Have Old and Unused Business Cards? Try These 12 Recycling Ideas

Exchanging business cards typically ends in a pile of cards in your wallet with no purpose. Get ideas for green ways to dispose of those unused business cards.

If you have ever ordered or exchanged business cards, you probably have a few extra’s lying around. Whether they’re outdated or you switched to digital business cards, you likely don’t need those old cards any more. If you’re looking for a way to get rid of old business cards that don't involve a trash can, keep reading for the best things to do with your old cards. 

What should I do with old business cards?

Reuse and recycle old business cards with these twelve ideas. From fun crafts to helping the environment, there are plenty of ways to get that pile of business cards off your desk. 

1. Compost.

Taking business cards and composting them can take some time, but this disposal method is extremely eco-friendly. If you’re unsure what kinds of papers are compostable and how you can compost at home, we found a guide to help get you started.  

Compost old and unused paper business cards
Photo by Gabriel Jimenez on Unsplash


Stop folding over the page to mark where you left off and use old business cards instead. 

3. Take notes.

Run out of note cards? Use the back of old business cards to take notes, make cue cards, or even create labels. 

4. Create custom wall art.

Paint over old business cards to create some recycled wall art. 

5. Get a free lunch.

If your business card's contact information is still up-to-date, use them to enter free lunch drawings at restaurants. Keep an eye out for a bowl to drop your card into at the cash register. 

6. Make a collage.

Do you need inexpensive wall art for the office? Take those old business cards and make a collage of your business's logo. You can also create an accent wall with all of the business cards you have received. 

7.  Recycle.

You may be curious if business cards are recyclable. In most cases, you can toss old cards in the recycling bin and feel comfortable knowing that a recycling center will process them. Before recycling those cards, be sure to check your local recycling rules to determine what materials they accept.

Recycle old and unused business cards
Photo by Gary Chan on Unsplash

8. Jewelry storage.

Keeping track of earrings and pins can get tricky, especially when traveling, but an old business card is the perfect way to keep those delicate items stored simply. Just punch a couple of holes and secure them to the card. 

9. Learn origami. 

Learn how to turn old business cards into interesting origami pieces. Follow a guide, or experiment with creating all on your own. 

10. Custom gift tags.

Use the blank side of discarded business cards or paint over cards to create a blank slate to use as gift tags. For a little extra fun, use this as craft time for kids to paint on one side. 

11. Make compostable confetti 

Confetti can make a fun addition to table settings, gift bags, and photos, but it can often be harmful to the environment. Use a hole punch to make eco-friendly confetti with old business cards. Just be sure to check that they don’t contain plastic or have a coating, and always remember to pick up any confetti after enjoying it. 

Make compostable confetti from old business cards

12. Paper plant pots

Make DIY plant pots that are perfect for starting new seeds by folding business cards into a box shape.

Should you shred your old business cards?

Shredding is an unnecessary extra step unless your business cards contain sensitive information. Once shredded, paper becomes harder to recycle and may need to be taken to a specialized facility. 

How can I reduce business card waste? 

If you're tired of having piles of business cards, HiHello can help with the best eco-friendly business cards. Paper business cards are dead, and with HiHello’s digital cards, you’ll never have to create paper card waste again. HiHello is the best way to create a customizable business card that you can share with anyone from anywhere. You can scan paper business cards into your contacts so you can keep networking paperless. Learn how to take your entire office paperless with our paperless office guide

Reduce your environmental impact with HiHello

Learn more about the impact of business cards on the environment.

Main photo by Mediamodifier on Unsplash.

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