A Christmas card conundrum

I admit it: I’m addicted to paper. Books, newspaper, writing paper, computer paper, flyers, brochures — I love it all.

My love of paper is especially heightened during the holidays, as I love mailing (and receiving) Christmas cards.

But this year, thoughts of Christmas cards are keeping me up at night.

You see, I’ve been actively trying to reduce my paper habit. I no longer subscribe to the newspaper, instead reading news online. I have paperless billing and paperless pay stubs. I use a tablet when taking notes in meetings. I’m using reusable gift bags instead of wrapping paper.

Christmas cards

Some estimate that nearly 300,000 trees need to be harvested each year to produce the over 1.5 billion Christmas cards purchased each year. But think about it: most Christmas cards end up being thrown away after a couple of weeks.

So how does the mailing of Christmas cards fit into my personal paper reduction goal?

I’ve reached the decision: this year, I’m not mailing Christmas cards.

Hopefully, relatives will be understanding of my paper reduction goal, especially after receiving a mailed card from me for fifteen years.

Instead, I’m sending e-cards to the majority of my relatives. I do want to ensure the e-card is tailored to each specific person on my list (no mass broadcasts). And perhaps I’ll actually call my older relatives who don’t have email.

Luckily, my Christmas card conundrum has been partially solved by the recent news that Canada Post will be ending door-to-door delivery of mail within the next five years (switching to community mailboxes), and that the cost of postage is going up significantly.

I think many people will use this news as a trigger to reduce their own mailed Christmas cards, and decrease the expectation of receiving Christmas cards in the mail.

So have a very happy holiday, everyone!

And if you receive actual Christmas cards in the mail, remember the card and envelope go in the Blue Box for recycling.

About John Watson

I'm a communicator, educator and project manager with a focus on environmental and public works issues. I am currently the Environmental Manager for the Municipality of Dysart et al in Haliburton County. Previously, I was the Onboarding Director for ReCollect Systems, where I implemented digital communication products for municipalities and non-profits. For eight years, I was the Waste Diversion Educator Coordinator for Halton Region, where I implemented award winning communications and outreach programs.
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