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Are you someone that likes to send out greeting cards for different occasions? Christmas, birthdays, thinking of you, or announcements? I love receiving cards from people in my life! It always brings a smile to my face. Over the last few years, I have enjoyed sending and giving cards to more people. My favorite is to send out Christmas cards to my friends and family.
Eco-friendly cards are a great alternative to everyday cards, holiday cards, wedding invitations, birthday invitations, happy birthday cards, graduation announcements, and more! There are many options for tree-free cards.
I was blown away when I realized how many different paper options there are to trees! I am always looking for a more sustainable option to help cut down on plastic, save the trees, and be more conscious about our Earth.
Throughout my sustainable journey, I have enjoyed learning more about different card, and paper, options that can still bring a smile to someone’s face while having the Earth in mind, too.
Tree-free cards are the perfect addition to the stationary products you have at home. Personally, I don’t recommend throwing away the stationary you already have at home because that creates unnecessary waste. Use what you have, then buy your favorite tree-free cards, and then begin to use those from that point on.
If you are making other eco-friendly switches, you will encounter this scenario throughout the entire process. You will come across other items in your home you want to switch out for a better, more eco-friendly option. Be sure to use up the products you want to switch out to help cut down on unnecessary waste.
Tree-free eco-friendly cards are a much better way to send cards to all your friends, family, and loved ones.
What does tree-free mean?
Tree-free means that something is made from pulp, paper, or raw materials that are not made from trees. Cutting down trees (deforestation) destroys habitats for many living things on our planet. Deforestation has a huge environmental impact. It not only effects the animals but humans too! Tree-free paper is one way that helps to cut down on deforestation. Tree-free means using paper from recycled products or creating paper from other sources besides trees.
There are many different types of paper that can be used that are tree-free! Tree-free paper alternatives are made from natural materials, raw materials, or from recycled materials. Some of these materials include:
- Recycled Paper
- Elephant Poo
- Seed Paper
- Tea Paper
- Coffee Paper
Related Post: How to Ditch and Switch to All-Natural Products Easily
Why should you use tree-free card alternatives?
If an eco-friendly alternative is available, why wouldn’t you use it? Eco-friendly products may have an extra cost, but it is worth it to know that you are doing your part to help take care of the Earth.
Many types of trash and plastic waste are created at excruciating numbers, and every small step we can make to help keep trash and plastic waste out of our landfills is amazing. Choosing a tree-free option is also helping to save our forests.
Cards made from Hemp paper are a great eco friendly alternative to regular greeting cards. Most hemp cards are made from a blend of hemp fibers and other natural and raw materials. Hemp plants are easy to grow, and they expel less carbon than they take in. They are biodegradable and create high quality paper. Pictures print beautifully on hemp paper!
The fashion industry is a huge business with a TON of waste. I am a huge fan of shopping second hand and supporting slow fashion, but one thing I know for sure- the clothing industry isn’t going to slow down with creating new products and new waste.
One way to help offset the waste created by clothing manufacturing companies is to purchase items (greeting cards) created by recycled offcuts from the cotton waste used for the clothing. Cotton is high in cellulose and is great for making paper to use for cards for every occasion! Even the little things help with cutting back on waste.
Lemongrass paper is so interesting to me! I had only ever thought of a scent for an essential oil or candle when I thought of lemongrass. This type of paper had never even crossed my mind! Once the oils are extracted from the lemongrass plant, the stems are used for paper.
Recycled paper is technically made from trees, but it is paper scrap that are being repurposed to be used for paper again. It is paper scraps that people recycle, or paper that didn’t turn out right the first time in the factory so it is being sent through the process again. New trees are not being cut down to create recycled paper. I think it’s a great option for an alternative to a regular greeting card. If you are interested in learning more about recycled paper, what it is, and how it is used, this website does a great job explaining it further!
Elephant Poo (Elephant dung)
Okay, so I know what you are thinking… because it is exactly what I was thinking the first time I saw this option as a tree-free paper alternative. WHAT the heck (lol)! Once I learned more about Elephant poo as a paper option, it was really cool to learn how they repurpose it. Elephant sanctuaries will collect elephant poo to be repurposed and turned into paper. The elephant poo is boiled, cooked, and sent through a sanitization process, turned into pulp, and lastly it is turned into paper.
A seed card is not only a rewarding option for you but also the person you decide to give it to! It is rewarding for you because you are helping the environment. It’s a rewarding option for the person you give it to because there are wildflower seeds in the card that will grow beautiful flowers! Plant the card (the paper is biodegradable), add a bit of water, give it some sunshine, and watch the flowers grow.
Related Post: Eco-Friendly Maternity Clothes for Pregnancy and Nursing
Tea paper is made from tea leaves that are rejected by tea makers. Tea makers will only take the perfect-looking tea leaves (similar to stores only taking the good-looking produce). Making paper out of the rejected tea leaves helps to cut down on waste and creates an alternative paper option. I love tea, and I think it’s a really neat option for the tea lovers in your life!
Coffee paper is created from the husk of a coffee bean. The husks are collected, mixed with cotton fibers, and then turned into paper. I know you have a coffee lover in your life! What better way to show them how much you love them than by giving them sustainable cards made from their favorite thing? Coffee!
Coconut paper is made from the tiny hair fibers on the outside of the coconut. By using these fibers to create paper, the entire coconut is able to be used, creating less waste. It is a tedious process to create coconut paper because the tiny fibers have to be plucked, mixed with other raw materials, and turned into paper.
This tedious process is worth it because it not only creates a tree-free paper option, but coconut paper turns out very beautiful. When I went to Jamaica for my honeymoon, I bought the most beautiful photo album made from coconut paper. It’s beautiful and one of my favorite souvenirs from anywhere I have been!
Banana paper is made from the fibers of the banana peel. How cool is it that food waste can be cut down on because the whole banana can be used in different ways. The fibers from the banana peel are extracted, ground into dust, washed, and then put through a process to create pulp. Banana paper is a very beautiful paper option that creates lovely greeting cards.
Bamboo grows at an astonishingly quicker rate than regular pulp trees, growing about 90 centimeters a day with some species of bamboo. Pulp wood trees can take many years to get to a full level of maturity to be able to harvest them for paper making. Bamboo forests can take 3-4 months to reach this level of maturity for harvesting. Bamboo can be cut and regrown many times before pulp woods trees are even ready to be cut the first time. Bamboo is a much more sustainable option over pulp wood trees to make paper.
My favorite option out of all of these is the seed cards. I think it’s very thoughtful to give someone a card with seeds in them! Maybe because I am a plant lover and would love to have someone give me a card like this so that I could grow wildflowers. The flowers would be a constant reminder of someone in your life that cares about you and loves you.
You can buy seed cards already made with beautiful pictures and sayings, or if you are crafty, you can make your own! If you enjoy crafting or want a fun activity for the kids to try, this step-by-step tutorial makes it easy to create your own seed paper.
All of these sustainable greeting cards are just as high quality as regular greeting cards. Tree-free cards are made from sustainable materials, are better for the earth, have a positive impact, and will bring the biggest smile to the people you send them to or give them to.
Until next time,