Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Recyling Christmas cards, adding meaning but not really saving anything!

I came across this concept in 2007 and have been doing it every year since. A few of my friends have caught on and it has become a fabulous part of our Christmas! Each year I keep the cards we get sent and send them BACK to the person who sent it to us in the first place... "What," I hear you say, "how silly is that???" What I do is add a new sheet of paper to the inside and write a new message on it and over the years you get layers of Christmas messages which is kinda fun to read each year!

Its partly recycling but since cards are soooooo cheap (how do they do that?), you can buy 20 cards with envelopes for about $2, so this is less about being frugal and more about doing more than " Dear Bob and Sue, Hope you have a Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year, Best wished Jane and John Doe" each year.

The innocent looking card from the outside...
One of my friends gets so into doing this that she even recycles the envelope - she opens the card, puts in a new sheet, writes on it, puts it back in the envelope, seals it - and then puts return to sender on it, and I get it back!!! It certainly makes for great conversation when people look through our cards when they come to visit as some of them are looking a bit tatty after a few years of travelling around the countryside!

And on the inside are notes back and forth since 2007!

This one is several cards and layers stuck together - its great fun!

I stick this generic message on the back or inside of each card to let the recipient know what I'm doing by sending them back their very own used card; Feel free to use it yourself!

Lets start a tradition!
It can become a fun tradition to reuse Christmas cards from year to year. If you still have last year's cards, you might want to consider sending each card back to its original sender, with a personal note taped inside the card.

Encourage your friends and family to do the same for you next year. Not only can this be an environmentally responsible approach to sending holiday greeting cards, it can also be a much more meaningful activity than sending generic cards out to everyone on your list.

Have fun and enjoy sending cards this year!!
Score card:
Green-ness3/5 Still have to replace the envelope (in most cases!) and not every one plays the game so you still have to buy some new cards each year.
Frugal-ness3/5 Its not that much cheaper as I still have to buy about 20 cards each year and pay for stamps
Time cost: A lot longer than usual - each card has to have its paper cut to size, maybe an extra minute to cut and glue a new piece of paper in and find an envelope the right size for each card. However - your card list is pretty much sitting there in front of you! You'll know exactly who sent you a card last year!
Skill level: You can do this!!!
Fun -ness: When you actually get last years card back its such a fun feeling!!! There is a difference between getting a standard card and one that has crisscrossed the country several times over several years! And its wonderful to compare each year and reminisce as its added to the card!

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