City of Colorado Springs / Environmental Sustainability / News

Make recycle-minded holidays card and gift wrapping choices
Monday, December 10, 2012

When it comes to making gift card and gift wrapping purchase for the holidays, some education up front can make it a lot easier for recipients to recycle. While the most sustainable approach may be electronic note, many people still like to reach out with a physical remembrance during this season. When making your purchases, take these tips into consideration:

  1. Avoid cards, envelopes, and wrapping paper with glitter, foil, or pearlescent finishes as these can’t be recycled and will contaminate recycled paper if they get into recycling streams. (If you receive such a card, simple tear off and throw away the non-recyclable sections while recycling the remaining portion.) 
  2. Avoid brightly colored paper. Though it can and should be recycled, it requires more bleaching to make it ready for reuse.
  3. Look for cards and gift wrap that are made with recycled or Sustainable Forest Initiative (SFI) certified paper.
  4. Consider smaller-sized cards or postcards, which cost less and use fewer resources during production and transportation. Or, purchase holiday cards from St. Judes Ranch for Children, which reuses former holiday cards to create new ones (10 for $10 at as a non-profit fundraiser.
  5. Photo paper cannot be recycled. Instead consider printing photos on regular, recycled-content paper. Some photo card companies now also offer 100% recycled-content paper as an option.
  6. Gift presents in reusable packaging or wrap made from reused paper.
  7. Ribbons and bows cannot be recycled and can get tangled in recycling equipment if included with recyclables. Instead, save and reused ribbon and bow materials.

To support recycling education such as this, consider a donation to Pikes Peak Recycling on the Rise through the Give! 2012 campaign. Pikes Peak Recycling on the Rise’s needs to raise $10,160 at to maximize its matching grants. Donating can also get givers cool rewards like coffee, gallery admissions, tacos and the chance to qualify to win a Heuburger Subaru car or SunShare solar panels. The groups that get the most donors under the age of 36 will win additional cash prizes (up to $5,000 extra).

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Visuals:City Sustainability Coordinator, Carrie McCausland, and Recycling Coalition of Colorado Springs member, Jane Ard Smith, can share samples of non-recyclable items.