Celebrate your friends and family members big day sustainably, with this guide to the best eco-friendly birthday cards. From recycled and recyclable birthday cards to plantable birthday cards, plastic-free cards, and more.
According to Exeter Unversity, the average greetings card has a carbon footprint comparable to having two cups of tea. I can understand why some people prefer to send e-cards.
For others, it is important to put pen to paper and send a physical card.
I have to admit, I do love sending physical birthday cards. I like taking a little bit of time out to pick a thoughtful card and writing a message to the recipient. Especially when it comes to family and friends that live further away.
I feel like if I’m not able to spend time with them on their birthday, then sending a birthday card is the next best thing to being able to have two cups of tea with them in person!
And likewise, I do get really excited when I see a handwritten card from a loved one appear on my doormat on my birthday. It’s such a simple and easy way to show we care, in a way that e-cards just don’t always achieve.
The good news is that there are ways to send eco-friendly birthday cards with people and the planet in mind.
In particular, look out for glitter-free cards, those not packaged in plastic film, recycled cards, and FSC-certified cards printed in Britain. I’ve even found cards that can be reused in clever ways, and cards that can be planted in your garden.
The Best Eco-Friendly Birthday Cards
Here are the best eco-friendly birthday cards I’ve come across to help spread sustainable joy to your loved ones on their birthday. These are all glitter-free, easily recycled, and plastic-free.
Stormy Knight is a Bristol-based eco-friendly greeting card company that designs and prints illustrated greetings and occasion cards.
All of their cards are printed in the UK on FSC-approved or 100% recycled cards. And as well as being completely plastic-free and glitter-free, these beautiful cards are printed with vegetable-based inks. What’s more, they are fully recyclable.
Some Stormy Knight cards even come with biodegradable seed sticks inside that will blossom into flowers when planted, for that little extra touch.
Find Stormy Knight cards for sale via &Keep from £2.50.
Little Trinkets Studio’s Eco-Friendly Birthday Cards
Little Trinkets Studio sells plantable birthday cards and standard birthday cards, from their Glasgow-based design studio and online shop. Whether you pick a standard birthday card or a birthday card made from seed paper, these stunning hand-illustrated cards will surely bring a smile to your loved one’s face.
The seed paper cards, when planted and cared for using the included instructions, should bloom into beautiful wildflowers.
What’s also to love is that Little Trinkets Studio has a no-plastic policy for all of its products. This means that all of their products come in fully compostable bags made from vegetable starch.
Find Little Trinkets Studio eco-friendly birthday cards for sale via Etsy from £3.30.
Emily Nash Illustrates
Looking to have a stash of eco-friendly birthday cards ready to go? Emily Nash sells a bundle of 10 FSC-certified cards that are fully recyclable, and come with recycled envelopes. These are all designed and printed in the UK. You can pick any 10 cards of your choice from Emily’s wide selection, meaning that you won’t be left with any cards that aren’t suitable.
Your cards will be delivered plastic-free, without cellophane sleeves. Instead, your chosen designs will be wrapped in tissue paper and sent in a postal box.
Find Emily Nash’s greetings cards for sale via Etsy for £20 for a bundle of 10 or £3.75 individually.
Erika’s Whimsical Art
Erika’s Whimsical Art sells tree-free eco-friendly plantable birthday and greetings cards. Instead of paper, these cards are made from 100% pre-consumer recycled cotton that degrades naturally in the soil. The seeds include Sweet Alyssum, Poppy, Baby’s Breath, and Basil. These are non-invasive species that can be grown in pots and left outside for bees and other pollinators.
Simple planting instructions are printed on the back of the card so that after the recipient is done, the card can transform into beautiful flowers.
Do note that the card comes in what looks like a plastic bag. This is actually a compostable cornstarch bag, that ensures your card arrives in the best condition.
Find Erika’s Whimsical Art greetings cards for sale via Etsy for £4.00.
Clothing retailer Seasalt makes these lovely blank greeting cards, which would also work great for birthdays. The cards come in a pack of six, so are handy to have stashed in your drawer for when the occasion arises.
Seasalt’s cards are printed in Cornwall using sustainably sourced paper and are 100% recyclable – there’s no glitter or foil here. What’s more, these cards ship without any plastic too, for that extra sustainable touch.
Find these greeting cards for sale on Seasalt for £10.00 for 6 cards.
Little Green Paper Shop
Little Green Paper Shop sell beautiful plantable birthday and greetings cards. All the seeds in their cards are on the approved Royal Horticultural Society’s list of Plants for Pollinators. This means your card will support bees, butterflies, and all other pollinators.
Planting instructions are printed on the back of every card, and a recycled and recyclable kraft paper envelope is included with every card too.
Cockahoop Eco-Friendly Birthday Cards
Cockahoop’s cheery range of birthday and greeting cards are all printed on plantable wildflower seed paper. These have clear instructions on the back for the recipient.
In keeping with Cockahoop’s eco-friendly ethos, all their cards ship plastic-free. Each card also comes with a recycled and recyclable brown kraft paper envelope.
Find Cockahoop’s eco-friendly birthday cards for sale via Etsy for £2.50.
VIDA Natural cards is a UK-based greeting cards company, that makes natural and handmade plastic-free greeting cards made from 100% recycled paper.
What makes them extra special is that the eco-friendly birthday cards are embedded with various types of seeds. This means the whole card can be planted by the recipient when they are done with it.
To grow the seeds, simply place the card in a pot with compost and water well. These will then grow into beautiful wildflowers or herbs. To make life easy, full instructions are illustrated on the reverse of every card.
Also included is an additional seed envelope. This contains extra seeds specifically selected with the butterflies and bees in mind, that can be planted as well.
Find VIDA Natural cards for sale via &Keep from £2.95.
Whilst we are on the subject of birthdays, don’t forget to check out my guide to eco-friendly gift ideas and eco-friendly wrapping paper ideas in case you need any extra inspiration! And when the time comes, don’t forget to check out my guide to charity Christmas cards.