Holiday greeting cards are always nice to send and receive. For many people, it’s part of their holiday traditions. It’s also fun to hang and display them as part of your festive decorations.
But what happens to holiday greeting cards come January? More than likely, they are turned into waste and end up either in the recycling bin or trash tote heading straight to the nearest landfill. While recycling is preferable to trash so the paper can be made into new products, recycling also consumes energy, which is why the word “recycle” comes after the words “reduce” and “reuse.” It’s always preferable to reduce and reuse before you recycle.
St. Jude’s Ranch for Children provides us with this option for old greeting cards. Simply pack up your cards and send them to the ranch, and your donation will get a second life as “recycled” cards. You’ll support reuse and help an organization provide programs and services for abused, neglected and homeless children, young adults and families.
Children and volunteers at the ranch will remove the fronts of the donated cards and attach new backs, so the cards can be reused. Kids at the ranch are paid, taught job skills and learn the importance of recycling. Your cards will be transformed into recycled greeting cards that are sold to raise funds for the organization, thereby closing the loop which is so important.
Closing the loop means buying products made from recycled materials. If we don’t demand these types of products whenever possible, the markets for recyclables will decrease and they will become worthless. Another way to look at it; if we purchase new products versus products made from recycled materials, we increase the demand for virgin materials and consume more natural resources, including trees and petroleum in this case.
The St. Jude’s Ranch for Children’s website states they do not accept Hallmark, Disney or American Greeting cards, probably due to copyright issues. They accept new and used cards all year!
Here is a great project for a church, classroom or community organization to make a difference not only in the environment, but in people’s lives; groups can collect cards and send them in bulk to St. Jude’s Ranch several times a year. Mail to: St. Jude’s Ranch for Children, 100 St. Jude’s St., Boulder City, NV 89005.
Details on the program are outlined on the website: www.stjudesranch.org. For more information, you can also call them, 702-294-7100.
Have a wonderful holiday season!