September 22, 2016

Jennifer Williams


Mostly, e-cards are sent electronically over the Internet, and represent a carbon footprint in so far as they turn on computer powers and networks. These cards themselves are produced through templates located on websites, and offer various options for personalization depending on the occasion and the person receiving them. E- Cards can be emailed and reproduced with no difference in terms of environmental impact.

E-cards also drop cost of transportation and stamp dropped; they are a much more efficient alternative to paper cards. Furthermore, many e-card sites offer their services for a reduced cost compared to the postage related with paper cards, and provide many other customization options. E-cards also offer senders the benefit of knowing that cards will be received directly, rather than being held up in the post.

Although some people choose to print out their cards for display, most just save them on their computers, meaning that loads of cards don’t collect every year after special occasions. In terms of most important card sending periods like Christmas, sending e-cards instead of paper cards also cuts down on the time spent going to the post office. In this way, e-cards are a practicable, eco friendly alternative to the traditional trust on paper cards. The latter will, definitely, still have a place as people value touchable and hand crafted cards, but it is likely that e-cards will become a more practical solution for gathering card giving in the future.

To calculate the energy cost of the e -Card, we can add few minute of the sender’s computer time, and that gives 12,000 joules. To be on the safe side, we add another 60% to allow for the internet energy cost, and that gives us a total cost of 19 kilojoules.

Moving on to the paper card, the cards itself have the envelope having a chemical energy of around 0.14kilowatt hours. An educated says that the energy expended at the paper refine is likely to be similar, so that gives us 0.25 kilowatt hours. But then we can expect a division to be reclaimed if the card is recycled later. So let’s round down and say the card costs about 0.4 kilowatt hours.

But there’s still the charge of transport to the shop and through the postal system. What is the energy cost of picking up the card from the post box and sending it out across the country?

Sharing equally between the postal items, the collection part of the journey costs 0.02 kilowatt hours per item. Then, the card has to travel a small piece further. Let’s say from Lancaster to Skegness via numerous depots, the answer is 0.008 kilowatt hours. Addition this figure to the collection cost gives roughly 0.03 kilowatt hours, which gives us a total value for the paper card of 0.24 kilowatt hours.

However, the E-Card only costs 19kilojoules, which converts to 0.006kilowatt hours. That’s on the order of 40 times less.


“Curve’s technology and service has enabled ACCO Brands to launch our global recognition program (ACCOlades) throughout our global footprint. It has been a great success and would not have been possible without the teamwork of our partners at Curve, thanks.”

– Sean A. Nelson, SPHR, GPHR, VP, Global Talent Management & Organization Effectiveness, ACCO Brands.
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