It Starts With A Card - Composting at Christmas

Saturday, 8 December 2012  |  HOTBIN Composting

12 Days of HOTBIN Composting

day 6Giving and receiving of cards is a huge Christmas tradition that dates back hundreds of years.

In Victorian times cards were designed as postcards, with an image on one side and space on the reverse for a suitably festive message. Early English cards often bore designs that were intended to remind the recipient of Spring to come.

The first commercial Christmas card was introduced by Henry Cole in 1843 and featured a commissioned illustration of a group around a dinner table with a Christmas message. At that time, many ordinary Victorians could not afford them at one shilling each, so were encouraged to make their own - something which we do today for fun!

The market for homemade cards today is extremely popular as the trend for upcycling and crafting in general surges. The top consumer craft magazine states that greeting card making is the number one craft hobby which means more recyclable and compostable elements to a card.  

With over 900 million Christmas cards being bought in boxes in 2013 alone, that is a lot of cards to recycle. Early card recycling of the 19th century involved women’s service organisations collecting them up and removing the pictures to be pasted into scrapbooks as a form of entertainment for hospitals and orphanages amongst others.

The good news is that HOTBIN loves cards, but can’t eat a whole one! We are of course joking, but remember to shred/cut them up into small pieces and mix in with food waste. Remember foil parts cannot be composted but anything paper based or made from natural fibres can.

Alternatively you may prefer to put them in your paper box for your council to recycle or contact the many companies that run their own card recycling schemes aimed at raising funds for various Woodland and forest trusts.  

Composting Christmas Cards