With the holiday season in full swing, consumers are out shopping for gifts and wrapping paper that fit their personal style. While the season is about spending time with family or friends, the added bonus of receiving a gift only makes the time merrier. However, once the gifts are opened and the wrap has been recycled, you're left with the traditional thank you cards to send to anyone who's given you a present.

This year, instead of saying thank you with expensive cards and envelopes, say thanks with a thoughtful postcard!

Travel Postcard VectorWhat makes postcards eco-friendly?

Traditional thank you cards are usually larger and folded in half. Some even have extra paper inside for added decoration. Postcards are just one rectangular piece of paper, and while they're a bit thicker, they don't require an envelope. You're using less material, saving trees and saving time (and money).

Save money by buying in bulk or consider making your own

Abstarct Postage stamp with palm, vector illustrationA great part about sending a postcard is its cost-effective nature. Postcards are typically a fraction of the cost of traditional cards, and postage is cheaper as well. To send a traditional card, postage rates are $0.47, and $0.21 for every additional ounce. Postcard rates, on the other hand, are only $0.34.

  • Purchasing postcards: You can find postcards fairly cheap. For a designer collection of 100 postcards, you can expect to spend around $10 to $13.
  • Making your own: There are a couple ways you can make your own postcard. First, pick up matte white card stock from your local office supply store. For around $12, you can get a box of 200 easy-to-use templates that work with your home printer. Just design what you want on the front and hit print (or you can use a glue and sealer to hand-make the front of the postcard). Second, you can order postcards through online services such as Zazzle, Moo and Vista Print. You can expect to spend approximately $5 to $15 for about 50 postcards, depending on the retailer.

Antique Picture Wood Frame Isolated On White Background, TraceryUpcycle the postcards you receive

Not only do postcards make wonderful thank you notes, they can also make a beautiful and inexpensive addition to your home décor. Since most postcards feature striking landscapes or attractive patterns, you can simply frame them and hang them on your wall.

Head to your local dollar store or scout out unique frames at yard sales, and turn the postcards you receive (or the extras you have left over) into wall art. It's a great way to add flair to an indoor wall that has been missing a personalized touch.

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