Wednesday, March 25, 2009

e-cards vs paper cards

I got an e-mail yesterday. It was asking if I would promote an e-card website with a specific spin - since mother's day is coming up, shouldn't we honor Mother Earth and send our moms an e-card instead of a paper card. You know, save a tree.

Here's what I want to ask you. How would your mother respond if you sent her an e-card instead of an actual card for Mother's Day? Forget the fact that my mom doesn't use a computer, if she did, and I sent her an e-card instead of actual card, I would never live it down.

I do send e-cards when I think the occassion and the recipient call for it. Susan and I send Hallmark Hoops and YoYo e-cards to each other all the time. Hoops and YoYo can brighten anyone's day.

But e-cards and e-vites set a very different tone than paper cards and paper invitations. Every once in a while, I pick up a little extra work, ghost writing web content. I've written many articles you'll never see my name on about greening weddings, and one of the things I always offer up as an option is sending out wedding e-vites, but I always add that sending an e-vite instead of a paper invitation will set a certain tone for your wedding. A very casual tone. Send a wedding e-vite, you're more likely to get people showing up in clothes from the Gap.

I'm all for making this world greener. But I think that people are most important. So, if it's very important to my mom that I buy her a paper card, then I'm buying her a paper card (and if I can find one made on recycled paper, that's a plus). For other things, like inviting our friends to our annual Christmas party, e-vites are very appropriate. 

The environment is very important, but it's not everything. If you've got a hip, tree-hugging mom who would appreciate an e-card for Mother's Day, then go for it. If your mom treasures her cards, then give her a card. I don't think dishonoring your actual mother to honor Mother Earth is worth it.

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Despairing said...

The one and only time I sent an e-card to my parents, there were "comments" about it thrown into every conversation for the next six months, without them explicitly saying "What the F were you thinking sending us that???"

I will, however, quite happily send an e-card to my Australian friends instead of send a bit of paper halfway around the world so that it can be looked at for 10 seconds and then left forgotten on a shelf for a week before being thrown in the bin.

My parents may be changing, though. This year instead of a christmas present, they bought an African village a couple of ducks in my name. I appreciated it a lot more than a pair of socks.

Glue and Glitter said...

I agree with you. E-cards just seem more thoughtless somehow. :( There are some great sellers on Etsy that make cards from recycled paper. Or you could make your own! You still have the carbon footprint that goes with sending the card, but at least the materials aren't new.

I'm a fan of a good old phonecall for special occasions.

Mazhar Hussain Shah said...

Nice post,
An e-card is similar to a postcard or greeting is created using digital media instead of paper or other traditional materials.
Promotional cards.