Sunday, 5 January 2020

A bit of gentle activism for a Sunday afternoon



Thank you to everyone who has sent in cards to me so far, and extra special thanks to those who are diligently removing any recyclable areas of the card before they pass them on to me.  It cuts down on the amount of work I need to do, and also the amount of storage space I need.  There's a cost element both to my time and to my storage facility so this is important as there is no guarantee with this project that I will recoup any of my costs. 

If you didn't manage to remove the recyclable areas of your cards before sending it also means that glitter from other cards in your package will contaminate the non-glitter parts, meaning that they have to go in the bin, instead of the recycling, and that's quite frustrating.  It might also add to the cost of your postage.  On a different note, I've been getting to hear a lot about where various Christmas gatherings are taking place and the medical conditions of strangers, and I'd rather not, so please please remove these types of information before you send them to me.  But as ever I am very grateful to everyone who is taking part, I know people have various things going on in their own lives and this is a reason I love this quote:



However, I am always keen to turn these things into a positive, so as I've been cutting the backs off cards in the last day or so, I've been jotting down the names of the manufacturers and any charities that the cards support.  I'm going to spend a bit of time, as and when I have a spare few minutes, contacting each organisation or brand and asking if they might consider stopping using glitter or foiled finishes when ordering or working on their next batch of Christmas cards.  Over on Facebook I've been asked for some wording that others could use - hopefully I won't receive too many more card backs so if each person who sends in a bundle could even contact one retailer, charity or manufacturer, it could all add up to a huge impact.  I love Christmas cards, I like giving and receiving them, and I really like the fact that it adds to the funding and awareness-raising activity of charities and other organisations, and I'd like for us all to be able to buy more, not less, boxes of cards next year.

Here goes, and feel free to amend the wording to something more 'you' - these are written with charities in mind so you'll need to adapt them slightly for businesses:

For glitter cards:
I'm writing to contact you having recently received a Christmas card decorated with glitter and featured your logo.  I wondered if you might consider some of the following points when planning for your next release of Christmas cards, which I realise might not be this year depending on contracts and stock levels.  Most glitter used in Christmas cards is a microplastic, and can be dangerous when accidentally inhaled or ingested - both for those working to make the cards, and those sending and receiving them.  Glitter cannot be safely disposed of, can potentially enter our water or soil, and cannot be recycled.  Without clear information about disposal on the back of the cards, some people add them to their recycling collection in error, which then contaminates other recyclable goods, meaning a much larger number of items potentially have to be treated as waste for landfill.  As more consumers become aware of these issues, they are opting not to buy these types of cards, which might have an impact on your fundraising/business activity.
Thanks for considering my request and please keep up the good work

For cards with foil or embellishments:
I'm writing to contact you having recently received a Christmas card which was decorated with foil elements or other embellishments and featured your logo.  I wondered if you might consider some of the following points when planning for your next release of Christmas cards, which I realise might not be this year depending on contracts and stock levels.  Most cards with foil or raised embellishments cannot be recycled easily, if at all, and are likely to end up in landfill, which seems unnecessary when there are so many alternative options out there.  As more consumers become aware of this, they are opting not to buy these types of cards, which might have an impact on your fundraising/business activity.  You may also wish to consider setting up collection points to dispose of these types of cards, or at least providing clear instruction on the back of cards for disposal, so that the burden is not on the end receiver.
Thanks for considering my request and please keep up the good work

I'm not great at writing these things, so if anyone has a better alternative, please drop it in comments here or over on Facebook, or email me at katy@girlindustries.com if you wish to remain anonymous and I'll post it up in a blog post later.


1 comments:

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