Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Reusable Envelopes

open, remove contents, add new contents, seal, send, repeat.
  [vote for,

May be only a quarter baked, but somebody should figure out a good way to do this. I'm open to suggestions. Right now when you get a bill, they send along an additional envelope to send back your check -- seems like quite a waste.

I'm thinking it starts with a larger flap -- probably covering most of the back of the envelope. Could be a snap based design -- 50 little plastic snaps on the back, but you really only need to use 3 or 4 to seal it. Each snap could only be used once, and peel off the envelope once used. Voila -- multiple uses per envelope

I'm SURE there are better designs out there. Hit me...

JT, Jan 25 2001

Resealable envelopes http://www.tdludwig...nting/envelope1.jpg
I use these every day at work, a string is all that closes the back flap. You just cross off your name, and write the new name on the next line. [hookedup, Oct 04 2004]


       Snaps are likely to be expensive.   

       Perhaps just include a second flap, initially tucked inside the sealed envelope?
egnor, Jan 26 2001

       I get my telephone (and other) bills in a reusable envelope. In this case, the flap is tucked inside the envelope with the top edge of the flap glued to the inside. There is a small gap to insert a finger and slide it across to break the glue seal, and to reuse it, you just moisten the bottom of the flap and close it on the outside. The outgoing address is already pre-printed on the rear but you must provide your own stamp. To stop confusion "THIS ENVELOPE CAN BE RE-USED" is printed on the front, detailed instructions are included and the company sends it's mail postage paid.   

       However, most people choose to pay their bills at the post office instead.
mrkillboy, Jan 26 2001

       A couple of centuries ago, I think there was very little billing by mail, but when letters were sent, it was quite common for the letter to be written on one side of the paper that became the envelope. I don't think these envelopes were easily re-used, but if the bill were printed on the inside of the outer envelope, it would at least achieve the objective of eliminating a superfluous piece of paper.
beauxeault, Jan 26 2001

       netflix.com rents DVDs. They send DVDs in padded envelopes with your address on the front. Peel off an adhesive label on the front and discover their address where your address was. Only one problem, I forgot to peel off the label once. The DVD came back to me 2 days later.
wireless, May 14 2001

       I've gotten a couple of bills in reusable envelopes. The flap was on a long piece of paper that covered the front of the envelope with your address, and some post-it type glue. You peeled that off and removed the extra portion of flap, revealing the address to be returned to, put your stuff inside and lick-sealed it, and off it went.
StarChaser, May 14 2001

       Thrifty people used (WWI?) to steam envelopes entirely open, turn themselves inside out, and glue them back together for reuse. I suppose the really thrifty used the back and front of each side, too.
hello_c, May 15 2001

       UPS has them
gnormal, May 15 2001

       Baked. The utilities here in Australia do this. But you have to be sure to cross out the original address on what is now the back of the envelope, or it can bounce back to you (had this happen).
pfperry, Jul 06 2002

       My (Hebrew) nature newspaper comes in an envelope that asks people to please remove the lable and reuse the envelope. Still I'll give you a croissant, for good and helpful thoughts.
pashute, Nov 04 2002

       Perhaps, if the developer made the envelopes out of carbon fiber. Then you could add a digital data pad on the front to contain the stamp and the address. You'd have to have a usb port on the envelope and plug it into your computer to download a stamp off the internet. The address could be typed in to the data pad on the front and the text of the address would only last for a one way trip to its destiniation. (ANTI_paper rambles on about magnet area designation for another three pages)   

       so yeah...
clone5, Apr 05 2004

       One easy solution would be to not have adhesive on the flap but instead use a perforated sticker to seal the envelope. Add another sticker, change the addressee, and send it off.   

       <off topic>Back when I used to work in a university larger envelopes (~9"x11.5") would be used perhaps 50 times before they fell apart and were recycled. You'd just use the clasp to close them, write the name and department you want to send to, and cross off your name. Once the envelope was covered with names you'd affix a blank sticker to start over. We were excited when they invented more durabe plastic envelopes, but it turns out they make them such that they destroy themselves after one use. </off topic>
Worldgineer, Apr 05 2004

       How about ziplock envelopes, with flaps that have a loop and hook arrangement?
Eugene, Apr 05 2004


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