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Zero Waste: Holiday Cards

The holidays are a time of joy and celebration, of getting together with family and friends and sharing the gifts of the season. This is also the most wasteful time of the year. In fact, North Americans produce 25% more waste during this time of year than any other, which equates to 25 million extra tons of garbage going to the landfill. The Whole Foods Market Green Mission Team has gathered our favorite tips to feature on this blog throughout the holidays to help us all reduce our load. We know our customers are some of the greenest folks around, so please share your tips with us too. Hopefully we'll help each other discover new and creative ways to live lighter on the planet this holiday season. Holiday Cards Did you know that over 2 ½ billion (with a B!) holiday cards are sold annually in the U.S.? That's enough to fill a 10 story building the size of a football field. And what happens to most of those cards? That's right, into the landfill. Some ideas on what to do instead:
  • Send e-cards instead of paper cards. If you feel this makes you look cheap or lazy, add a line about your efforts to curb waste. Who can argue with that?
  • If you do send paper cards, make sure they're printed on post-consumer recycled paper and choose non-metallic cards so they can be recycled (cards embossed with foil and envelopes with a foil insert are not recyclable).
  • Reuse the greeting cards you receive as gift tags. You're probably not planning to re-read every single card you receive this holiday. Grab some scissors and get crafty.
  • Remove the fronts of your cards and send to St. Jude's Ranch for Children Recycled Card program.
Now, it's your turn. How do you green your holiday cards? And if you send e-cards, how do you get Aunt Madge's email address without having to call and talk to her for an hour?