Billions of Christmas cards being sent each year means the destruction of thousands of carbon-absorbing trees
Christmas cards can be a lovely gesture, but for many people the tradition has lost much of its meaning; nowadays we often give cards because we think we ought to, or because of peer pressure, or because of the way they are marketed.
But to make all that paper and card involves the destruction of trees, a crucial “carbon sink” soaking up the carbon dioxide from our atmosphere. Paper production also involves the extensive use of water, bleaches and chemicals.
And then, on top of that, many cards are packaged up in plastic wrappings, or have glitter (microplastics) on them.
Generally, they are just not good at all for our environment, so please consider not buying them this year.
Here are some great alternatives to Christmas cards:
- send an e-Card – an electronic greeting which will cost less and involve no plastic or paper at all!
- simply tell people – verbally or by email – that you are not giving cards this year, so as to decrease your carbon footprint
- tell people that you will make a donation to charity of the amount you save by not buying cards – do good while being green!
- ask others to mutually agree not to exchange cards
- give small sustainable gifts instead
Why is this important?
Firstly, Christmas consumerism has overtaken the tradition of giving Christmas cards, and we now understand the damage that their production and packaging can do. We need to reign in Christmas consumerism to protect our ecosystems, and this is a nice simple way of doing that, which your friends and colleagues will understand and appreciate.
Secondly, most cards simply end up in our waste systems – in reality only a very small proportion of them are recycled. Limiting the purchase of Christmas cards will reduce the amount of material we send to landfill, and help us reduce our waste mountains.
Try and avoid buying and sending Christmas cards this year – it’s an unnecessary single-use of resources and an unnecessary expense, and we now know the importance of protecting our trees and reducing our waste mountains.
Oh … and if you haven’t already, please sign up to our fortnightly bulletin Take Action using the very simple form below.