How many envelopes wasted?

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

How many envelopes from letters and other materials received on a daily basis in our homes and businesses are wasted despite the fact that the backs are clean and thus could be used for notes? One can but wonder as to how many hundreds and more of notepads this would be equal to.

sugru-envelope-back_webWe often hear the term that something was designed on the back of an envelope (even of a cigarette packet) but very few, I am sure, reuse the back of envelopes in this or a similar way. Most will simpl, without a second thought, throw them away.

I tend to keep all envelopes of A5 and A4 size and those that can be reused as envelopes for letters and such, such as by folding an A4 down to a C5 and an A5 to a C6 envelope, while with others the backs are used as notepaper.

Now the other day I received some sugru samples from, well, sugru and their C5 envelope was printed with a “To Do List” on the back and I must say that that idea is a marvelous one. What is all envelopes were, for instance, lines on the back, such as the C4 and C5 ones so that people would automatically recognize a reuse for them as notepad pages? There is a thought for the makers of envelopes, I should think.

While it is true that, in the end, after having been used for notes, drawings, or such the envelope will get thrown out more than likely anyway, but that is not too tragic. At least it was been given a second life as notepad, even if but for a while and has saved other paper from being wasted in the process.

In times gone by, like so many other things, the backs of envelopes were not wasted but used for writing upon and it was common for such notes to be, also, retained in someone's filing system, and why not.

With all our technology and also now the developing green consciousness I sometimes do not think that we have progressed at all in comparison, when it concerns the green issues of life, and think that many of our ancestors were much better at it than are we. The need for thrift had, I know, quite a lot to do with it but why do we behave so different then today, I wonder.

Many in the green movement even cannot see this reuse and tend to go out and buy recycled paper notepads rather than making use of what comes through their letterbox and that of their offices day in day out. Those going out and buy recycled paper notepads (and other recycled products) rather than reusing actually think that they do a good deed for the environment. Reuse in this, as in so many other areas is totally overlooked often because we seem to have been totally brainwashed into recycling and buying green products rather than using our brains.

Most people feel so please with themselves, believing they have such a green conscience, when they throw such envelopes in the recycling bin and this is the problem the recycling mantra per se. it stops us, it would appear, from using our brains and finding reuses for our “waste”. Time to rethink and for a different road to travel.

© 2014