Christmas Card Recycling

Christmas cards

Christmas card recycling – the jolly, uns-elf-ish trend which has been growing over the years.

It has been estimated that over 1 billion Christmas cards are being thrown away each year in the United Kingdom.

With 1 tree producing around 3,000 greeting cards, it takes over 330,000 trees to meet the demands over the festive period (and this only covers cards and not other materials).

To put that into perspective, 41 Hectares would be the equivalent of 75 football stadiums.

In other words, we are felling a woodland every year to provide our loved ones with a Christmas card and show our appreciation.

Don’t worry. There are a lot of ways to keep this tradition going while still protecting our woodlands and wildlife.

Let’s make a gesture to our friends, families and the countryside this year with these amazing ideas for recycling your Christmas cards this year.

Selecting a Christmas Card with Zero-Waste in Mind

First of all, we advise checking that the printed cards have been FSC-certified (in addition to being recycled or recyclable).

It’s possible to find plantable cards which contain seeds to grow a variety of plants or even trees.

Consider planting a tree to give back to the environment.

You could view it as balancing the scales for paper wastage through Christmas cards being exchanged over a lifetime.

After which, if you have kids, a much more fun option would be to use recycled decorations and Christmas cards from previous years to make your custom greetings.

Give it the personal touch by getting the family together for a crafts session.

Just be careful to avoid recycling Christmas cards containing any materials with plastic or glitter.

Here are several replantable card sellers that we recommend:

You will find that many charity organisations have also started selling FSC-certified cards to encourage others to move away from more wasteful vendors.

Christmas Card Recycling

Knowing Which Card to Buy

As a greeting card is something personal, not everyone will want to follow the same approach and will choose the best sustainable option for them.

Luckily there are a lot of fun and interesting ideas that have popped up over the years that you can easily try that we’ve listed below.

Gift Tags Made from Christmas Card Recycling

Yes, recycling Christmas cards as gift tags is a great way to reduce waste and give your gifts a personal touch.

Here are a few steps you can follow to recycle your Christmas cards into gift tags:

  • Gather a selection of recycled Christmas cards that you no longer need. You can also ask friends and family members to donate any extra cards they have.
  • Cut the fronts of the cards into small squares or rectangles that are large enough to fit a gift tag.
  • Punch a hole in the top corner of each card using a hole punch.
  • Write the recipient’s name on the card using a pen or marker. You can also add a short message or design if you wish.
  • Attach the card to the gift using ribbon, twine, or string.

By recycling your Christmas cards into gift tags, you can give your gifts a personal touch while also helping to reduce Christmas waste.

Plus, it’s a fun and creative way to repurpose items that you might otherwise throw away.

Christmas card

Place Settings Made from Christmas Card Recycling

If you would like a more unique approach then you can try this little trick to surprise your guests.

To recycle Christmas cards into place settings, you can follow these steps:

  • Gather all of the Christmas cards that you have received.
  • Choose a card for each place setting and set it aside.
  • Cut the pieces of card you’ve selected into the desired shape.
  • Cut a strip of paper or ribbon and write the name of each person on a card using a pen or marker.
  • Fold the card over so that it will stand upright.
  • Place the card at each place setting on the table.

You can also use small clothespins or clips to attach the name tags to the cards if you are preparing them for a corporate party, or you can use a hole punch to make a hole in the top corner of the card and thread a ribbon through it to create a hanging name tag.

Alternatively, you can use the front of the card as a place setting by writing the name of each person directly on the card with a pen or marker.

You can also use decorative stickers or stamps to add a festive touch.

Read more ideas about sustainable Christmas gifts in our dedicated blog!

Recycling Christmas cards into place settings is a creative and festive way to add a personal touch to your holiday table.

Festive Bookmarks Made from Christmas Card Recycling

For those who are curling up near the fire during the holidays, why not add a festive touch to your book by using a recycled Christmas card to make a bookmark?

Resources – Recycle Christmas Cards into Bookmarks:

  • A recycled Christmas card that you no longer need
  • Scissors
  • A hole punch
  • A ribbon, string, or yarn

Instructions – How to Recycle Christmas Cards into Festive Bookmarks:

1 – Cut out the front of the Christmas card. You can either cut it straight across or cut it into a more decorative shape, such as a tree or a star.

2 – Punch a hole near the top of the card using the hole punch.

3 – Cut a piece of ribbon, string, or yarn that is long enough to go through the hole and extend beyond the card on both sides.

4 – Tie the ribbon, string, or yarn through the hole to create a loop.

You can now use the bookmark to mark your place in a book or as a festive decoration.

Note: If you want to add some extra durability to your bookmark, you can glue the front and back of the card together before cutting it out. This will create a more sturdy bookmark that will hold up better over time.

Recycling Christmas Cards by Planting Them

One new way to recycle Christmas cards which is growing in popularity is the plantable Christmas card.

Made of biodegradable material, this material provides the perfect base for seeds to sprout their shoots and grow.

The seeds are pressed into the material and are released into the solid as the paper begins to break down.

Multiple seed types can be used to grow anything from flowers or carrots to trees.

There’s a lot of variety so you may choose a card that suits the receiver before and after the holiday.

This novel gesture is a favourite of ours and one we have used here in the office.


In conclusion, we have covered 4 ways to recycle Christmas cards in 2024.

  • Place Settings
  • Gift Tags
  • Bookmarks
  • Plantable cards containing seeds

By making use of these ways to recycle Christmas cards we can enjoy the holidays with a slightly less guilty conscience that we’ve done our part to help move towards a more sustainable future.

Every little helps and we need to move towards this goal step by step.

Be creative!

From using leftovers for crafts to planting trees in your garden, there are so many ideas that you can try out.

If you have any of your own tips for Christmas card recycling, let us know and we’ll add it to the list.

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