Who doesn't love receiving a homemade card? Not only do they really show someone you care, but also making cards by reusing paper and materials you already have around the house reduces the consumption of natural resources. You’ll save money, too.
While there are eco-friendlier greeting cards on the market, making them involves manufacturing emissions as well as the impact of transporting the cards from factories to stores—even if they’re printed with the best possible ink on 100 percent recycled-content and/or FSC-certified paper. DIY cards made from recycled scraps have a much lower footprint. By some estimates, not sending 50 cards a year (holidays plus birthdays add up!) saves five pounds (2.3 kg) of waste and 1,000 pounds (454 kg) of emissions.
Get creative. If you’re not, never fear, there is plenty of inspiration to be had online. The only thing to avoid is buying new materials to make your cards. That defeats the purpose!
Try taking paper you’ve only used on one side and decorating over the printed part. Use that stash of old greeting cards you might already have lying around. The recycling bin is a great source for images, letters, and photographs—from magazines, catalogs, kids’ drawings, and newspapers. Cut and paste these onto your card.
Buttons, beads, glitter, and more give any card pizzazz. Or head to the yard for leaves, flowers, and feathers.
If you’re an artist—or live with a young budding one—drawing and painting pictures and designs is always nice, especially with eco-friendly paint.