Greeting Cards

Alternative ways to recycle
Recycle

If greeting cards do not have metallic, foil, plastic, or glitter decorations, then they can be recycled with other paper items, but the musical device must be removed first since it may contain mercury. Contact your local recycling coordinator to ask if the musical devices are accepted by household hazardous waste collection sites or events near you.

Music Note

Musical Greeting Cards Contain Mercury

Musical greeting cards contain mercury, a dangerous chemical that cannot be put in recycling or the garbage. Find out how to dispose of musical cards.

Card with a Bow

Remove Everything But Paper

Before recycling a greeting card, remove parts that have glitter, foil, metal charms, felt cutouts and ribbons. All of these items will contaminate paper recycling.

Foil Lined Envelope

Foil-Lined Envelopes Are Not Recyclable

Foil lined envelopes cannot be recycled, so throw them out. Recycle the envelopes of greeting cards as paper. It’s OK to keep stamps and adhesive strips when recycling envelopes or cards.

Alternative Ways to Recycle

St. Jude's Ranch

St. Jude’s Recycled Card Program

St. Jude’s Ranch for Children operates a recycling program in which the fronts of greeting cards are used to make new cards. They accept all cards except Hallmark, American Greetings and Disney due to copyright laws. Find out how to participate.

Ways to Reduce

Stick to Simple Cards

Avoid purchasing cards that use glitter and foil because these cards are non-recyclable. Also avoid purchasing greeting cards that come with foil-lined envelopes.

Switch to E-Cards

Sending your cards electronically is not only more economical and timely, but much more environmentally friendly.

Make Your Own Cards

Making your own card can be done with any number of basic supplies you have lying around. You can save money while giving something more personal and meaningful to the recipient at the same time.

Ways to Reuse

Gift Tag

Turn Greeting Cards Into Gift Tags

One way to reuse greeting cards is to turn them into gift tags. Simply cut out any part of the card, write a little note on the back, and use that as a gift tag.

Did You Know?

The Environmental Impact of Greeting Cards

Making and transporting greeting cards has its own carbon footprint on the environment. It is estimated that the average greeting card produces 600 times the carbon dioxide of an email (Verus Carbon Neutral). Americans purchase enough greeting cards to produce the same amount of CO2 as 22,000 cars annually.