The UK sends more greetings cards than anyone else (French people don’t send them at all). But this causes an annual chopping down up to half a million trees (cards with glitter, foil, plastic music buttons etc cannot be recycled).
Even FSC-cards means paper comes from ‘sustainable forests’ (that often means chopping down old forests to build fast-growing trees with chemicals, providing no homes for native wildlife. And there is a presently a ‘naked card campaign’ to only buy ones not wrapped in plastic. The Greeting Card Recycling Project is a pack of labels and stickers, to recycle the 900 million cards sent each year. Also look out for cards made from hemp and agricultural waste from coffee and banana farming and cotton (kenaf).
If you buy them, only send plantable cards to people with pet-free gardens. Never send plantable cards to people with pets, as most wildflowers are toxic to furry friends.
Recycled Greetings That Plant Trees
Little Difference is a lovely brand of recycled greetings cards. For each card sold, trees are planted which helps the planet (110,000 planted so far) and also gives employment to people in Madagascar. These are beautifully textured recycled cards sold with a biodegradable cornstarch bag, with recycled envelopes and recycled paper stickers. The company’s art is by Sophie, a geology graduate and artist originally from the Isle of Wight.
British Insect Recycled Greetings Cards
Heather Scott Design offers lovely British Insects’ Recycled Greetings Cards. These are ideal to buy in a budget pack, there are 8 to choose from, so you’ll always have one on hand to send to someone you love.
As well as being beautifully illustrated with observations from the garden, they are printed on recycled card, and sent in recycled packaging. Blank for message.
- A green tiger beetle with dazzling legs
- The tiny hairs of a bumble bee’s knee
- The pink flash of the privet hawk moth
- A painted lady with buff-orange wings
Recycled Junk Cards from Cornwall
These junk mail greetings from Cornwall are by Junk Mail Art, a small one-woman company that is run by an artist. She takes junk mail of every kind, then rips it up and makes beautiful greetings cards (and wall art), featuring lovely images from her adopted county.
The cards are made with solvent-free glue and packaged in a compostable plastic sleeve. The cards can be handwritten if wished, and sent direct.
Alice Palace Recycled Greetings Cards
These beautiful recycled greetings cards from Alice Palace are made by a talented artist in an eco-friendly little workshop, and there is also beautiful gift wrap on recycled paper to match. A card for the best dog mum!
These designs are really run – all forest friends to London cabs, and companion animals. You are sure to find something you love. The cards are too lovely to be thrown away and likely will be kept, as the gift wrap will likely be reused.
Whistlefish Recycled Greetings Cards
Whistlefish Recycled Greetings Cards are some of the most popular in England, both online and in their network of shops across the south coast. The cards are illustrated by talented artists, and really pretty. Recently, the company has transitioned over to recycled paper, and all their greetings cards are also sold in plastic-free packaging.
Fun & Quirky Plant-Based Cards
These fun & quirky plant-based cards are by Plant-Based Cards by Dan. These are lovely, all printed on recycled paper with plastic-free packaging. Illustrated, printed and posted by ‘vegan man Dan’, who includes fun fruit and vegetable puns.
Unique Greetings from Rose + Daff
These unique greetings cards from Rose + Daff are printed on 100% post-consumer waste paper and sold in recycled envelopes, without plastic packaging. The designer studied Surface Pattern Design at university and wanted to combine her craft with helping others to live a zero waste lifestyle. The cards are sold separately, or in packs of three.
Greetings Cards to Empower Communities
Arthouse Unlimited make fun greetings cards, printed on recycled card. All profits go towards helping an enterprise that helps people with complex epilepsy, learning and physical difficulties grow and evolve. Many of the designs feature their work. Includes a biodegradable wrapper.
This collective of artists live with various conditions that need varying levels of support. The artists work alongside instructors to create art that is developed into designer products for sale. This helps offer a sense of purpose to each artist, and all sales revenue sustains the enterprise to help it expand and evolve. The idea is to hopefully grow with support from purchases, to offer this Surrey project nationwide.
Floral Recycled Greetings Cards
Charlotte Macey Cards are embroidered with illustrations, with ‘Happy Birthday to You’ in stitched handwriting. The inside of the card is left blanket for your message. Made from 100% recycled materials, and sent with a natural kraft envelope, and biodegradable corn starch sleeve. These cards are handmade in the Cotswolds. Items often are illustrated from inspiration found in her garden: cow parsley, pecking hens and peas. Plus coastal inspiration from seaside holidays, with nautical yachts and sailboats.
Nature-inspired Greetings Cards
These nature-inspired recycled greetings cards are all not just gorgeous, but printed on recycled paper and sold without plastic sleeves, or with sleeves made from alternatives like biodegradable cornstarch. Shakespeare One Touch of Nature features a beautiful linocut design, with a quote from Troilus and Cressida. Printed on recycled card with a green recycled envelope, packed in a biodegradable cornstarch bag. Blank for your own message.
Kate Broughton ‘British Tits’ Recycled Card features original illustrations from the artist, printed onto thick recycled brown card stock. Designed and printed in Yorkshire, and packed in a biodegradable corn starch packet, posted in a small board-backed envelope for protection. Also check out her Happy Mother’s Day tapir card.
Charity Nature Recycled Cards
Button & Squirt prints cute cards on recycled paper, and 5% from each sale goes to charities that are helping to protect our wildlife friends. You can buy individual cards or packs featuring tapirs, pandas, African painted dogs, and blobfish!
Be careful when buying Christmas cards that benefit charities. Many medical charities carry out horrendous outdated animal experiments, when humane research desperately needs more funding. You can buy cards from them or support local small charity shops, if you are purchasing them.