Green Christmas Card Alternatives

Every year we pull out the big address book and start compiling a list of Christmas/Holiday card recipients. It's a great tradition because it allows us to reach out to friends and relatives we rarely communicate with. Unfortunately, it's also a tradition that places a great demand on important resources like trees and petroleum.

This year I presented myself with a challenge: Create an alternative to traditional Christmas cards that mirrors the authenticity of the real thing.

The most obvious choice for this project was the electronic card, or ecard. These are greeting cards that are sent via email. They can be simple, featuring a picture with a message, or complex, featuring animation with music.

The complexity of the ecard is up to you, I wanted something that combined my eco-message with some holiday music and animation. I chose THIS card from Hallmark.com. Several environmental organizations also offer holiday ecards like THESE from the Nature Conservancy. I just found the Hallmark cards to be more interesting and easier to send in bulk.

Once you've selected your card, put together a holiday message for the recipients and include a line like..."We're choosing Christmas ecards this year to reduce demand on our forests. In addition, a donation of one planted tree has been made for each ecard we send." Input the email addresses of your recipients, select a time to send the cards and you're done.

Well, almost. To make good on your promise to plant these trees, go to AmericanForests.org where every dollar donated plants one tree. Donate an amount eqivolent to the number of cards you're sending out.

I felt like this combination of charity and message will let your recipients know that you're not sending out ecards just because you've run out of time and/or patience. This ecard shows you live your eco-values but you still want to reach out during the holidays.

If you choose to send ecards rather than traditional holiday cards this year, let us know what direction you took in the comment section.


  1. Here are some beautiful, animated ecards for Christmas that can be considered.


  2. re: donations to plant trees ... what a great idea! i'm going to suggest this to several people i know

  3. If you care about the environment, here's a Green Christmas video you can send to all of your friends:


  4. With the Woodland Trust, we plant trees to replace the trees (from sustainably managed forest) with Docmail's online cards service.

    Our scheme is called TopTree: http://www.toptree.com/

    Visit the Docmail blog for more info: