Washington: Holly branches and pine boughs aren't the only green signs of the holiday season — mailers and shippers can also count on the Postal Service to help them go green, save green, and be green this time of year.
"The Postal Service is one of the greenest mailing and shipping companies in the world," said Thomas G. Day, chief sustainability officer. "We offer more than a half-billion eco-friendly mailing and shipping supplies, free package pickup and holiday cards printed on recycled paper available in 2,000 Post Offices, and the Postal Service is leading the adoption of green practices by engaging our employees, customers and suppliers."
The Postal Service offers customers options to help reduce their carbon footprints, just as it consistently seeks ways to reduce its own environmental impact.
"We have a 'fleet of feet' delivering mail the greenest way possible, by walking," Day added. "Nearly 9,000 of our carriers will be delivering holiday mail on foot this season. And we also have nearly 80,000 'park and loop' routes, where carriers will drive vehicles from the Post Office to neighborhoods and then deliver those holiday packages and cards on foot."
The Postal Service has established rigorous sustainable green packaging standards for its Priority Mail and Express Mail supplies, and a majority of ReadyPost boxes, envelopes and labels. By buying packaging made with recycled content, USPS helps sustain green jobs in America as it reduces greenhouse gas emissions to the environment. Priority Mail and Express Mail supplies are free to customers and can be delivered at no charge by ordering from the Post Office that's always open 24 hours a day.
Tens of billions of postage products, including stamps and stamped envelopes and postal cards, are made with post-consumer recycled content, providing an environmentally responsible use for America's waste paper. Festive holiday stamps can add just the right touch to seasonal greeting cards and a large assortment of holiday stamps and customized holiday cards is available at the Postal Store or the Design Mail and Postage Store.
Customers can save fuel this Yule by ordering free shipping supplies, print shipping labels and pay for postage, all from the comfort of home or office. The Postal Service will pick up packages free the next business day and send them on their merry way to cheer loved ones wherever they are. Skip the trip and save time, money and fuel this holiday season.
The Postal Service will deliver 16.5 billion cards, letters and packages between Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve using the largest civilian fleet in the world — 215,000 vehicles. Among them are a range of alternative fuel-capable vehicles, including three-wheeled electric vehicles with zero gas emissions that operate at a cost of only 2 cents a mile, as well as vehicles that can operate on compressed natural gas, propane, ethanol, and fuel cell. There also will be 30 large all-electric trucks delivering holiday mail in Manhattan.
The Postal Service has made recycling a priority. Secure recycle bins in more than 10,000 Post Office lobbies make it easy for customers to read, respond and recycle their PO Box mail during the holidays, and helped customers divert approximately 56,000 tons of paper from landfills last year. The Postal Service recycled nearly 225,000 tons of paper, plastics and other waste in 2010, which avoided more than 700,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions. Customers can go online to find one of 100,000 recycling centers around the country.
The Postal Service has won more than 75 environmental awards, including 40 White House Closing the Circle, 10 Environmental Protection Agency WasteWise Partner of the Year, Climate Action Champion, Direct Marketing Association Green Echo, Postal Technology International Environmental Achievement and Climate Registry Gold Status.
For more information about going green with USPS, visit usps.com/green.