According to the New York Times, this year the United States Postal Service expects to deliver 2.7 billion letters and process 801 million pieces of mail on Dec. 20, the busiest mailing day of the year. That is down from 3.4 billion holiday letters and 960 million pieces of mail on the busiest day in 2008. With the postal service announcing Dec. 5 its intention to end next day mail service, soon you won’t be able to procrastinate in getting those cards in the mail.
According to a recent story in the Los Angeles Times, there has been a long, steady decline in the number of greeting cards sent. “In 1995, the national Greeting Card Assn. boasted that 2.7 billion Christmas holiday cards would be sold that year. This year, that number has dropped to 1.5 billion cards,” wrote Rosanna Xia.
Many people are choosing to save the 44-cent per-card-cost to mail cards via the postal service and instead sending their holiday greetings via email or even Facebook.
Not interested in sending a paper card? Yes, Virginia, there is an iPhone app (did you have any doubt?). Red Stamp has an app for all things Apple’s i, iPhone, iPad, iPod. Apple has its Cards appwhich allows you to design and send greeting cards with your phone. Then there’s postcards on the run and postagram with similar apps.
The new smartphone apps make the e-card businesses seem almost old fashioned. Google or Bing the term “email holiday cards” and you’ll get everything from companies that let you send cards for free (with ads attached to the cards of course) to traditional greeting card businesses like Hallmark and American Greetings that have both free e-cards and those you pay for.
Keeping their carbon footprint down is another reason some people are turning away from sending holiday cards. According to the 41pounds.org, forty percent of solid mass in landfills is paper waste. Then consider the fossil fuel used to deliver those paper cards.
So what will you do this year? Traditional paper cards delivered by the United States Postal Service, or will you leave the practice sending cards to the annals of history and turn to the Internet for your holidays greetings?
If you chose the paper card, here are places in Shoreline and Lake Forest Park to buy them: