Dave's eco-nomics: Cut the cardfest

Green alert.

by Dave Waller, MT's regular eco-Scrooge
Last Updated: 09 Oct 2013

'Tis the season to be jolly, and to have your team's signatures stamped onto cards going out to treasured clients and contacts - and straight into their bins.

Hundreds of thousands of trees are pulped each year for Christmas cards. Friends of the Earth reckons we sent about 744 million last year, many of which went straight to landfill. Then there's wrapping paper: 8,000 tonnes of the stuff every year. Of course, Christmas waste is nothing compared to the amount of junk sent year-round to keep the business wheels turning. The difference is, it's entirely pointless. Goodwill to friends or family is one thing, but it's wasteful to post thousands of cards just to maintain your company profile.

Action plan

Send an e-card and make a donation to charity instead. Last year, Envirowise subscribers sent more than 54,500 e-cards, saving more than a tonne of paper and cutting the environmental costs of production and distribution. If you must buy Christmas cards, use ones made from recycled paper. The same goes for wrapping paper. To deal with the influx of office cards, take them to stores such as Tesco, WH Smith and TK Maxx, where the Woodland Trust runs a recycling scheme. And re-use the envelopes. Now you just have to work out how to rid yourself responsibly of the blow-up sheep you got from Secret Santa.

Greenie points (out of 10)

Two. Send an e-mail card, then pour yourself a mulled wine.

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