I love Facebook birthday, Christmas, Valentine’s and Arbor Day greetings, but there’s nothing like a card received in the mail to make one feel truly special. And while I’m a huge advocate of cutting down on junk mail, and regularly call catalog companies to take me off their lists, who doesn’t love getting a real letter (or even a postcard) in the mail? I’ve taken to sending myself, my friends and my boyfriend cards too. Who cares if you get back before your card makes it home? A greeting to oneself from a specific place on your vacation reminds you of that time and place when you wrote it. I still have postcards I sent myseld from my first trip to Amsterdam when I was 20 scribbling them in a cafe.
When I was a kid, my friend and I used to explore abandoned houses in our woodsy hometown. One of them was filled with letters from before and during WWII, and I spent hours reading through them, imagining the lives of the people who wrote them – what they looked like and how they dressed. I sometimes wonder in this age of electronic everything, what we will leave behind for kids to find. Just broken-down modular IKEA furniture and white-walled rooms filled with wires and cords? Sometimes tangible beats intangible; sometimes things should have a permanent imprint.
Starre Vartan is founder and editor-in-chief of Eco-Chick and author of The Eco-Chick Guide to Life (St. Martin’s Press). A green living expert, she contributes to The Huffington Post and Mother Nature Network (MNN.com)