The simple art of writing a reduced waste letter

Filed in Blog by on March 24, 2009 14 Comments
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zero waste cardSimple, profound, brilliant!

I love it how our kids share their wisdom in the simplest of ways. You might remember that Little Miss Green celebrated her Birthday a couple of weeks ago. Well the time came for the thank you cards to be written. Art, writing and reading (and climbing trees, chasing horses and stacking a few tonnes of wood) are her favourite past times, so thank you cards are usually an elaborate affair with home made cards designed from a stock pile of card I have.

I was guillotining the card in half to make smaller cards and create less waste (or so I thought) when LMG sat down next to me and started getting a little agitated.

“I don’t want you to fold them like that, I want you to leave then cut in half.” she exclaimed.

Being a mother who always knows best, of course, I continued with the cutting. We’ve always done it like this and cutting in this way means the cards will fit in the envelopes. I grumbled to myself the kind of ‘what would an eight year old know?’ thoughts that we all have from time to time, and proceeded.

Her frustrations grew, so I compromised. I would fold half and leave half flat.

Then I did one of those parental sighs; a kind of ‘you’ll see’ sighs, that only a parent is allowed to do.

She was happy with the compromise and skipped downstairs to begin her masterpieces.

She made one folded card and I duly wrote on the envelope. Then she took a flat piece and asked me to draw the faint lines for her to write on.

“No, not like that!” she screeched, as I was doing as asked.

“You mustn’t go all the way to the edge, you need to write the address on it too.”

And then it became clear to me. My own little zero waste girl had designed her own POSTCARDS. No need for an envelope which would result in much less waste as she proudly pointed out. All we had to do was stick on a stamp and we were good to go.

Parents eh – who’d have ’em?

postcard to reduce on envelope waste

About the Author ()

I am a long time supporter of the Green and Sustainable lifestyle. After being caught in the Boscastle floods in 2004, our family begun a journey to respect and promote the importance of Earth's fragile ecosystem, that focussed on reducing waste. Inspired by the beauty and resourcefulness of this wonderful planet, I have published numerous magazine articles on green issues and the author of four books.

Comments (14)

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  1. Elizabeth B says:

    Eee, that’s lovely. What a great little green girl you’re raising up. Well done, LMG!

  2. Absolutely brilliant LMG!!

  3. Sarah says:

    Excellent Zerowasting Little Miss G!
    Score one for the kids I think 😉

  4. Carole Blake says:

    Aaaah, yes Mrs G, well done to LMG, but also, well done to you as if it wasn’t for you and Mr G’s philosophy, she wouldn’t be so well trained!!

    I remembered my container today for sausages at the butcher, he picked them up, weighed them, and put them in the container for me without so much as a blink!


  5. Carole Blake says:

    Just to add, rubbish reponse to my email to Tesco regarding lack of unpackaged UK apples, I don’t think the email was even read properly if the reply is anything to go by. I’ve emailed them back putting them straight, will see what I get back, if anything. 🙁

    Feeling a bit down about the ongoing fight with Tesco, I have never had a satisfactory reply from them about anything that I’ve flagged up.


  6. John Costigane says:

    Hi Mrs Green,

    LMG is showing promise as a future Zero Waster. That certainly bodes for the trend.

    Hi Carole,

    Well done with the container for sausages. I use them to the max as well.

    Tesco’s response was poor but not unexpected. Consumers just have to be fussy where they shop until the likes of Tesco change for the better.

  7. Poppy says:

    You’ve got an award on my blog too! See you soon, Poppy

  8. Fr. Peter says:

    You know the slogan, Every Little (Miss Green) Helps.

  9. Poppy says:

    You’re a star LMG 😀

    When I worked for Royal Mail, I noticed that our European cousins tend to send postcards at Christmas rather than the folded and in an envelope cards that we do. Not so easy to stand up on the mantelpiece, but great for reducing waste 🙂

  10. perfect perfect. I’ve noticed some people switching over to postcards for things like wedding invites too. Sure, they aren’t as fancy, but you still get the message across!

  11. would you please tell miss green that i used to cut out the cardboard sides of food packaging and sent them as post-cards.
    my faves in france were leroux chicoree, or coffee. cereal boxes may be creatively cut out in a 5×3 pattern as well, some of the pictures are as artistic as andy warhol paintings.

    happy scissors to you ladies

  12. VegBoxClara says:

    You rock, LMG! Laughed my socks off at that.

  13. Sal says:

    Oh I so know the feeling of the child knows best-very frightening when you start to realise just how much more than you they think about things. Excellent work LMG.
    I insisted that my son make his own christmas postcards if he really wanted to send them to everyone in his class (i stopped a few years ago)

  14. Mrs Green says:

    Thank you everyone. I’ll let LMG read through the comments tomorrow and give her some air space to talk 🙂
    I have to agree with you Clara – she DOES rock. Am I biased? you bet I am 😀
    Peter – too funny! I can see that on a t-shirt for her LOL!

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