Recycle Christmas Card

Santa and sleigh winter scene

Avoid creating additional waste this Christmas by considering how to recycle Christmas cards. This helps to reduce the huge amount of paper and card stock which is placed into landfill sites, and importantly, can help reduce the call on virgin materials and the energy used to create and process them.

Christmas cards are an important part of the festive season. They are a great way to send a greeting to people that perhaps you do not see often. A Christmas card can bring a huge amount of pleasure to people and can help to stop people and families from getting out of touch with each other. The downside, however, is the huge amount of paper and card that is used each year. Envelopes that get thrown away immediately and cards that remain on display for only a couple of weeks are unfortunately a poor use of resources.

Recycling Christmas cards is an ideal way to ensure that they do not just end up rotting in landfill sites. Christmas cards are often printed on high quality card stock and can be used in a variety of ways.

Reuse and Recycle Christmas Cards

A Christmas card is made up of a piece of card that is folded into two. On the front of the Christmas card there is typically a picture, and on the inside there is a verse or two and often a hand written message. There are many ways that the cards can be recycled:


A simple yet effective way to recycle Christmas cards is to reuse them. By cutting a piece of good quality paper that is the same size as the inside of the card, a new lease on life can be given to the card. If this is stuck over the previous message, a blank space is given to write a new greeting.

For most people the importance of the Christmas card is the message and the sentiment, therefore they will not mind the fact that they have been recycled, and will appreciate your green living goals.

Tip: As the new paper is to be stuck down on the card, why not use paper that has already been printed or written on. This offers another recycling opportunity.

Recycle Cards to Create New Cards

The front of a card can be used to decorate plain card. This can be a cost effective way to make Christmas cards and is a great project for children. There are many attractive images on Christmas cards, and these can be cut up and reused in a variety of ways.

Gift Tags

Lovely gift tags can be made by cutting shapes out of the front of cards. Three or four gift tags can be created from a single card. The patterned front with a plain back makes an attractive and practical gift tag.

Tip: If you are making more gift tags than you are likely to use, why not make up packs of gift tags and offer to a local Church group or charity to sell at bizarres and fund raising events.

Reuse Envelopes

Keep suitable envelopes for reuse. Those envelopes that have not been stuck down can be reused by placing a simple plain label over the top of an address. Those envelopes that have been stuck down can be reused by using sticky tape to seal them for further use.

Tip: When giving greeting cards, either do not stick down the envelope, or just use a little glue. This makes them easier to reuse.

Other Ways to Recycle Cards and Reduce Waste at Christmas

  • If you are not feeling creative yourself, offer the cards to local community groups, schools, nurseries and youth clubs. Reusing and recycling cards can make great activities for people of all ages.
  • While Christmas cards are a wonderful way to keep in touch and to share messages at Christmas, there are other ways of sending Christmas greetings without incurring the use of a lot of cards.
  • Instead of sending a lot of cards to work or school colleagues, why not place a single sheet of plain paper somewhere accessible so people can write their own messages and not give cards.
  • Consider using email instead of sending cards. A photograph can easily be attached to give the message a personal touch.

The money that is saved by recycling and reusing Christmas cards can be given to a variety of good causes. Many people will understand and welcome any initiatives that help to reduce the amount of waste generated and, when combined with raising money for good causes, will be delighted to support your quest to reduce the use of paper this Christmas.

Visit the Recycled Christmas Crafts article for more ideas about green Christmas crafts.

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