The Post Office is Beyond ‘Green!’

Filed under Business, Environment, Green Living

The Post Office is Beyond ‘Green!’

Two of the most ‘talked about’ subjects in this world right now are the ‘greening’ of the world and the world of social media. So…I thought it would be interesting to take a look at the combination of the two.

Recently, I was doing a direct mail campaign and I came across a website at the United States Postal Service dedicated to how and what they were doing in order to make the ‘mail’ much more eco-friendly.

At the website:, all people can learn about the fact that the Postal Service of the United States is actually the first shipping company to achieve what they refer to as: “Cradle-to-Cradle CM certification” for their packaging. From the very beginning, when they were first designing their packaging, the Postal Service took a look at everything from energy and water use to manufacturing to how a product – at the end of it’s usage – can safely be recycled. Now, what this essentially means is that all of us can send eco-friendly mail and packages nationally and internationally. The best part is, it doesn’t cost any extra money whatsoever.

Now, the ‘greenest’ way that the postal service helps is by using the one thing that the rest of us are using each and every day – computers. I spoke recently about the fact that direct mail campaigns were a real pain. And I don’t even want to think back to the 1980’s when I was doing at least two campaigns a week at a company I once worked for that had me sending out thousands of pieces of direct mail per month. I mean, you are talking junk mail galore – that was not made from recycled paper and ended up in wastepaper baskets all across the country.

Now through computers and the world of social media, this has been changed astronomically. (Thank goodness). And on the website above, the U.S. Postal Service delves into the fact that they are most definitely on board when it comes to using the computer to save the environment.

You see, almost everything you do standing at the Post Office, you can do online. And you save yourself the hassle of…well…standing in line. You also save the gas that it takes to get there, so you are killing two birds with one stone, so to speak, by saving gas and stopping that little extra ‘poof’ of emissions into the ozone layer by heading to your laptop and printing shipping labels, scheduling pickups, buying stamps, and more.

There is also a lot to learn on their website about the Environmental Protection Agency and how and why they recognize ALL mail as recyclable mixed paper waste, which means you can recycle as well as reuse certain products.

Another amazing ‘page’ on the Postal Service site talks a great deal about what they are doing when it comes to mail delivery and fuel. It will come as no surprise that the Postal Service is the largest “civilian vehicle fleet in the nation.” But what may surprise you is the fact that there are over 43,000 trucks that are ‘alternative-fuel capable.’ They talk about their E-85 alternative-fuel project which put 584 ethanol-powered vehicles on the road in just one state alone. Another issue that was surprising was the fact that General Motors and the Postal Service have worked together to test the “GM HydroGen3” fuel cell minivan when delivering mail in the Washington, D.C. metro area and Irvine, CA – “the first commercial use of a fuel cell vehicle in the nation.” They are also working on projects that include advanced diesel vehicles, hybrid electric vehicles, and electric CitiVans (these are actually zero-emission vehicles.)

And their good ‘green’ work doesn’t stop there. From reducing the energy they use in their buildings across the country, to making a third of their mail deliveries on foot, our nation’s largest mail carrier is ‘walking the walk’ that the rest of us need to follow.

On top of the brilliant work that the Postal Service is doing, there is also a slew of businesses out there who are creating direct mail, as well as packaging supplies – envelopes, boxes, containers, etc. – and ALL of these amazing companies can be found by simply searching for ‘eco-friendly packaging’ on Google. The upside is that there are too many companies to list, which means everyone is trying their hardest to make sure that the mail that’s being sent all over the world will not be another ‘nail’ in the proverbial coffin when it comes to the ruining of our planet.

Yes, the World Wide Web does its part as well. One of the best experiences (and most fun, by the way) was creating a greeting card at one of these amazing sites where you can send a card for everything from birthdays to weddings to Christmas cheer without having to use any packaging materials whatsoever. Without moving from in front of your laptop, you can create a message to the ones you love. You can pick out designs, add music, add pictures – heck, you can create the most specialized card in the universe, simply ‘point and click’ and in seconds your message is delivered.

By the way, another great facet of this particular application is the fact that if you’re anything like me and end up forgetting the dates of certain events, you can pre-program the calendar on your computer so it beeps at you to let you know that it’s time to make a card! Then, you get to have fun making it. Works on all levels.

You see? This is what I mean. Every week when we talk about the amazing ways that this nation can ‘go green’ it does the heart good to know that we are moving in the right direction. I was thrilled to see the article about ‘Green Weddings’ get such lovely comments, and readers were even kind enough to ‘weigh-in’ and offer other sites and books for the bride-to-be to find ways to make her ‘special day’ one that was perfect for not only her, but also the planet.

So people, continue to head to The Green Register for the latest in everything from politics and the EPA to articles about how to save and recycle to learning about companies that are making huge leaps and strides into the betterment of our world.

And also take the time to do your own personal searches about various subjects you want to know more about. From the ‘greening’ of your local Post Office to how you can make the holidays this year seriously ‘green’ by using eco-friendly products and services – there is a never-ending supply of information out there that can make this world live a longer, healthier life. It’s time to get involved and have a whole lot of fun!

Until Next Time, Everybody!


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