Unwanted Christmas cards could protect rainforests as part of a recycling scheme.
Law firm Irwin Mitchell, which has an office in Cambridge, is calling for people to donate cards to support vital reforestation projects.
Members of the public are encouraged to send in their used cards to any one of Irwin Mitchell’s offices across the UK – including the Cambridge office – up until the end of January.
The firm’s stationery suppliers Red-Inc will recycle the cards and arrange for a tree to be planted in Caledonia, Scotland, for every 200 cards collected.
For every 400 cards collected, an acre of rainforest will be protected overseas through the Rainforest Trust.
Donations by the law firm’s colleagues, clients and the public saw 8,817 cards collected in 2018, which saw 88 trees planted in Caledonia and 88 acres (equivalent to 44 football pitches) protected by the Rainforest Trust.
The hope is these figures can be bettered this Christmas by encouraging more of the local community to get involved.
“While e-cards and season’s greetings sent via email and social media are great alternatives, many of us still send and receive cards at Christmas,” said Sarah Ball, director of operations at Irwin Mitchell.
“Recycling them is such a simple thing to do and reduces our environmental impact.
“Last year was a test run to see if we could make the campaign a success so this year we’re hoping to make an even bigger impact and get people thinking about the changes they can make to reduce our impact.
“We hope we can count on the public’s help again and beat the 264.50kg of cards recycled in 2018 and support even more vital reforestation projects in the UK and overseas.”
Trees and woodland areas are vital in helping reduce climate change, prevent flooding, reducing soil erosion and providing homes to wildlife.
Figures suggest that only 13 per cent of the UK’s total land area is covered in trees, compared with an average elsewhere in the EU of about 35 per cent.
Red-Inc founder Adam Huttly said: “The results of our collaboration with Irwin Mitchell last year demonstrated what can be achieved by recycling when the desire is there.
“We are delighted to be running the initiative again in 2019 and look forward to reporting the results.
“The project embraces our values and ethos of assisting clients and where possible, reversing any impact on the environment we have as businesses.
“Our Red-Inc Foundation will allocate the funds to UK reforestation and worldwide legal protection of vital rainforests.”
The results of the collection are expected in February.
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