Sustainable and Cost Effective Christmas Cards

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My Digital Christmas Card

 

In  preparation for Christmas, we sent our Christmas cards– but not our usual way. We sent out digital Christmas cards (see above). This was a new experience for our family, but a very rewarding one with environmental benefits, cost savings, and lots of opportunities to be creative and personalize each card. I understand that Christmas cards are a labor of love for most people. And digital cards have all the benefits of traditional cards – plus more.

Environmental Benefits:

There are a lot of environmental benefits to creating digital cards.  First there is a smaller carbon footprint because you don’t need to go to a store nor do the cards require transportation by mail. You also conserve environmental resources by not purchasing a store bought holiday card including  paper, ink and packaging for the cards.

Bottom-line Cost Savings:

Christmas cards usually cost about $.75 a piece when you buy in bulk or packages and it costs 46 cents to mail each card.  So, depending on the amount of cards you send, this could add up to a lot of money..  This is just the cost of the materials, you also need to consider the cost of your time to sign, address, and personalize each card.  There are a lot of costs associated with sending a card that may or may not be read by the receiver.  This year I sent out over 100 cards to my friends and family. In the past I would have had to pick and choose who I could afford to these cards to. In the digital form you can attach the card into Facebook, Twitter, e-mail, or any other social media to send to your friends and family members.

Other Benefits:

I spent an hour sorting through old photos from this past year with my kids trying to decide which picture we should use for this year’s card.  This time was invaluable reminiscing and just laughing about the fun we had this past year.

Digital cards are also easy to create. It took me a total of 30 minutes to create the card above using a free photo software and Microsoft power point. I found similar tools to create these cards within Microsoft word, paint, and many other free and paid software programs.

Creating these cards is not only easy (there are many templates), but you can make it more personal by adding pictures of the people who will be receiving the cards or writing a personal message that is incorporated within the cards text.

There are some people on your Christmas card list who need a physical card because they do not have a computer or smart phone. Then you may print the digital card you created and send it to them in the mail. There is still a large cost savings to doing it this way.  You do not have buy a card or spend any time picking one out at the store.

Digital cards are a less expensive alternative to traditional Christmas cards (or birthday cards or any holiday cards for that matter). Creating digital cards can be more rewarding and more personal to keep in touch over the holidays with less time and money involved for the sender and just as much joy for the receiver.

Digital cards are just one small average way to be a little more ‘green’ this (and all) holiday seasons.

 

Questions leave a comment below or email :

Dan Broersma

dan@greenmichigan.org