Best Eco-Friendly Greeting Card Paper Options

November 11, 2022 4 min read

Best Eco-Friendly Greeting Card Paper Options

Read all about it! The best eco-friendly greeting card paper options out there, from tree-free to recyclable, plastic-free to supporting eco-initiatives. In today’s guide, we help you navigate the different environmental considerations for making sure your greeting cards are as green as possible. We love that you are here to learn and hope you discover what makes a greeting card the most eco-friendly it can be. 

Best Eco-friendly Greeting Card Material Options

Many traditional cards can harm our ecosystems. They may use virgin wood pulp from immature softwood and hardwood forests. Which can release carbon into the atmosphere and destroy local wildlife. They may be made from plastic-derived materials which are polluting to produce. Plus, they can leach into waterways and our soil when disposed of in landfills. If you’re looking for better options, this article is for you. We are highlighting the best eco-friendly greeting card paper alternatives which will help not hinder our natural planet. 

Recycled and Recyclable Paper and Card

One of the most straightforward things to look at is the card's material plainness. Usually, the simpler, the better. Less energy is used to produce them, and more natural materials are often used. 

Recycled paper

Choose a greeting card made from recycled paper. It is a basic level of a green greeting card. Conventional greeting cards are often made from new trees, which really need to stay in the ground! We love greeting cards; we are a greeting card company, after all. But, we believe that wood is a precious resource that should be used only when necessary. There are plenty of alternatives to wood pulp cards (which we talk about below), so finding cards made from recycled paper is the very least we should be looking for.  


Along with recycled card material, we should also look out for greeting cards that are fully recyclable at home. Reusing resources isn’t the solution to the climate crisis but one step in helping combat it. Look for a recyclable label or symbol on packaging or product descriptions to ensure you can easily recycle at home. 


If the card is recyclable, it’s likely to only be made from paper or cardboard, but some companies can be sneaky. Watch out for greenwashing and confirm that the greeting card is completely plastic-free. If you are not sure,  a few tell-tale signs the card uses plastic are; glitter, foam, gold and silver elements and sequins.

Tree-Free and Alternative Paper Materials

We touched on this above, but ideally, we’d like to see the end of wood pulp greeting cards. There are some tremendous alternatives out there. Here are the best eco-friendly greeting card paper material alternatives to traditional virgin wood pulp. 

Tree free

While not a specific material, scouting for tree-free labels on greeting cards will quickly show you which cards use alternatives. 100% tree-free cards are a guarantee that the greeting card is made from plants that are not hard or soft woods. Keeping trees in their homes is important for biodiversity, maintaining soil and managing environmental change. Let’s keep the trees where they should be and look at these alternatives.


We think bamboo is the best eco-friendly greeting card paper because it is fast-growing, stores more carbon than traditional trees and releases more oxygen too. Plus, as pandas, you know we love to munch on mountains of the stuff! Yum Yum! Bamboo is a very renewable material because once cut, it grows back and at a fast rate. Some species of bamboo can grow up to almost 1 meter a day. Incredible stuff. 

Cotton linter

Cotton linter, another fibre we use at Panda Joy, is another excellent alternative material. Unlike the cotton used for your clothing, cotton linter is normally the shorter fibres of the plant that can’t be used for textiles. Usually, this means they are discarded, but not when we get involved. We use 25% cotton linter in our greeting cards to employ this under-appreciated material, saving it from landfill. 


The hemp plant is another wonder plant that grows fast like bamboo. When managed correctly, it uses little fertilisers and pesticides. When comparing hemp paper to standard tree paper, you can makefour times more hemp paper on the same amount of land. 


Lastly, sugarcane is another unusual plant source of paper. It can be processed in very much the same way as trees to create pulp for cards and paper. It is another fast-growing plant. Plus, it is made from the leftover plant material, bagasse, after the sugar has been produced. This makes it another material saved from simply being chucked away, just like cotton linters. 

Responsibly Sourced & Ethically Produced

Not thought about as much when shopping for the best eco-friendly greeting cards is whether they are made in a green way. The production of a product is as important as what it’s made from. Here are some things to look out for when choosing an eco-friendly card company.


Firstly, Choosing an FSC-certified card company will ensure the paper used is responsibly sourced, and the forests are managed correctly. Protecting our woods and wildness is vital to combatting the climate crisis. Environmental forest management is an essential part o fit. 


Secondly, does the card company or paper mill use renewable energy? Opting for greeting cards that are produced with clean, green energy is another factor in their carbon impact. Wind, solar and other green energy productions can be used to reduce carbon emissions and keep your greeting cards as eco-friendly as possible. 

Fair wages

Finally, If we can’t take care of the planet while also caring for the humans that live on it, what good is it? Green greeting card manufacturers should treat their workforce and suppliers with dignity. Providing fair wages and assuring workers' rights through fair trade, the living wage or unions will make the world a happier, safer place for all. 

The Best Eco-Friendly Greeting Card Offered by Panda Joy

Panda Joy’s business model promotes environmental and community sustainability by offering more eco-friendly products to share Joyfuller moments. We think we have the best eco-friendly greeting card options on the market. But, don’t take our word for it; readall about our cards here. And more importantly, check out our stunningcollection of panda cards featuring us cuddly bears.