What to Do With Unused Business Cards? Try This 12 Steps to Recycle

unused business card

What to Do With Unused Business Cards?

Identify ways to recycle your old business cards and reduce waste.


Business cards have become a staple for professionals to exchange contact information. However, as time passes by and career paths change, we often accumulate stacks and stacks of old and unused business cards that end up sitting idle in drawers or cluttering our desks. 

Instead of letting them go to waste, let’s get creative! Why not get creative and repurpose them? 

In this blog post, we’ll explore 12 innovative recycling ideas for those old and unused business cards. Let’s turn them into something useful and eco-friendly!

12 Best Ways to Recycle Old Unused Business Cards

There are numerous ways to recycle old unused business cards. Let’s dive in!!

  • DIY Gift Tags

Transform your unused business cards into unique and personalized gift tags. Cut them into various shapes and sizes, punch a hole, and attach them to presents with ribbons or strings. Add a handwritten message, and you’ll have a thoughtful and eco-conscious touch to your gifts.

  • Mini Notebook

Bind your old unused business cards together to create a mini notebook. Punch holes along one edge and thread them together with twine or a small binder ring. Use the blank sides for notes, sketches, or quick reminders.

  • Bookmarks

Cut your business cards into long rectangular strips and laminate them for durability. Thus, you can make attractive bookmarks that can be shared with friends, colleagues, or even donated to libraries.

  • Earring Holders

Turn your old business cards into practical earring holders. Cut slits along one edge of the card and insert the earring hooks or wires. This clever hack keeps your earrings organized and prevents them from tangling.

  • Collage Art

Let your creativity flow by incorporating business cards into mixed media collage art. Cut them into interesting shapes, arrange them on a canvas or board, and glue them down along with other materials like photographs, magazine cutouts, or fabric scraps.

  • DIY Notepads

Gather several business cards and glue them together along one edge. Flip them over, and you have a DIY notepad! It’s perfect for jotting down quick notes, shopping lists, or phone messages.

  • Unique Business Card Holders

Repurpose your old business cards into unique business card holders. Fold them into origami-inspired designs or create small pockets by gluing the sides together. Use them to store and display your new business cards or those received from others.

  • Plant Markers

Give your garden a touch of creativity by turning old business cards into plant markers. Cut them into small rectangular strips, write the names of different plants or herbs, or whatever you have grown into the pot and insert them into the soil beside each plant. This way, you’ll never forget what’s growing in your garden. And looks super cute, too!

  • Luggage Tags

Make personalized luggage tags using your old business cards. Laminate them or cover them with clear adhesive sheets for durability. Punch a hole in one corner, attach a sturdy string or metal ring, and you have a distinctive luggage tag that stands out at the airport.

  • Password Reminder Cards

In this digital age, it’s common to have numerous online accounts with different passwords. Repurpose your old business cards into password reminder cards. Write down website names and corresponding passwords on the cards and keep them in a secure place, such as a small cardholder or a locked drawer.

  • Arts and Crafts Projects for Kids

Engage your little ones in creative activities by providing them with old business cards. They can use them for collages, miniature houses, create houses, paper airplanes, or as stencils for drawing shapes. The possibilities are endless, and it’s a great way to encourage their imagination. 

  • Donations to Charities or Schools

If you have a large number of old business cards which you no longer need, then please consider donating them to charitable organizations or schools. It can be used for various crafts and related items. Trust me, it’s worth it and can be best utilized in an effective way!

  • Should You Shred Your Old Business Cards?

The decision to shred your old business cards depends on your individual circumstances and priorities. If you value privacy, security, and environmental consciousness, shredding can be a suitable option. However, if you don’t have particular concerns in these areas, exploring alternative recycling or repurposing methods can be equally beneficial.

How Can I Reduce Business Card Waste?

Reducing business card waste is an important step towards practising sustainability and minimizing environmental impact. Here are several strategies you can implement to help reduce business card waste!

  • Adopt Digital Alternatives

Consider transitioning to digital business cards, which can be easily shared via email, messaging apps, or digital business card platforms. This eliminates the need for physical cards altogether, reducing waste.

  • Print Responsibly 

If you still prefer physical business cards, print them responsibly. Use eco-friendly printing methods and choose recycled or sustainable cardstock. Opt for soy-based or vegetable-based inks instead of conventional petroleum-based inks.

  • Minimize Quantity

Be attentive to how many business cards you actually need. Only print a sufficient quantity that will be used within a reasonable timeframe. Avoid ordering excessive amounts that may end up going to waste.

  • Update Contact Details 

Instead of printing new sets of cards every time your contact information changes, consider using add-ons or stickers to update existing cards. This way, you can make changes without discarding a whole batch of cards.

  • Opt for Dual-Purpose Cards

Design your business cards to serve additional purposes, such as appointment reminders, loyalty program cards, or discount coupons. This encourages recipients to keep the card and use it for its practical value, reducing the likelihood of it being discarded.

  • Share Cards Strategically

Rather than distributing cards indiscriminately, target your card sharing efforts. Give them to individuals who are genuinely interested or have a potential need for your services. This ensures that the cards are more likely to be valued and kept.

  • Network Digitally 

Explore digital networking platforms and social media to connect with potential clients or collaborators. Instead of exchanging physical cards, exchange contact information electronically. 

  • Repurpose or Recycle

If you have a large number of old or unused business cards, consider repurposing them for various craft projects or donate them to schools, art programs, or community organizations. If they are no longer usable, recycle them responsibly to ensure that the paper is properly recovered.

Wrapping Up!

By implementing these practices, you can significantly reduce business card waste and contribute to a more sustainable approach to networking and communication. Remember, every small step towards waste reduction counts and make a positive impact on the environment.

Frequently Asked Questions

There are multiple ways to reuse old business cards in an effective manner. You can use them into DIY gift tags, earring holders, notepads, unique business card holders, etc.

Yes obviously, you can donate your old business cards to schools or charities. They can reuse them for varied craft projects. One can reach out to nearest schools or charities to donate them so that they can best utilize the old unused business cards.

The decision to scrap the old unused business card may vary on individual priorities. If you value your privacy and safety, scrapping can be the ultimate option. 

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