woman reading greeting card and smiling

My Aunt Connie loved to send greeting cards through the mail. What a fortune she must have spent on Christmas, birthday, and new baby cards — even April Fool’s Day and St. Patrick Day cards! You could always count on Aunt Connie to mark an occasion with a card to make you smile or offer comfort.

There is something so special about receiving a greeting card in the mail; it’s a little bright spot in my day. I tend to keep mine on display. A Happy Valentine’s Day card that my sweet friend Carol sent me seven months ago still decorates my dresser. It’s too pretty to discard! I have also saved cards from people that I love, like my grandmother and others who have passed away. The cards offer sweet memories that I cherish.

Yes, and I keep Christmas cards that I have received over the years. I display them in a basket along with my other holiday decorations. Happy memories of “Christmases past.”

I share my aunt’s passion for sending greeting cards through the mail. And although sending an e-card uses fewer resources, it feels less personal to send someone one more piece of email. And collecting is the most under-appreciated form of re-using materials. By purchasing cards made from 100 percent recycled materials, I can encourage manufacturers to use recycled materials. I can even get plantable greeting cards, embedded with wildflower seeds.

I love to pick out the card with just the right image on the cover and just the right message inside. It makes me smile to send my love in a little card with a handwritten note — sometimes with a photo tucked inside. And writing holiday cards is a cherished part of my holiday season.

Not everyone will agree with me, and I applaud your attention to conserving Earth’s resources and reducing your carbon footprint. But if you receive a greeting card through the mail, try to enjoy the sender’s personal touch. And know that most paper greeting cards can be recycled, used for craft projects, or, if you are like me, can be kept as a treasured memory.

By Joanna Lacey

Joanna Lacey lives in New York and has collected thousands of ideas from the frugal habits of her mother and grandmother. You can find her on Facebook at Joanna the Green Maven.