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While the Christmas season typically brings some "ho ho ho's" from the retailers who count on our annual shopping frenzy, the mountains of Christmas cards leave the planet groaning under the weight of our collective best wishes to friends, family and colleagues.
Before you get carried away in the $2 shop buying up Christmas cards in bulk, check out some of the other options that will ensure your Christmas cards gives twice:
Giving cards from the community
Not only are these cards all printed on acid-free, chlorine-free recycled paper, but $1 from each $3 card goes to a school or community group of the buyer's choice. Our Community supports community organisations large and small across Australia, and their Christmas project is a simple way to introduce yourself to their great work. www.ourcommunity.com.au/giving cards.
Saving the world from unwanted gifts
Oxfam unwapped's mission is cleverly executed through Oxfam unwrapped. From bags of costumes for Vanuatu's theatre groups ($12) through to a bridge for a Cambodian village ($675), these are really gifts that keep on giving. Although Oxfam offer free cards with purchase, dedicated greenies will do the planet a favour by choosing the 'e- card' option. www.oxfamunwrapped.com.au
Clean Up Australia go even greener
Clean Up's green Christmas options are wonderful. There are green e-cards for workers to send to employees and colleagues; the Clean Up Our Climate online store has a range of climate-cooling gifts (with everything from pedometers to picnic baskets); and of course there's a real green gift - an e-card accompanying a Christmas donation to Clean Up's work.
Clean Up have even manage to come up with a gift for those who have everything: tickets to send your loved on to lunch with Clean Up's founder, the inspirational Ian Kiernan. www.cleanup.com.au