In a previous article I wrote focused on receiving and viewing your postal mail online that reduces your junk mail and saves the environment at the same time.  Today, I’d like to look at the other side of postal mail – sending postal mail online.

Sending Postal Mail

Traditionally, we send postal mail by writing the letter, sealing it in an envelope, licking the stamp, and putting it in the mailbox for delivery.  As computers become more commonplace, we begin typing our letters in Microsoft Word and then print it out to mail.  This practice continues to be the current trend over the past decade or so.

Problems with Sending Postal Mail

You would think that there’s not much anyone can do to reduce environmental footprint when it comes to sending postal mail.  Yes, you can use recycled paper (paper fiber can only be recycled about 3 times only) and envelopes.

You can send email instead of postal mail.  But the issue remains when you are required to send postal mail.  There are still 15% of people out there in the US who do not have Internet access, according to a study that is posted in one of Postful’s blog articles.  In addition, there is a large number of international mail getting delivered everyday.  International mail costs more money for you, wastes more environmental resources, and takes longer to get delivered.

Sending Postal Mail Online

One innovative way to sending postal mail is by doing it online.  Imagine uploading a PDF or Word document to some web site.  Your letter gets printed out, stamped, and delivered via postal mail.  No need for printer, no need for tasting stamp flavors. And possibly the mail gets delivered faster than if you were to do it yourself.  Well, some services are already available that could take us towards this goal.

The possibilities are broad and life-altering.  Think about the situation where you need to mail a letter from the U.S. to someone in Italy.  If you were to do this yourself through standard first class airmail, it’d probably take a week or so.  Now imagine a service that has stores or locations around the world, one of them being in Rome, Italy.  You upload your document online to the service.  An employee or personnel in Italy prints out your document and mails it on your behalf.  Your mail would be delivered in a couple days and would cost cheaper.  At the same time, you reduce your environment impact since no airplane or ship is shipping your letter overseas.

So exactly who offers the service to send postal mail online?  To name a few, there are Postful, PostalMethods, Email2Postal, and NetGram.  Each has its own merits.  Some have locations worldwide, some don’t.  Some offer you the ability to send postal mail through email.  Wild Apricot wrote a good review on these web-to-postal mail services.  ReadWriteWeb wrote a more detailed review of Postful.  I plan to write one about Postful in the near future as well.

100% Digital Mail Process

Combine web-to-postal mail services such as Postful with online postal mailbox services like MyPostalMail, you can literally manage your postal mail entirely online from anywhere, anytime.  I believe these services will not only dramatically alter the way we use postal mail, but imagine the reduction in environment impact that these services can offer.  Convenience at the speed of Internet.  I only have one word to say about all this:  Wow!

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