In a world increasingly drowning in waste, people are looking for ways to recycle as much as possible. So this year, learn how to recycle Christmas cards.

A feature image for a blog post about how to recycle Christmas cards.

One of the biggest sources of excess waste at Christmastime has traditionally been the sending of Christmas cards. If they’re still a major part of your celebration, you’ll want to know how to recycle them.

Or, maybe you’d like to avoid using greeting cards altogether.

How to Avoid Using Christmas Cards

The best thing you can do to reduce the paper used for greeting cards is not to use them at all. In this day of electronic messaging and social media, there are many things you can do instead of sending Christmas cards.

You can create electronic newsletters, send e-cards, create cards and messages on platforms like Canva to share, or make a thoughtful phone call.

One of the problems people run into with paper cards is not wanting to get rid of them. When you receive cards from close friends and loved ones, it feels strange to trash them.

This can lead to the problem of storing all these cards over time, which is another argument in favor of electronic messages and e-cards.

In Canada, household waste can increase by more than 25% in the holiday season. We’re taking many steps forward to be a greener country, but there is still much we can do as Canadians to cut down on waste during the holidays.

How to Recycle Christmas Cards

If you do include paper Christmas cards in your celebrations during the holidays, use the following 3 ideas to recycle them instead of throwing them in the trash:

1. Recycle the Greeting Cards

The main way to deal with paper greeting cards is to put them in the recycling bin or take them to a recycling depot.

However, keep in mind that cards with foil, glitter, ribbons, or other attachments may not be accepted. Check with your local recycling regulations to see what is appropriate in your community.

2. Donate the Old Cards

Check around your local area for organizations that accept donations of old Christmas cards. Some places accept them and turn them into new cards.

It’s worth the effort if you’re supporting a local charity and helping the environment at the same time. It’s two wins for minimal effort on your part.

Another way to donate your old Christmas cards is to give them to a group such as a youth group, daycare, or school classroom to use them for crafts.

3. Use Old Cards for Crafts

There are endless ways to use old Christmas cards for crafts, with your kids, or for yourself. You might also have a crafty friend or relative who can make good use of them.

By reusing something in a creative and fun way, you’ll instill in your children the value of reusing, recycling, and not creating so much waste.

Search online for “how to upcycle Christmas cards,” and you’ll find dozens of ideas for turning those old cards into something new.

Tips for Using Christmas Cards Consciously

You may still decide to keep sending Christmas cards as part of your holiday tradition. If you do, here are some 3 tips for doing it more consciously:

1. Buy Christmas Cards from Charities

There are plenty of organizations and charities that sell greeting cards as part of their fundraising efforts. You can choose one that you’d like to support and get your cards from them.

Many of these groups also support local artists and use prints of their work as their cards’ designs. It’s a great way to support two causes with one purchase.

2. Use Cards Made with Recycled Paper

Some greeting card manufacturers only use new paper, which takes a toll on trees, forests, and habitats.

Source your cards from companies that make a point of using recycled paper for their holiday products. It cuts down on the need for manufacturing new paper for products.

3. Avoid Cards with Glitter and Foil

Try to buy greeting cards that are made plainly without extras such as glitter or foil.

Often, glitter, foil, and ribbons will render a card not fit for recycling. While they may look more festive, they won’t do the environment any favors.

Use all of the tips here to recycle your Christmas cards. Better still, don’t use any paper cards or source them in an environmentally conscious way.

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