‘Go Green’ with the U.S. Post Office
A few weeks ago, one of our energy update posts featured a blurb about the new ‘Go Green’ stamps now offered by the post office. These stamps, released on Earth Day 2011, are “forever” stamps covered with images of people doing little green acts. One says ‘Turn down your thermostat’, and another ‘Choose to walk’. These stamps were the center of a pretty long conversation between my kids and I during a rather lengthy wait in line at our local post office, but that is a blog entry for another day. Instead I’d like to go in another direction.
The post office is not an institution that screams ‘green’ to me. Instead, all those paper letters (instead of digital versions) and vehicles driving back and forth to deliver them, generally scream- at the top of their lungs- huge carbon footprint to me. This strange image of ‘go-green’ messaging from a seemingly huge polluter made me curious. And as so often happens when curiosity strikes me, I ended up on an internet search with my friend Google. What I found totally changed by ‘eco-view’ of the Post Office so I thought I would share with you.
The USPS was the first federal agency to publicly report on its emissions. Its ‘footprint’ is only one-twentieth of one percent of total greenhouse emissions in the U.S.- and getting smaller. At their official website, www.usps.com, I found myself drooling over their 2010 Sustainability Report. Their ‘green’ goals are spectacular, and even more amazing is the progress they’ve made already. Their energy goal of reducing total facility energy use by 30% by FY 2015 is now, in 2011, reduced by 29.4%. Their goal of reducing water use by 10% has already been surpassed at 10.9%! Their summary snapshot lists goals for transportation, greener post offices and plants, product stewardship and supplier collaboration. Even more- the post office encourages their employees to live sustainably and are now bringing the message to the general public through their ‘Go Green’ stamps which feature tips on little things that everyone can do to make a difference. The Deputy Postmaster General said ‘Our vision is to be a sustainability leader’. That is a very noble goal indeed, one that hopefully more American businesses will share.