It’s hard not to know about all the environmental programs, processes, successes and failures in our world. It’s part of our culture. Like you, I recycle bottles, cans, newspaper, cardboard, packaging, cell phones and batteries. I understand renewable energy — solar, biofuel and wind — and my home is energy efficient.
By taking responsibility, we’re all helping to heal our planet — one environmental decision at a time.
And, just like we’re helping with what we can control environmentally in our lives, the Postal Service, with the help of its employees and customers, is too; changes in the way it does business, operates its facilities and educates its customers.
This month, the results of its first greenhouse gas report — its carbon footprint — shows that the Postal Service’s “direct” carbon footprint is only one-twentieth of 1 percent of the total greenhouse gas emissions in America.
Considering USPS has 220,000 vehicles on the road to transport and deliver mail, and more than 34,000 facilities, that’s an extraordinary accomplishment. The agency is also on track to meet its goals of reducing energy use 30 percent, and petroleum use 20 percent, by 2015.
Kim Tauche recycles mail she’s already read at the Browns Mills, NJ, Post Office.
One innovative example is the 6,000 Post Offices nationwide with recycling containers in their lobbies. The program diverted 24,000 tons of paper from landfills back into manufacturing last year — this in addition to the one million tons of wastepaper, cardboard, plastics, cans and other items recycled every year.
Express Mail and Priority Mail packaging is free and recyclable, and because of its design and manufacturing, more than 15,000 metric tons of carbon-equivalent emissions are prevented every year. Plus, just about anything you can do at the Post Office, you can do online, and your carrier can pick up packages and deliver your stamps when they deliver your mail.
As an independent federal agency that doesn’t receive tax dollars, the Postal Service isn’t required to take all these steps to be an environmental steward, but it’s the right thing to do — for all of us.