Greeting Cards

Recycling Bin
See Alternatives
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 the 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 okay 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 greeting cards are made new again. Find out how to participate.

Ways to Reduce

Stick to Simple Gift Cards

Avoid purchasing gift cards that are covered in glitter and other decorations because these cards are non-recyclable. Also consider not 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.

Ways to Reuse

Gift Tag

Turn Greeting Cards Into Gift Tags

One way to reuse greeting cards is to make 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 as an email (Verus Carbon Neutral). Americans purchase enough greeting cards to produce the same amount of CO2 as 22,000 cars annually.