Michel Arnaud/Beateworks/Corbis


The greeting card is a time-honored tradition. It is a way to keep in touch with those who've moved away or just drifted apart. It is a way to say, "although our lives may be on different courses at the moment, I was honored to be a part of yours." It's a way to say "Happy Holidays." At least that's what they tell me. I don't get greeting cards. Nobody likes me.

Another thing that nobody likes is wasted paper. Greeting cards can be a source of waste. They lose their sentiment after a month or so of proud placement, and I've often watched, my heart filled with jealousy, as others dumped their old greetings cards by the dozen into a box and placed that into the attic or basement.

Don't hoard those cards, reuse them. Here are some suggestions.

1. A lot of cards are sent out around Christmas/the Holidays. You can use cards from years past to make gift tags. You can even wrap your presents in old gift cards. Use eco-friendly tape.

2. Make old cards into decorations. Some people use Christmas cards as tree ornaments. Others cut the cards apart and make decorative collages. Some people even frame especially delightful cards and hang them on their wall.

3. Use cards to frame photos. A frame might be too big for a particularly well-liked photograph. By centering a photograph in the midst of a greeting card with a pleasant design, you can add a few inches to any photograph, making the overall composition lovely.

4. Donate your cards to St. Jude's Ranch for Children. This charity recycles old cards by making brand-new ones. The money from these new cards is donated to the help children who were the victims of abuse, neglect and abandonment.

5. Make new cards from old cards. Acquire some card stock. Card stock that has been previously used on one side is preferable. Fold the card stock in half. Cut the design off your old card and glue it to the "front" of the card stock. Voila! Instant card, but with some lovable DIY flavor.