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Paper, Papyrus, Papel

By Paige Wills in Facts About Deforestation, Facts About The Paper Industry, How Paper Is Environmentally Friendly, Why Choose Paper?

Back of the above envelope, showing an additio...

Back of the above envelope, showing an additional receiving office postmark (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This will be my last blog. I just want to reiterate the importance paper plays in our everyday lives. When I started blogging about paper, I honestly thought I would run out of ideas in a month. However, it’s amazing – everywhere I look I see paper. Paper and paper-based communication stories are in the news a whole lot more than you may think. I guess I didn’t notice because I wasn’t looking. However, my challenge to you is to look around your daily life and see how much you encounter paper and the important role it plays.

I also want you to remember a few things:

  • Yes – paper does come from trees. However, that doesn’t make it bad. If we purchase paper that comes from sustainable forests only, we will help stop the illegal logging that is destroying our forests. Money speaks (which is ironic because it’s paper!).
  • Paper is recyclable. So recycle it! Every company should be committed to going green, especially since we are on track to have the hottest year on record. However, you aren’t helping the environment by not using paper. The paper industry is a major supplier of jobs. If we stop using paper, people will lose jobs, which is the last thing we need in this bad economy. Also, tree farms provide oxygen and help sequester CO2, which helps to combat global warming.

I hope you have enjoyed my blogs over the past year, and that it has helped bring to light the positive aspects of the paper industry.

For more information on the future of paper-based communication, please visit the Envelope Manufacturers Association’s website, Two Sides website and blog.

Keep on writing…and thanks for reading!

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Fun Fact About The First Olympic Pins

By Paige Wills in Facts About The Paper Industry, Why Choose Paper?

Cropped transparent version of Image:Olympic f...

Cropped transparent version of Image:Olympic flag.svg (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Since the Olympics are just a few weeks away, I thought I would talk about how paper ties into the Olympics. I bet you’ll never guess what the first Olympic Pins were made from…I’m sure if I said metal you would be suspicious since this blog is dedicated entirely to paper.

In fact, according to an article by the Coca Cola Company titled, “Olympic Pin Trading,” “The first Olympic “pins” – actually cardboard disks – were originally designed as colorful badges to identify athletes, officials and the news media for the first modern Olympic Games, at Athens in 1896. Some Olympians that summer were exchanging their pins as gestures of good will, and a tradition started to take root.”

I tried to find a picture of the first Olympic pins; however, I was not able to find one. I imagine that they are quite rare and valuable.

Did you know the first Olympic pins were made from cardboard? Have you ever seen one? Do you collect Olympic pins.

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The Talent of Making Paper by Hand

By Paige Wills in Facts About The Paper Industry, How Paper Is Environmentally Friendly, Why Choose Paper?

English: A 2x3 segment panoramic view of the G...

English: A 2x3 segment panoramic view of the Great Hall of the Library of Congress in Washington D.C., United States. Français : Vue panoramique du Grand Hall de la Bibliothèque du Congrès à Washington, États-Unis. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When many people think of how paper is made, they think of modern inventions – the printing press and paper mills. Most people don’t realize that there are still a few people who purposely make paper by hand in today’s technological society.

According to an article in the New York Times Magazine by Mark Levine titled, “Can a Papermaker Help to Save Civilization?” Timothy Barrett “…has dedicated his life to unlocking the mysteries of paper, which he regards as both the elemental stuff of civilization and an endangered species in a digital culture.”

Levine wrote that connoisseurs consider Barrett’s paper to be some of the “world’s most perfect paper.” The Library of Congress and Newberry Library in Chicago often use his paper to mend some of their most important items. Also, his paper is underneath the U.S. Constitution, Bill of Rights and Declaration of Independence. In the article, Barrett said a visitor probably wouldn’t notice the paper underneath those important documents; however, he said, “But if you kind of turn your head sideways and squint, you can see it.”

Many people say that the days of paper are over. Digital technology is going to replace paper. However, paper has an enduring quality that digital technologies just can’t seem to match.

Here is a short quote from Barrett in the article:

“Sometimes I worry that handmade books and paper are going the way of the horse-drawn carriage,” he mused, “and that I’m one of those enthusiasts who get really into making replicas of buggies. But I don’t think so.” He continued: “Paper is a big part of who we are. I like to imagine someone falling in love, and writing a note to his sweetheart on a piece of well-made paper. It’s got to be more meaningful than sending an e-mail.”

If you get a chance, you should read this article. It goes into detail about the process of making paper by hand as well as the history of paper. It’s very enlightening.

Share your thoughts.

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A Fortune Cookie With No Fortune?

By Paige Wills in Why Choose Paper?

Photo of an open fortune cookie

Photo of an open fortune cookie (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

After ever Chinese meal in the United States, Americans expect to receive a fortune cookie that has some surprise wisdom and maybe some lucky winning lottery numbers.  Fortune cookies can be deep or a little comical. However, it’s always a fun tradition to share your fortunes after your meal – but could you imagine a fortune cookie with no fortune? A fortune cookie without a fortune would just be an average cookie. It’s that little piece of paper that makes it great!

I make this point to reiterate the importance paper plays in our daily lives – it is even incorporated into our foods. That’s why we need to continue to support the paper industry because; would you want a fortune cookie with no paper fortune? That is one area that can’t really go digital. Digital fortune cookies – scanning a QR Code on your smart phone to receive your fortune just wouldn’t be the same.

On the other hand, many people don’t really know where the fortune cookie originated, and it is somewhat disputed as to who is credited with its invention. However, according to a New York Times article by Jennifer Lee titled, “Solving a Riddle Wrapped in a Mystery Inside a Cookie,” some three billion fortune cookies are made primarily in the United States each year. They are served in Chinese restaurants in many different countries including: Mexico, Italy, France, and Britain. Surprisingly, fortune cookies are not found in China.

However, many people don’t really know where the fortune cookie originated, and it is somewhat disputed as to who is credited with its invention. According to the article, fortune cookies are not from China as many think. They actually originated in Japan.

Don’t forget to recycle your fortunes!

Share your thoughts? Where did you think fortune cookies originated? How would you feel if fortune cookies had no fortunes?

View this short video from ABC News about the fortune cookie, how it’s made, and its history.

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The Education Center At The Vietnam Veterans Memorial

By Paige Wills in Facts About The Paper Industry

Names of Vietnam veterans at Vietnam Veterans ...

Names of Vietnam veterans at Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I was watching television, and I saw a commercial that was promoting a new education center for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. It reminded me of a past blog I wrote (The Importance of Paper at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial) about all of the trinkets and letters that are left at the wall. When I visited last fall, the wall was full of letters to fallen soldiers. This education center will be a place to remember and preserve those letters and mementos.

According to, the Education Center will give a face to the faceless. Many people today were not alive when the Vietnam War occurred, and the soldiers who do remember the war are beginning to pass away. This is a great way to preserve and remember the past.

According to the website, the “Wall of Faces” exhibit will display the faces of the 58,282 soldiers whose names are memorialized in the Vietnam Memorial. The “Collection Section” will display over 200,000 personal items that were left at the wall. It will include items such as mementos, tokens, trinkets, letters and photographs.

According to the video (below) on the website, the education center will share the story of Vietnam soldiers. Upon entering the center, guests will receive a soldier’s dog tags. When walking around the center, they will have opportunities to learn more about that solider.

I think this will be a great way to remember fallen soldiers and pay tribute to those who fought for our country. It will leave a lasting impact. I also think it’s great that visitors will be able to see personal letters, photographs, and trinkets that were left for soldiers on the wall. It’s nice to know that these items were cherished and not simply discarded.

To donate, get involved or learn more, visit Here is a short YouTube video about the center.

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