10+ Ways to Recycle Greeting Cards at Work
Do you recycle greeting cards at work?
From Halloween to New Year’s Day, the holiday season has everyone at the office exchanging cards of all shapes and sizes. If your green team is looking to make an impact where it counts, instituting these simple card recycling practices over the festive season does the trick.
Between Thanksgiving and New Year, we throw away 25% more waste than usual. Much of this holiday waste comes in the form of paper – decorations, wrappings, and the biggest culprit, cards! Some 6.5 billion greeting cards are sold each year, bringing joy to millions of people.
Unfortunately, most of these cards end up at the landfill just days later. To combat increasing paper waste, have everyone at the office bring in their old cards. When you all recycle greeting cards together, the entire company gets greener.
Here are 10+ ways to change how you reduce, reuse, and recycle holiday cards at work.
#1: Buy Recyclable Greeting Cards
Not all greeting cards are recyclable. Many of these have to end up as holiday waste, because they won’t be accepted by your recycling programs. Educate your employees about which types of cards can be recycled (the paper kinds) and which should be avoided.
- Photo paper is not recyclable
- Metallic, glitter and plastic finishes
As a rule, if you can tear it easily, you can recycle it. Spread the word!
#2: Reduce Card Consumption at Work
Holiday card recycling is easier if there are less cards to recycle. Instead of getting the entire team to buy individual cards for each other – buy a single card and have everyone sign it. Then you can display it in the office for everyone to see (and team members can make digital copies).
- One card for Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas
Explain to your employees that you’re trying to reduce card consumption at the office, to limit paper waste and improve your recycling practices. People will love it.
#3: Repurpose Cards into Gift Tags for Surrounding Companies
Holidays are about community, so why not recycle greeting cards by asking employees to bring what they’ve got at home, to repurpose at work. Create some goodwill with companies that surround your offices by converting the tops of old holiday cards into creative gift tags.
Use the tags to bring some holiday cheer to the businesses around you!
#4: Turn Old Cards into a Team-Building Craft Session
If your managers have been searching for a fun team-building activity, here’s one that everyone enjoys. Christmas card recycling only needs to happen to the written parts of old cards. The tops can be reused and converted into other fun and festive decorations.
Host a team competition to see who can create a set of the finest decorations for your office tree.
#5: Repurpose Card Tops into Mason Jar Toppers
The best office gifts are green, and that means reusing your old cards to make new gifts. To recycle greeting cards like a pro, use the decorative tops to create holiday-themed mason jars for around the office. Think Halloween sweet jars, Thanksgiving spice jars or Christmas eggnog jars.
Add that personalized green touch by topping your mason jar gifts with reused card décor.
#6: Host a Creative Halloween Costume Challenge
Recycling during the holidays is about blending fun and function. Your teams will love competing in an office Halloween costume challenge. Haul out the collected greeting cards and challenge your teams to create scary, original, or pop-culture costumes.
Snap pictures and have the whole company vote to decide who wins a great prize.
#7: Create a Card Upcycle Station
Before holiday recycling can happen, your employees should make sure the cards have been used to their maximum potential. Start a card upcycle station at the office, where employees can deposit their old cards. Then use the resource to create new things – you never know what could result.
Inspire employees to freely bring, swap or use the old cards at the station.
#8: Donate Holiday Cards to Charity
Knowing what to do with old greeting cards can be confusing. What if some can’t be recycled? What if no-one at the office is interested in crafts? The good news is that there are charities all over the place that will happily take your donated holiday cards.
These charities turn old cards into new items to sell to raise money for their cause.
#9: Repurpose Card Tops into Postcards
If your teams travel quite a bit on business, you can create a new tradition that involves old holiday cards. Before you recycle greeting cards, take the old toppers away with you and send them back to the office as a postcard. This is a great, personalized way to give a deserving employee a gift.
With 37% of employees saying they need recognition at work, here is a creative answer.
#10: Recycle Old Greeting Cards
Can you recycle greeting cards at the office? Yes, and you absolutely should. After your employees have used the cards and they can no longer be turned into other items, it’s time to recycle them. Some 30% of cards are printed on recycled paper, which saves many trees each year.
Encourage your employees to recycle 100% paper cards at work.
#11: Invite Other Companies to Join In
One of our favorite holiday recycling tips is to get other companies to join in your card-drive. You won’t believe how many cards people have lying around at home. Put the word out that you’re collecting the cards for charity, for sustainability and for recycling.
Make it an ongoing green program at your company.
This year, your green team can help save thousands of trees by implementing these smart recycling tips. To recycle greeting cards effectively, all you need is education, a program, and the support of your sustainability-minded employees. Put your green team to work this holiday season.
Which of these tips did you find most inspiring? Let us know below.