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Can buying your greeting cards from CardFool single-handedly prevent Climate Change? No, but you might be surprised just how much it could help. We recently spent a lot of time trying to figure out just how much you can help fight climate change and lower your carbon footprint when you order from CardFool.com. The results were shocking. CardFool cards produce a carbon footprint 72% smaller than most commercial greeting cards.
“How is that possible?” you’re probably asking. Well, the answer is actually fairly simple. All of our hilarious birthday cards are designed, manufactured, and shipped right here in the United States while most of the cards from the largest companies in the country are more and more often being produced overseas. What exactly does all that mean for the carbon footprint of the average greeting card available at retail? To find out we had to do one of the things writers and artists fear most–– math.
First of all, it’s important to know that manufacturing facilities in countries like China are not held to the same health, safety, and emission standards as those in the United States. They emit a lot more carbon. In fact, China alone contributes more carbon to climate change than the U.S., and Europe combined. But that’s not the end of carbon story of overseas greeting cards.
Greeting cards produced internationally have to travel all the way around the world to your local retail store. Most consumer goods are loaded onto giant cargo ships to make the long journey across the sea. Just one of these enormous freighters carrying the tiny little birthday card destined for your Great Aunt Sue among its vast cargo can produce more emissions in a single year than 50 million cars. In fact, these ships burn a particularly noxious fuel that contributes more CO2 to climate change than all cars combined. They also release highly toxic chemicals like nitrous oxides and sulfur oxides, which cause acid rain. Using this handy emissions calculator shows a single, medium-sized cargo ship produces more than 4 million pounds of carbon on the 6,000 mile trip from Shanghai to Los Angeles.
But our little card’s journey isn’t over yet. Once it lands in America it still has to make it all the way to your local retailer, which is most likely accomplished via plane, train, or truck. An average freight train traveling from Los Angeles to Kansas City emits approximately 950,000 pounds of carbon, and a truck would contribute more than 6,600 pounds. The plane tops out over 32,000 pounds of carbon pollution.
All of that carbon really adds up when buying a greeting card made overseas. But not when you order from CardFool.com! Our cards are produced just outside of Kansas City, Missouri– which makes us centrally located for maximum delivery efficiency. And since you’re ordering online, you’re not even polluting by adding an extra trip to the store or post office. To send a Chinese produced birthday card from Kansas City to New York can burn 4 to 5 million pounds of carbon, versus around 70,000 to send it via CardFool.
Since CardFool cards are fully customizable, there’s also less chance your card will end up in a landfill. That awesome birthday card featuring a picture of you and your bestie at the beach instantly becomes something to be cherished, not tossed out after a week or two.
We also offer an even more environmentally friendly option –– eCards! Sending a card digitally from CardFool contributes virtually no carbon to the atmosphere while still letting that special someone know that you care. We still offer all the same great options on eCards as we do on physical cards. You can still personalize your card by adding your own photos, text, or even emojis. Take that Climate Change!
We know these calculations are not precise. But we do hope it helps open up a conversation about the considerable cost our planet pays for goods produced overseas. However you choose to send your next greeting card, do yourself and our planet a favor and make sure it’s from CardFool!