Billions of cards are sent worldwide every year but especially at Christmas. Being a tree nowadays no longer insures a long fruiting life. When it’s time to be cropped, a tree’s in for the chop!
It is a risky time to be a saping, rooting, shooting, breathing living tree – especially if you live in the middle of a well matured forestry scheme.
So each time I am asked to design a greetings card, whether the illustration is a warm, friendly and fuzzy, or decidedly ‘offbeat’, I spare a thought for the factory farmed trees. They stand tall in rows amidst their own kind like a regiment on death row. They grow in good faith and with the hope of surviving weather conditions, pests, drought and disease until the rip echo of chainsaw shortens and the call of harvest chimes in their rings.
Card subjects now deal with everything from tastebud preferences to software crashes. Cards are becoming poor substitutes for writing letters, giving love and showing actual warmth. Flat packed or box mounted, cards arrive – destined to dust gather in a lifestyle gap before the bin’s mouth opens and its recycling chin makes pulps of its memory.
Some suggest that the way we live is driven by consumer trends but it’s equally possible to suggest that lifestyles are ‘pushed’ by those requiring us to ditch the existing in preference for the fresh and purchasable.
We are all trying to keep a finger on the pulse of change but to get the world we want, we all need to be involved in setting and making the best pace possible. The best family life, the best wildlife, the best domesticated life and the best eco-life come at a price.
To get the best everything is going to be difficult but we can all aim for a better ‘new improved’ direction, be it when sending a greetings card or supporting a vital charity campaign. Some of the best modern cards we receive at the HoBB incorporate good editorial message – small bite-sized doses of psychotherapy or thoughtful expressions of concern, advice and support. One such handmade card produced for the charity ‘World of Water’ (pictured above) contained these fine words : “Tree, Forest, Wood, Table, Skip, Fire … air overload, Pollution.”
Do you design cards?
Anybody can send their card designs to a publisher, but once released they are helpless, unable to influence how their work will be used and any accompanying editorial content. There is a new breed of greetings card artists that self-publish their designs internationally and make them directly available online as e-cards for all occasions. Through personal links with their market, these artists are able to determine which visual styles and messages their buying public prefers – an interactive market testing. Possibly a less wasteful way forward?
Do you buy cards?
The era of the eco-card, the ecard is here. This may save many more existing habitats. We all need to keep a finger on the pulse of change and work towards the world environment we want, so set the pace and send more e-cards this year. Set the standard and buy cards that contain very useful messages.
Waves ~~~~ and wishes for a fine festive future.
<+))))))))>< ~~~ Grant