Live Green and Earn Points


Reuse your greeting cards

By Recyclebank |
Not sure what to do with all those cards after your big birthday bash or the holiday season? There are several creative ways to reuse them so they don't go to waste.
The colorful images and clever messages on greeting cards needn't be banished to the garbage or to the recycling pile after a special occasion has passed. Finding creative new ways to extend the life of a greeting card can be a worthwhile challenge for expert DIYer's and the craft impaired alike.

How to reuse your greeting cards

The possibilities for reusing old greeting cards are only limited by your imagination. Don't know where to begin? GreenYour has a few suggestions….

  • Resend once-used cards. Make new cards from old ones by gluing old card fronts to new blank cards found at most craft stores or just use folded-over pieces of construction paper. Or simply cut the backs off old cards and use the fronts as postcards.
  • Make bookmarks, placemats, and more. Try cutting cards into 2- or 3-inch wide strips for instant bookmarks. Or set the table with placemats made from two sheets of contact paper or glue, construction paper, and your memorable old cards. Top those placemats with festive napkin rings made by cutting cards into 4-inch by 1-inch wide strips and gluing ends together to fit your napkins.
  • Christmas crafts. Make Christmas ornaments by choosing two similar size images from old cards and glue them back to back. Punch a hole and hang with leftover ribbon. Embellish the ornament by gluing leftover lace or ribbon around the edges. Or with a clear plastic top, trace the picture you want from the card, glue it into the top, punch a hole and hang with yarn, thread or ribbon. For gifts, create tags by cutting out images on cards. Use pinking shears or other edging scissors for fancy borders. Tape them on to presents or punch holes in the tags and use leftover ribbon to attach to gifts.
  • Lace-up practice card. Make lacing practice cards by punching holes around the perimeters of card fronts. Give them an old shoelace or leftover skinny ribbon and let them have at it.
For even more ideas on what to do with that dusty stack of wedding and 40th birthday cards, check out American Greetings, Blurtit,, and Thrifty Fun.

Reusing your greeting cards helps you go green because…

  • It keeps these cards from adding to the mass of paper and paper products that make up about 40 percent of the municipal waste stream.
Americans buy almost 7 billion greeting cards annually, representing close to $7.5 billion in retail sales.[1] Like most forms of paper, greeting cards impact the environment adversely during their disposal and production alike, initially consuming virgin resources (trees, water, fuel) before ending up in landfills as part of the approximately 85 million tons of paper waste generated by Americans in 2006.[2]

Recycling greeting cards, which can be done in communities that accept mixed paper in their recycling programs, is one way to keep greeting cards out of the waste stream. Reusing greeting cards is another, creative way to keep them out of landfills. The fewer greeting cards purchased to begin with the less their environmental impact. If all Americans trimmed their card list by only one card, the savings would amount to 50,000 cubic yards of paper.[3]

External links


  1. Greeting Card Association - The Facts About Greeting Cards
  2. US Environmental Protection Agency - Municipal Solid Waste - Commodities: Paper and Paperboard Products
  3. Use Less Stuff - 42 Ways To Trim Your Holiday Wasteline
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