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(MCT)—Throughout the year, there are many times we want to send a greeting card or note to a friend or family member. Do Your Part to pick ones that won’t go to waste or select personalized greetings that actually give something back to the planet.

One of my favorite greeting cards is called “Grow-A-Note.” I received one for a birthday a few years back. These handmade cards have wildflower seeds embedded right in the paper. After you read it, you simply plant the actual card, water it, and watch it grow. That lasts a whole lot longer than a traditional card. There are plenty of varieties for every occasion from birthdays to Valentine’s Day to even beautiful blank ones. You can even find versions of this paper for wedding invitations, save the date cards, or other special events.

Or if a more traditional card is what you’re looking for, check the back of it to make sure it is made with recycled content. More major greeting card manufacturers are responding to consumers’ demands for greener cards. For instance, specific Hallmark cards are now marked with a green icon to show that they are made from paper that comes from sustainably managed forests, recycled paper or other eco-friendly sources. You can also go online to find cards made from 100 percent recycled paper and non-toxic inks.

Another option: send an e-card. Many of the biggest card companies offer them for free now. And, different environmental organizations are getting in on they act. The Arbor Day Foundation offers electronic cards called “Give a Tree.” For a small donation, they’ll send one to the person of your choice and a tree in one of our National Forests will be planted in their name. The World Wildlife Fund offers e-cards for free and so does The Nature Conservancy.

And, consider e-cards for the biggie — holiday cards. It’s no longer in bad taste to send an e-card. Have fun personalizing them by adding numerous family photos, picking the perfect template, and writing a personal message. Plus, you won’t be shelling out close to 50 cents to send each one in the mail.

Head to to get specific information on where to find all the cards and e-cards I’ve mentioned here. This way, the next time you send off a note or card, you will Do Your Part to show the person you’re sending it to that you really care.

Terri Bennett is a veteran TV meteorologist, eco-expert and author of “Do Your Part,” a practical guide for everyday green living available at

Distributed by MCT Information Services