Sustainable Practices: GreEnvelope

30Oct07

Jung-Eun, Sandra, Greg and myself designed a reusable, recyclable envelope for our product service system assignment for sustainable practices. Titled the GreEnvelope, made from Tyvek, a DuPont polymer analogous to paper except much more durable, tear resistant and a vapor barrier, it was designed to close with a plastic zip and lock with zip tie. We built a working prototype to demonstrate how a user can receive mail, open it, re-address it, place new contents inside and seal it knowing that it is tamper proof.

envelope_instructions.jpg

Tyvek envelopes are commonly used by the USPS and FedEx, but as single use cradle to grave products. Each envelope would carry a unique identifying code (bar or rfid) that would be logged and paid for on-line through an account, which already exist. These could be picked up and delivered like regular mail and tracked to its destination where it would be registered as having arrived. If a single entity accumulates these they can bundle them for the mail person to pick up and credit their account for the donation. The hope is that these enter main stream culture and as an efficient, environmental means for delivery as well as statement of purpose, ie: fashionable. It is a well known fact that reusing something is more effective environmentally as far as total energy consumption and carbon emission output than recycling something.

greenvelope1.jpg

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