Recycling. Eco-friendly. Stay green.
You better believe we’ve heard of all those statements over here at Cardz for Kidz!. The importance of trees, the environment, recycling? That’s something our team grew up on. For example, as noted in our founder’s former school district’s blog post, Burns Park students create greeting cards, he grew up in Ann Arbor, MI. As a student he was taught that the town got its name due to one of the founders of the city loving trees! It was named Ann’s Arbor. Arbor – a place known for trees. Thinking about it, most kids have birthday parties at their parents’ houses, Major Magics/Chuckie Cheese, and parks, but our founder attended Molly’s, a former Cardz for Kidz! board member, birthday party in 3rd grade at the Ann Arbor Recycling Center! Recycling and reserving paper was fun and ideal.
We wonder what it would have been like if you told one of those children playing at the recycling center that day that they’d be responsible for people using an additional 150,000 pieces of paper. We’re using that number to be safe since we know we’ve produced over 150,000 cards, but there’s a possibility that some people used the same piece of paper to make multiple small cards. Then again, we know that there are others who used multiple colors to make one card. For example, this Lion card below where they used different colors and pieces of paper to make the eyes and other features.
We do understand that there are some people who are disappointed with the amount of paper that we’ve used throughout the years. There are likely some that think we should use more recycled paper. Then there are others who may think we should strictly encourage our partner locations to allow us to switch everything into digital formats – people design the cards online, send them to us, then our partners could walk around with tablets and show the patients/families the custom cards. That wouldn’t use any paper at all and would be much more eco-friendly.
Although those options have multiple benefits, they may not reward the people we’re trying to encourage the most. Over the past 10+ years of running this organization, we’ve learned kids love to feel that they’re receiving mail. Therefore, it’s great that it’s a card that’s mailed to their location. Something they can feel and hold on to, so they can feel special. In addition, we’ve heard stories from a couple families about how there are some children who have brought their cards with them to follow up appointments and/or used them to decorate their rooms.
With that in mind, we’ll continue to encourage people to use high-quality paper so our children, seniors, and families can retain your artwork if possible. In addition, we’ve heard MANY stories from people of all ages who received cards about how special they felt when they received a card from an artist from “far” away. Since it’s a card they get to keep and was made just for them, they often feel they’ve made a global, or at least cross-country, connection. If the cards were simply digital, the people receiving them may not realize they were all custom. In addition, the recipients may think the locations simply received sets of cards from Carmen in Taiwan, Karen G. in Illinois, or Maribel in North Lauderdale, FL. Thankfully, since our recipients are keeping the cards, they know they’re all custom.
Just to confirm that things haven’t changed from our founder’s love of those recycling parties here’s a view from his deck:
For people outside of the area, we’ll provide a bit more context. In Chicago, all city waste is picked up by trucks that hook the trash bins and pour the contents into their backside. There’s supposed to be a set amount per unit. 3 blue bins = recycling. 2 black bins = trash. As you can see with this candid picture, the number of recycling units outnumber the trash bins. Therefore, it’s evident that we agree that recycling and conservation are important. It’s just that we think the people we reach with your cards are worth it and we definitely believe in the IMPORTANCE OF YOUR PAPER and that your artwork is making an impact.