Monday, December 17, 2007

E-cards: Love ‘em or Hate ‘em

One thing I’ve noticed this holiday season is the flood of e-cards in my work email inbox. I LOVE IT! While it does make it a little more difficult to display my popularity to the world, it saves lots of time, effort, money, and resources!
I remember at my first job laying out hundreds of cards, labeling, stamping, and signing. It took DAYS! And then extra time to go back and forge my boss’s name because he didn’t have time to do it himself. And let’s not forget that I was not the only one working on this task. Sure, my billing rate was lower those days, but it certainly wasn’t cheap.
In addition to the cost of the cards and the labor cost of signing and mailing them, there is a huge environmental cost: the resources that go into making the paper and ink AND the carbon output of the mail delivery service process.
And the cards will simply be thrown in the trash (or potentially recycled).
My company this year sent out an e-card to all of our contacts…on “99.999% recycled electrons.” Labor costs were much lower as the only task was updating our electronic contact list (something we would have done for paper cards anyway). And, there’s no trash!
Of course, I am a huge hypocrite and still sent real cards as part of my personal holiday celebration (note: I bought them at the end of the season last year)…but, maybe next year I’ll be part of the digital revolution.
How do you feel about e-cards?


Blackbird said...

I love the overall idea of e-cards. So much quicker & of course better for the environment. The only downside I see, is that they don't seem quite as personal or thoughtful. However, I don't think going to the store and buying a big box of identical cards is any better. This year, I'm designing my own e-card (in an effort to make it a little more thoughtful) for business associates, extended family, etc. - and creating hand-made cards (from recycled paper and scraps from old cards) for close friends and family.

Millennial 4 Earth said...

you're absolutely right about the "impersonal" thing, but...i'd say about 25% of the cards i've received this year haven't even been signed (merely printed)..and a good number have just said "love, XXX" - not terribly personal anyway!

i love the idea of hand made cards...what a great way to reuse old cards, and do something creative and personal for the people you love.

i remember making placemats out of old cards when i was a kid...hmmm...maybe there are some elementary/preschools looking for donations of this type of material for holiday craft projects.

Green-A said...

I am not at all offended by the impersonalness of the e-card. I often feel bad about having to throw out (recycle) the paper kind a month or two after the holidays. I have received some really great e-card that made me smile - and even one that invited me to make my own snowflake and send it to friends and family. I think the electronic version is much easier to pass around and share!

Ross Taylor said...

Notwithstanding the expense of the cards and the work expense of marking and mailing them, there is an immense natural cost: the assets that go into making the paper and ink AND the carbon yield of the mail conveyance administration process.check free reading for more info.

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