Thursday, 11 February 2010

Green Valentine's Day gifts: cards

Composing a poem or singing a song beneath a balcony may be the zero-carbon alternative to a greeting card on Valentine's, but it won't be for everyone. If you want to buy a card, make it one of these greener options
Making paper has a surprisingly hefty environmental impact - paper mills use a huge amount of water and discharge large quantities of chemicals. Recycling only goes so far, because the fibres that hold recycled paper eventually become too weak to be recycled again into virgin material. When paper ultimately ends up in landfill, it produces methane, one of the most powerful greenhouse gases.
So if you are going to buy a card, make it one of our top five green choices
1 M&S - a surprisingly wide selection of FSC-certified Valentine's cards from the Plan A retailer.
2 Carve your own Valentine's card - you could just find a piece of wood in a skip, but if that sounds like too much bother, Nigel's Ecostore is selling this slab of soft FSC-certified wood that you can carve to create a leftfield Valentine's card.
3 Jibjab - e-cards aren't completely clean in terms of carbon emissions, but they are perfect for last-minute cards. Jibjab's 'starring you' video cards are a cut above most e-cards and put most 'p-cards' to shame in terms of the personalised touch.
4 Make your own - Sally Cameron-Griffiths has a great guide to making DIY cards by reusing old newspapers and magazines.
5 Shared Earth - there's nothing especially green about these, but they are very pretty and are made to fair trade standards (not official Fairtrade) by long-standing ethical shop Shared Earth