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Zero Waste: Holiday Cards

By Jill Velez, November 23, 2009  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Jill Velez
GreenMissionThe 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 holidaycardsDid 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?




caitlin says ...
I use all of my leftover paper bags from whole foods and screen print my holiday designs on the back for even more recycled cards!
11/23/2009 1:07:10 PM CST
Susan Husa says ...
My husband creates our cards every year. He draws and comes up with an inspiring message that relates to the picture. Scanning his creation is all I can think of for sending a "greener" card. Maybe this is the year to start that "green" tradition.
11/24/2009 12:36:30 AM CST
Glennace Kirn says ...
I would like to purchase a Whole Foods gift card for some of my children who live in other states. Please tell me how I can do that. I don't see a window on my computer screen that allows me to purchase the gift cards via computer. Thank you for your help. There isn't a Whole Foods store in my area that is accessible to me.
11/24/2009 12:15:20 PM CST
Glennace Kirn says ...
How can I purchase a Whole Foods gift card via my computer to give as Christmas gifts to my children out of state. There is not WF store in our area that is accessible to me. Thank you!
11/24/2009 12:16:43 PM CST
kenny maccarthy says ...
I've been wrapping gifts in brown paper from grocery bags for years. It's kind of a joke around my family now. But this year I may have a problem as I use the same re useable bags all year and have no wrapping paper! Any suggestions?
11/25/2009 11:33:05 AM CST
hsiaw says ...
Wrap your holiday presents in Better Bags! :)
11/25/2009 4:02:01 PM CST
hsiaw says ...
Simply go to http://wholefoodsmarket.com/giftcards and you can purchase gift cards online.
11/25/2009 4:07:21 PM CST
Kater says ...
Try Zero Waste greeting cards from this company called ReProduct!! They are so cool. They are made of a special plastic and ink; the cards come with a 2-way envelope. When you (or the recipient) are done enjoying the card, you send it back (in pre-paid, pre-addressed envelope, like Netflix) and 100% of the card is re-used to make carpet-backing (for Shaw Carpet Industries EcoWorx carpet). 100% of the card & envelope is reused/repurposed for the carpet backing. NO part of the card ever ends up in a landfill. Check it out, its a really cool idea: www.reproduct.net. They have a facebook page too if you want more information, just search "ReProduct" and if should come up.
11/30/2009 4:58:16 PM CST
Susan Haninger says ...
I would make ornaments out of cards. Give fronts to our church or childcare program, recycle all envelopes and cut out the stamps for the missions. I have also made new cards out of old ones.
12/01/2009 5:37:59 PM CST
Judy says ...
I use the front of the Christmas cards I received as post cards to send thank yous to people after Christmas or use them to send the following year as Christmas cards. I haven't had to buy Christmas cards in years.
12/02/2009 6:18:49 PM CST
Janis Saikaley says ...
My Grandmother started this a LONG time ago. She use to keep greeting cards she has received, cut the front part with pinking shears(usually the part no one had written on) preserving the nicest part of the card and then she would punch a hole in one corner, tie a bit of yarn to the tag and attach it to a package with tape. She also had her own garden and used very little food that she did not prepare herself (whole foods). She was born in 1913....what a difference she must have made in her life time on our overall global impact!
12/02/2009 9:33:06 PM CST