Cindi, if you lived in Australia you could particpate in the 'Cards 4 Planet Ark' program. Until the end of January and "unwanted Christmas, birthday and other greeting cards and envelopes" can be taken to into any Cole Supermarket. Or pick up a free mailer from participating post offices and send them off. to be recycled into paper pulp for new packaging or 'toilet tissue. Over 500 million cards were recycled in the 2003-04 period accord to Planet Ark.
A similar initiative can be found in the UK, operated by The Woodland Trust in concert with Recycle Now. In January 2005 they managed to recycle 58 million cards (1,150 tonnes worth) by encouraging Britons to drop old cards off at WHSmith high street stores and Tesco Extra and Superstores. The Woodland Trust figure over one billion cards normally end up in rubbish bins, the rquivalent of 55 jumbo jets. This Christmas they promoted the campaign by dressing up TV soap stars in dresses made of cards. (See pic)
But try as I might, I could find no comparable program for North America. It could be I was just looking under the wrong stones. But maybe you'll need to lobby your local recycler to set up an awareness program like those in Australia and the UK.
Of course, if you have paper recycling in your municipality, then you can ensure the paper stays out of landfill and goes on to becomes a cardboard box, note pad or similar. As for those cards with gaudy covers of metallic, glitter, plastic or other such non-paper coatings then you might need to rip these off first s as to not contaminate the other paper.
I do have a friend who routinely cuts the interesting fronts off cards and uses them for postcards, or next years gift tags.
Sorry we were not more help. Do our readers have any bright ideas?