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BETTER LIVING: Sexy, Romantic (and Paperless) Valentines

Thursday, February 02, 2012

 

Send your love along the cyberpath this year, saving money and paper.

With America's big greeting card holiday on the horizon, let's take a minute to think about new ways we can share love, flirt, or just make someone's day without the paper.

Consider how much money you spend on cards, envelopes, and stamps – and how much paper is wasted in the manufacture of those cards and envelopes – you may be ready to make a change. So join the e-volution!

Now don't get me wrong, I love getting a card in my mailbox at the end of a busy day. But I feel just as warm and fuzzy when I get a card in another sort of mailbox: my inbox! 

E-cards have never been bigger, and whether you pick one out through the major ‘card people’ like Hallmark and American Greetings as well as through ever-multiplying Web sites, they're a wonderful way to send your love without spending a dime.

Favorite sites

This year's Valentine's Day has some fantastic collections on some of my favorite sites: hipstercards.com, which offers unique and artsy choices for those who like their e-cards a little more funky; ecards-gallery.com, where you can make your own e-cards or choose from hundreds of templates; bluemountain.com, which offers fun, cartoony cards suitable for all ages; www.ojolie.com, "hand painted and animated" e-cards that are quite pretty;  and of course the hilarious JibJab, where you insert pictures of you and your beloved to personalize various crazy songs. 

Also, one of the sweetest mash-ups of the Internet and love is Google's Map Your Valentine. The site says they're closed right now, but check back over the next few days to see if they come back.

Saving money (that you can spend on sweets for your sweet)

E-cards are not only better for your wallet, they’re better for the planet, since they don’t create any needless waste. Think greeting cards are small potatoes in the grand scheme of pollution? Think again.

Imagine, for example, how many tons of paper and paper products are housed in a single Hallmark store. Now multiply that tonnage by thousands of stores in every mall across the country. Now add the cards housed in drugstores, specialty shops, dollar stores, and everywhere else. It adds up to a lot of trees cut down, a lot of chlorine bleach (from bleaching paper pulp) in our rivers and lakes, and a lot of gasoline used for transport.

Make it personal

Want to make it truly personal? Grab your own romantic shot on your mobile, upload the image onto any e-card site, design the layout yourself, and hit ‘send’. The time, money, and aggravation saved are immense.  I'll leave how "romantic" that image may be up to you!

Hestitant to give your old-fashioned, paper-loving friends some cyberlove? That's fine. Invest in some locally created greetings and they'll know you shopped because you cared. But if you have friends who don’t mind living in the digital age, send them an e-card this year, personalized with your heartfelt amour. Who knows what will happen?

Candita Clayton is the founder of Your Life Organized and author of Clean Your Home Healthy. Visit her online, here.

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