Tuesday, December 13, 2005

The curse of e-Xmas cards

I hate most things about Christmas (always lived in dread of presents I didn't want after a bad poppy umbrella experience aged 12) but I LOVE Christmas cards. I send loads and use them to keep in touch around the world. But time was that from 1st December onwards my workspace (all open plan here) would be filled with scenes of the frozen Thames and comedy reindeer from people we had dealt with over the past year. But now all the right on dematerialised people I come across have foresworn the physical Christmas card (waste, paper, envelope, stamp, signature, hassle) in favour of the animated e-Xmas card. My office is bare on any sign of Christmas. I know that this is a good example of sustainable consumption in action. I know it saves trees and saves energy and saves money. But at Christmas shouldn't we remember that third pillar of SD as well -- and allow a bit of personal contact -- if only a signature. Or at least that is what I thought until I discovered that my giant WWF penguin cards on recycled paper were going to cost me £ 1.12 each to send to Australia after queuing for half an hour in the post office. So maybe next year I will do Xmas online too.


At 3:48 pm, Blogger Nuff said said...

E-xmas is so EX! This year it's all about the benjamins with the right on chattering classes showing their mate's how sustainable they are by not buying any cards at all and sending one round robin email to everyone: "Thinking of your this yule tide season BUT we've spent your card money on a walking bus for a local school", (http://www.goodgifts.org/goodgifts/product_info.php?cPath=75&products_id=200) "and protecting an acre of Patagonian coastline, so there!" (http://www.goodgifts.org/goodgifts/product_info.php?cPath=80&products_id=42).

I know the British like nothing more than a good queue but trust me print your own stamps with Royal Mail's smartstamp (http://www.royalmail.com/portal/rm/onlinepostage?catId=600023&gear=onlinepostage) and make your mental health a bit more sustainable!

At 8:01 pm, Blogger Jill Rutter said...

system in complete breakdown and about to leave for Christmas ... impressed by increasing array of good gifts -- though ethical dilemma of whether they benefit the giver rather than the reciever (heated debate last night re friend's birthday next month -- goat from Oxfam unwrapped vs new album by Arctic Monkeys.) However real revelation of last night was that the cab I fell into at 11.30 not only thanked me for not smoking BUT ALSO told me my journey had been carbon offset. That may be a high of behaviuor change on which to end the year and to wish everyone all the best for an even more sustainable 06

At 3:21 pm, Blogger madasafish said...

Agree that There is something very 'remote' about e-cards....and I'm a big technology fan.

Even a mass-produced printed card, when hand-written, has a 'perceived' uniqueness to it that e-cards seem unable to match.

Maybe for the same sort of reasons that e-books have never taken off?
Books=tactile qualities of paper and immediate ( ie you pick it up and read it)
E-books=plastic keyboard+barriers (switching on etc.)


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