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We’ve always had a passion for the environment and much of our inspiration is quite literally drawn from nature. Glebe Cottage’s environmental journey started back in the mid 90’s when we switched to the exclusive use of 100% recycled envelopes. The logic was simple; why cut down trees to make envelopes that will only make one journey before they are ripped open, screwed up and thrown away? 

We have moved on a long way since then. We were the first publisher to switch to compostable packaging back in 2006, and the first direct-to-retail publisher to obtain FSC® certification. In 2008, we became the UK’s first CarbonNeutral® greetings card company and won Gold for environmental best practice in printing and publishing at the Green Apple Awards. We also scooped top prize in the product category at the BCE Environmental Leadership Awards in 2010. (Click HERE to see our video on Youtube). Back in 2015 we became the first card publisher to use paper made from pre-industrial coffee cup waste and have Carbon Balanced all the paper we have used since 2019 with the World Land Trust. We are always looking for ways to minimise our environmental impact and use home-compostable laminate on some of our notecard wallets. In 2022 we started offering cards and calendars with card-clasp labels as well as compostable bags.

Through the high quality of our products we want to dispel any lingering myths that environmentally responsible publishing has to equate to dull colour and poor quality, or that it has to look recycled, or be more expensive. We have no doubts that the greeting card industry can be cleaner and greener. We are offering card buyers positive environmental choices, because we think they have a really exciting role to play in encouraging a greener card industry. Naturally there have to be green products in the market place before consumers can make green choices; and that is the choice that we’ve always wanted to make possible. 

We are not experts on green issues and we know we are not perfect. But we are very positive about the future because we believe consumers can change the way that businesses think about the environment. In essence, everyone can help to make the world a little bit greener, even if it is just one card at a time!


Our Eco-commitments

Everything is FSC® certified… We were the first direct-to-retail publisher to attain an FSC chain of custody (2006). Responsible forest management ensures that the harvest of timber products maintains the forest's biodiversity, productivity, and ecological processes. It’s the only certification scheme endorsed by WWF, Friends of the Earth & Greenpeace. Our Chain of Custody Number is INT-COC-005535-066. The license number you see on our products is FSC® C007915. Every item listed on this website is FSC certified.

Unless its recycled… As well as the use of FSC ® certified materials, all of our products have a recycled content.  We specify the percentage of recycled paper on the back of the card. All of our cards and envelopes are 100% recycled, calendars have a minimum of 40% recycled content.

100% recycled envelopes... Since the mid 90s we have exclusively used 100% recycled paper envelopes. Whenever possible we only use paper for envelopes that contains 100% post-consumer waste.

Carbon Balanced... All the paper we have used since 2019 has been Carbon Balanced through The World Land Trust – this includes all brochures, marketing and packaging materials, as well as all the paper used in every product – including bespoke products.

Alcohol-free print... Industrial Alcohol is a solvent used by printers and is the industry’s main source of hazardous VOC emissions.  Since 2010 all of our cards and brochures have been printed without the use of any alcohol at all.

Vegetable based inks... When we print on a normal (litho)printing press we only use vegetable based inks. Replacing the ‘mineral-oil’ in inks with vegetable-oil (typically made from soy-bean or linseed) reduces VOC emissions. Recently the use of vegetable based inks has become more wide spread. Occasionally, to reduce waste for short-run items, we will also print cards digitally on an indigo press powered by Green Energy. Almost all of our products are printed on eco-friendly Waterless printing presses.

You can recycle it... We ensure that everything we make can be easily recycled, so we don’t use foil, flitter, glitter or plastic-based laminates on our products.

Compostable bags... We became the first card company to use compostable bags back in 2006. Every bag we use is made from corn starch, and is certified as compostable (standard EN13432). This means it will break down in 45 days in industrial composting conditions (like those run by local authorities for garden or food waste). If you have a lovely hot compost heap or bin at home then it will also break down - that normally takes longer than 45 days - and they do need heat and moisture to compost.  Most greeting cards are still wrapped in polypropylene, (a fossil-fuel based plastic) which is hard for UK consumers to recycle. We never use oxo-degradable OPP bags which just break down into tiny pieces of plastic, but don't compost. Our compostable bags can be returned to us for industrial composting through Terracycle.

Made in the UK... It would have been easy to manufacture our products half way around the world to increase profits... but at what environmental cost? We live in the UK, as do most of our customers, so we have always printed and manufactured everything we make in the United Kingdom.

Green energy... Our offices are powered by Green Energy supplied by Ecotricity. Our cards are also printed on presses that are powered by Green Energy. 

Carbon Zero... We are a Carbon Zero company and offset our carbon emissions via CO2 Balance and their African stove project- which is also great for the local


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