock. They also come with Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification that means they came from a well-managed forest with controlled sources and recycled wood fiber. Cards for Causes also donates twenty percent of the price of your recycled holiday cards to the environmental charity of your choice!
  • Peaceful Valley Greetings: These holiday cards are printed with soy-based inks and are manufactured in paper mills that use sustainable energy. In addition, their envelopes are made of 100 percent recycled, post-consumer waste. Peaceful Valley Greetings donates at least 1 percent of its gross profits to the Arbor Day Foundation to support tree planting in the United States . In addition, the company buys wind and solar power Green Tags from the Bonneville Environmental Foundation for 100 percent of its energy use. If all of this wasn't enough, Peaceful Valley offsets all its water usage by putting water back into critically dewatered streams in the Pacific Northwest . 


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