Spare a tree this Christmas

Yes - it is that time of year again! As retailers across Norfolk start laying out the Christmas cards, Envirowise urges businesses across the region to save time and money by sending their greetings onlineWith a staggering 744 million Christmas cards delivered by the Royal Mail last year, Envirowise is calling on companies in Norfolk to help cut the region's Christmas card 'mountain' by sending their seasons greetings electronically.

Yes - it is that time of year again! As retailers across Norfolk start laying out the Christmas cards, Envirowise urges businesses across the region to save time and money by sending their greetings online

With a staggering 744 million Christmas cards delivered by the Royal Mail last year, Envirowise is calling on companies in Norfolk to help cut the region's Christmas card 'mountain' by sending their seasons greetings electronically.

Envirowise's 2006 Christmas card campaign comes as statistics reveal that one billion Christmas cards, weighing 20,000 tonnes, will end up as waste this Christmas. And many of these cards could still be with us 30 years on as there is evidence landfill sites can actually 'preserve' paper items, rather than letting them degrade.

Businesses wishing to make use of the free e-cards will be able to choose from a selection of 10 exclusive designs which can each be personalised by selecting a preferred image and then adding a company logo and message. Companies are urged to get their requests in early and to register before the end of November deadline to avoid disappointment.

Envirowise Regional Manager for the East of England, Kate Haigh, explained: “We understand how important it is for firms in the area to acknowledge their customers and suppliers at this time of year. However, an enormous amount of paper waste is generated over this period and we wanted to give companies easy access to something they could use to help cut down on seasonal waste - without dampening the Christmas spirit!”

“The success of last year's Envirowise Christmas card campaign has indicated that businesses are in favour of sending their seasonal greetings online - suggesting a more general shift towards electronic cards could be on the horizon. As many as 23,500 e-cards were sent via our website last year.”

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Businesses wishing to use the Envirowise Christmas e-card system should register on www.envirowise.gov.uk/ecard by the end of November. The e-cards will then be sent to nominated recipients at the beginning of December. The system is free to use, but businesses are encouraged to make a donation to a charity of their choice.