Eco-Friendly Christmas Cards

by - Wednesday, November 02, 2016

the card is from etsy and the picture is from the amazing and talented Jenny GG
At this moment in the year, we start shopping for our Christmas card. Many of us send each other Christmas cards to wish friends peace and joy, to celebrate the holidays, and to show off their family in totally not posed pictures of family togetherness. I can joke, but I am as guilty as anyone of sending these cards and being so happy to receive them. It is equally nice to be wished happiness and to see how happy people I care about are. Christmas cards may be cheesy, but they are also awesome.

Even better, if you are trying to have a more eco-friendly holiday season, then the Christmas cards create a pretty obvious opportunity to make some positive changes! This is an opportunity to save trees, that keep our Earth cooler, our air cleaner, and our view prettier.

Think about how many trees must go down for all that holiday cheer in the mail- probably more worth it than the trees that come down for toilet paper. But if you can celebrate the holidays by being a steward and preserving God's creation, why wouldn't you do it? If the holiday really isn't about consumerism, we need to approach it with the spirit of stewardship first.

I know I as a Christian think even more about my role as a steward this time of year- how can I approach giving gifts in a way that pleases God? If giving gifts to each other is a symbolic repetition of God giving us the gift of his son, how can we do it in a way that takes care of his creation? Those questions resonate even when the gift is as small as a card.\

If you want to be a good steward this Christmas, recycled cards make so much sense. You can save trees from being cut down while still sending your love to others. The answer here is simple, though it might cost you more money.

The good news? Recycled card options are EVERYWHERE, they just may not be where you would look first. Skip Shutterfly and Tiny Prints. Tiny prints weirdly comes up when you search for eco-friendly Christmas cards, but they aren't, so that is an infuriating scam. They don't use any recycled paper as far as I can see. That being said, so many other places do.

Let's do this, people! Enough of these virgin tree shenanigans:

Green Field Paper Co

Green Field Paper Co is now my first stop for paper good browsing. Not only do they have great designs, they also feature more types of eco-friendly statonary than anyone. When you see just how many creative and eenviromentaly responsible options are out there, it's hard not to question why all paper companies don't try this route.My favorite- cards specifically made out of recycled junk mail! That is genius. All the other cars need to step it up. They also have plantable cards, ornaments, and gift cards (these are made of recycled paper and have seeds in them- bonus, they are all made in San Diego). Seriously, look here before you buy a box of cards anywhere else.

Paper Culture

Paper Culture is another gem- a perfect first stop if you want a cheesy/wonderful photo card (don't be ashamed; I love them too). Paper Culture recognizes their carbon footprint, and they try to offset it by using 100% post-consumer paper for their cards and by planting a tree for every order they sell. The Arbor Day Foundation does it for every card (so significantly more depending on your order), but these cards gave a little more design to them and have photocard options, so they may better fit your vision. Their designs vary from bright and busy to minimalist and chic, so you are sure to find something you like. Plus, they don't cost any more than those photo cards from Tiny Prints. How did we not all know about this before?!


 I have a lot of loyalty for Minted cards; we got our save the dates and birth announcements from them, and their cards always look great and modern. They are pretty comparably priced to Tiny Prints, just a little more expensive, but they offer 100% recycled paper for 15 dollars more. To me, that's worth it, and I will just buy fewer cards to cover the cost.

 Arbor Day Foundation

The Arbor Day Foundation sells 100% recycled "Give a Tree" paper cards as a fundraiser. Every card you buy puts money towards planting trees, so not only are you preventing more trees from coming down, you are also helping plant more! I love this idea so much, though I can't really say that the designs are anything to get excited about (some designer- volunteer your time). Definitely less stylish, but think, if you did this every year at Christmas, how many trees you could help plant in a lifetime. What a sweet addition to your holiday traditions.


We all knew I was going to say it- you still have time to buy your cards from etsy, so you can start with this search to find eco-friendly options on there as well.

A Few Other Thoughts to Keep Things Eco-Friendly (No matter where you buy)

Skip the Foil- Foil pressed cards are really pretty, and they are super popular right now. Skip them. You can't recycle them and they won't biodegrade.

Buy Less- Pick a smaller than regular number to send and just don't send them to those people on the list that feel like a stretch. It can make a big difference to just cut down your numbers to the people you really care about.

Above all, Save the Trees- With so many recycled paper options out there, it really doesn't make sense to send a card on virgin tree paper.

That's it! Christmas is kicked off and I will have a ton of ideas for how to make tiny changes to your Christmas plans that will have a big impact on the Earth. Have specific questions? Let me know and we will try to address them. In the meantime, check out the Christmas lists from last year on The Giant List of Shopping Lists.

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  1. I like this post! I already purchased my eco friendly cards for Christmas. I'm in Australia so used a company called Earth Greetings. Same price as normal cards with free delivery. I was happy.