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What is the digital divide? And, what role do envelopes and paper play when it comes to the digital divide? The simplest explanation is that the digital divide represents the division between people with and without access to the Internet and computer technology. This gap is created by more than just physical access to smartphones, computer tablets and the Internet. It also includes an assumption of digital readiness or the ability to use those technologies. Many people don’t have the skills needed to use the Internet, a computer or smartphone, so there is a divide of digital readiness as well. Computer or technology illiteracy is a real thing and affects many people. The digital divide can be examined and subdivided into multiple causes created by different income levels, educational levels, the age of users and their geographical locations. Envelopes and paper build an extremely valuable bridge across this technology created chasm.
Have you ever just sat and wondered “what is the future of paper?” It’s a perfectly understandable question since scientists and technologists have been trumpeting the soon-to-be death of paper for the last forty years. In fact, if paper could talk, it might very happily paraphrase a famous quotation attributed to Mark Twain… ”the news of my demise has been greatly exaggerated.” Admittedly, this is a very rough paraphrase of the famous quote but it is very fitting since paper was supposed to be a distant memory well into the 21st century. But in spite of the death knell that has been sounded repeatedly since the 1970’s…paper is still very much here and going strong. In fact, paper has not only returned from the dead but is once again gaining in popularity. We will look at the future of paper through various lenses including current usage levels, consumer preferences, and sustainability.
Would you print your checking account information on the outside of an envelope before you put it in the mail? What about your social security number? If you use a regular plain white envelope, you may as well have left your personal information in plain view. However, if you’ve ever noticed envelopes lined with a cross-hatched blue or black ink pattern on the inside; you’re already familiar with something called the security envelope. But why do we call them security envelopes? read more…
When selecting the right custom envelopes, it is beneficial to understand how envelope sizes came about so we will need to take a trip back in time. In the beginning, the very earliest of beginnings, an envelope could be many things, a leather-wrapped parchment or even sealed in clay. It’s been an essential part of the communication process throughout history, a sort of silent messenger. There are references to envelopes being used to deliver important messages throughout the Bible. However, in modern times, we don’t reach for a wax-sealed scroll or sheet of clay to protect our precious messages as they are sent out into the world. We use paper. So how did we get from there to here? The Envelope Manufacturers Association (EMA) Guide to Envelopes & Mailing will provide a useful map for this journey. read more…
There is no denying that green is in. Everywhere you turn companies are wooing the environmentally-conscious customer by claiming that their paper-free billing, whether it’s e-billing or e-statements, is “better for the environment” or “saves trees.” But these same companies pay very little, or no, attention to the environmental impact of their digital infrastructure. So, is going paperless true?
Many of these same claims that are being made by so many organizations are either unsubstantiated or misleading. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has stated that “Marketers should not make broad, unqualified general environmental benefit claims like ‘green’ or ‘eco-friendly.’ Broad claims are difficult to substantiate, if not impossible.” They have also established “green” guidelines to help define what can and can’t be claimed. read more…
Are custom printed envelopes a right? More and more often, we are asked to choose whether or not we want to receive items electronically or through the mail. Whether we are signing up for a new power company, a medical provider or even a newspaper subscription we are asked if we want to receive all correspondence electronically. This holds true for both the government and the private sector. It’s become almost second nature and is no longer considered an even slightly unusual request. So where is our awareness of envelopes as a right?