What it means to use upcycled, recycled, and repurposed materials (Part I)

What it means to use upcycled, recycled, and repurposed materials (Part I)

Wondering what I mean when I say that I make my cards using upcycled, repurposed, and recycled materials? This blog series will explain exactly what I mean and why my cards are truly eco-friendly.

It doesn’t mean that I pick things out of the garbage, or off the street. It means I source my materials to create beautiful greeting cards from ethical suppliers.
As of June 2019, I switched my supplier for blank greeting cards, and now all of my greeting cards are 100% recycled. All of them are created with a minimum of 20% post-consumer waste. Many are FSC certified, and produced using green energy.

“OK, Jenny,” you might be saying. WhAt DoEs ThIs AcTuAlLy MeAn?

This series will start with my white & natural white cards.

Above we have the “take what you need” greeting card. These cards are created on white or natural white cards. The white & natural white cards are 100% recycled, 100% post-consumer waste, and FSC Certified. They are free of any chlorine or acid chemicals.

Ok, but what does 100% recycled mean?
It means the paper has been given a second life from it’s original purpose. Most recycled paper products are made from scraps from the manufacturing process (what’s leftover after production, instead of being thrown away).

What does 100% post-consumer waste mean?
It means the recycled paper scraps (like what we put in our recycle bin) are on their 2nd or 3rd life/reuse.

What does FSC Certified mean?
First, FSC stands for Forest Stewardship Council. It means the paper has been harvested in a responsible manner. The forests in which the trees were harvested live in well-managed forests – forests that will not be converted to a non-forest or plantation use, or forests in violation of traditional and civil rights. There is a paper trail that comes with anything that is FSC certified, called the “Chain of Custody” certification, meaning the “material has been identified and separated from non-controlled material as it makes its way along the supply chain” from harves to your hands. *All facts for FSC certified products found on the FSC.org website.*

What does it mean to be acid and chlorine free?
Chlorine is often used to bleach paper and releases harmful chemicals into the environment, particularly the aquatic environment. Chlorine-free paper “is an environmentally preferable alternative to paper bleached with chlorine”, says CalRecycles website. Chlorine-free paper is difficult to find, but my new cards are chlorine free, yay!

Acid-free paper means the “pH of the pulp that is used to form the paper is above 7 (neutral).”
 Acid-free paper is considered archival, ensuring the longevity of the card.

My white and natural white greeting cards are sustainably harvested, on their 2nd or 3rd life, not bleached with chlorine, and, for me, that puts my mind at ease.

In the next post, the light brown and kraft cards. Then, the materials I use to make them beautiful.

Leave a comment