It’s traditional for businesses to say thank you to their customers at Christmas time. Thousands of cards are printed, hours are spent signing them, and then there’s the last minute rush to get them all posted before it’s too late. The financial implications of sending thousands of Christmas cards are expected and planned for, but how many businesses consider the cost to the environment?
The thousands of cards that businesses send their clients each year require a lot of paper to make, and only very few greetings card manufacturers are using recycled paper for their cards. It would be fair to say that recycled paper is not a big focus in the greetings card industry. One tree needs to be chopped down for every 3000 Christmas cards, and in the UK alone, around 1 billion Christmas cards will be sent this year [source: Defra]. That’s over 300,000 trees.
The process of making greetings cards can often include further environmentally damaging processes, such as toxic printer inks and fixing agents. Then there’s disposal of the vast quantities of cards, many of which will end up in landfill. And the carbon emissions created by transporting the cards all over the country are substantial too.