Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Eliminate cards for big people (Change 124)

It's hard to imagine how much mail one can accumulate until one goes away on holidays.  After a week at a cottage, we came back to a good sized stack of mail.  Contained inside was a thank you note for DD2, a wedding invitation, and two anniversary cards for DH and I.  Each card had its own envelope, with a stamp and return label. 

With the exception of the wedding invitation, everything ended up in the recycle bin shortly after it was read.

Earlier this week, I mailed a birthday card to a nephew and sister-in-law.  Again, each card had its own envelope, stamp and return label.  Later this month, I had planned to send two anniversary cards, two more kid birthday cards, and three adult birthday cards.

Guess where everything will end up, shortly after it is read?  Yup, in the recycle bin.

That is a lot of paper waste for a few brief moments of "Thinking of You" goodness.

The Gift, Novelty and Souvenir Industry was worth $1.8 billion in 2009.  (http://www.ic.gc.ca/cis-sic/cis-sic.nsf/IDE/cis-sic45322rdpe.html)  That is a lot of greeting cards, tourist gifts and novelty items.  Many of these items end up in the garbage/recycle bin in my house.  What about yours?

Many of the people I send cards to are adults that I see often in our lives.  I am in regular communication with them by telephone or email, and many have expressed an interest in my blog, and my environmental process.  So, grown-ups in my life, you will no longer be receiving paper birthday or anniversary cards from me.

I will still send thank you notes to those people that I can't thank in person.    I will still send birthday cards to the children in my life.  Kids love getting mail, and it certainly makes my children's day when I tell them something came in the mail for them.

But everyone else, you won't be hearing from me anytime soon.


  1. I feel the same! Recently bought an ice cream cake with "Happy Birthday, Mom" on it and told my mom that was my "card." When I send a card to a friend, who as a religious sister took a vow of poverty, I stick a post-it inside with my message on it, so she can re-use the card. Two women I know send the SAME card back and forth to each other each year on their birthdays. Trees saved and a cool way to remember years past!

  2. Dmarie sent me a card with the postit note....so thoughtful and smart of her.

  3. Great idea! I may do the post-it note thing for my immediate family that I see in person for birthdays. I wonder what they would think of that?