Today I have learned that the United States Postal Service is a lot more green than I ever knew. I was made aware first that in March of 2008, the USPS began an initiative partnered with Clover Technologies Group to make “it easier for customers to discard used or obsolete small electronics in an environmentally responsible way.” Basically, this means that in certain limited markets, the Post Office provided free envelopes and postage for mailing things such as printer ink cartridges, mp3 players, and even digital cameras to Clover for recycling. This was a pilot program, to be expanded if it was successful.
I could not find word on whether this ever moved forward, but while searching, I found a couple of other press releases where “USPS” and “Green” or “Recycle” were used together. In March of 2009, another new recycling program was initiated in select USPS areas, this time for unwanted or unneeded mail. Nearly 6000 Post Offices were equipped with secured recycle bins so that people picking up their mail could safely recycle their discarded mail into these locked bins, without the need to remove their names first. According to the press release “even the adhesive used in postage stamps is biodegradable.”
The final item I found was about the USPS.com/green website, where “In October 2009, the Postal Service became the first federal agency to report its carbon emissions.” For some rather astonishing information on the USPS’s award-winning efforts, visit the link above.