Musical Greeting Cards

Hazardous Waste
See Alternatives
Illegal in Garbage & Drains
Contains Mercury
mercury

Musical Cards Contain Mercury

Due to the mercury contained within the musical device, musical greeting cards must be disposed of as household hazardous waste if they are kept whole.

Circuit Board

Remove the Musical Device

Remove the musical device in order to recycle the card. The device should be recycled as e-waste, and the paper portion of the card can be recycled with your other paper products.

Alternative Ways to Recycle

St. Jude's Ranch

St. Jude’s Recycled Card Program

You can send certain brands of used greeting cards to St. Jude’s Ranch for Children, which operates a recycling program in which the greeting cards are made “new” again. Find out how to participate.

Ways to Reduce

Opt For a Simpler Card

Because of the hazardous materials they contain, musical greeting cards can be harmful to the environment, especially if they’re disposed of improperly. It’s better to opt for a non-musical, more easily recycled greeting card instead.

Switch to E-Cards

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

Ways to Reuse

Hack a Greeting Card

With just a few simple tools, you can repurpose the sound system inside a musical greeting card into your own recordable communication device. Find out how.

Did You Know?

More Hazardous Than a Light Bulb

Musical greeting cards require batteries to work, and these batteries can contain more mercury than a compact fluorescent light bulb. Mercury is very hazardous both to humans and to wildlife, and most of the mercury in the atmosphere comes from burning mercury-containing garbage.

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.