We’ve all heard the mantra “recycle, reuse, and reduce,” but did you know that people focus not only on what products they should buy, but also on how their purchases are packaged, shipped, and delivered?

A recent OIG white paper, Sustainability and the Postal Service: Creating a Greener Future Through Product Innovation, surveyed 2,800 Americans and found that the majority are concerned about the environmental impact of their deliveries. And 41 percent say that environmental practices play a “very important” role in their choice of a delivery company.

For the U.S. Postal Service, meeting these expectations presents both challenges and opportunities. The Postal Service is already often delivering letters and packages together, but it could do more to highlight to the public its environmental friendliness. And how about a “green” semi-postal stamp that would raise money for environmental concerns?

Perhaps USPS could adopt some of the environmentally friendly options by other posts and delivery companies. This includes reusable packaging solutions — an empty package is reconditioned and reused through many shipping cycles. And let’s not forget carbon compensation, which offsets greenhouse gas emissions of a delivery by funding environmental restoration projects.

What role do environmental impacts play in your choice of a delivery company? What types of environmentally friendly shipping options do you expect the Postal Service to offer?

Comments (13)

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  • anon

    I believe you could save and "reduce" carbon emissions by eliminating the Saturday deliveries! You could save money, and "wear & tear" on the company vehicles, plus I personally wouldn't miss it. Being that's a union, doesn't it cost more to deliver on Saturday's?

    Sep 11, 2020
  • anon

    Convert the trucks to emissions free! Reduce junk mail. USPS is a vital service, and should be supported by our tax dollars.

    Aug 16, 2020
  • anon

    No one is asking how throwing money at a post office who is no longer running THE equipment to mass sort 100s of millions of ballots... There is no time to invest in equipment which would need to be designed fabricated and money to reverse course... The post office handles packages ... The old equipment taking up huge amounts of space for letters was dismantled... Again cant throw money at a one time event... Regards Carl R Rushton Worcester ma 01604

    Aug 15, 2020
  • anon

    Emission free and cheap is needed. Make a solid investment in Workhorse - there isn’t an alternative yet. Would love to see their last mile delivery with drones flying around. Or speak to Elon Musk for his views.

    Aug 14, 2020
  • anon

    I've been advocating ideas to deal with junk mail, most of which ends up in the trash without a second look, there are ways to deal with this that can revolutionize the system, and still turn a profit. Please drop me a line, I'm ready to help with this, something I have been dedicated years in developing.

    Aug 13, 2020
  • anon

    Our Postal service makes money with, so-called, junk mail. The people that send out bulk mail, like this, find value in it or they wouldn’t pay for it. I’m sure the Post Office appreciates your concern.

    Aug 14, 2020
  • anon

    The USPS should be using Workhorse Group Inc. for the NGDVs to upgrade the USPS' aging fleet. Workhorse Group Inc. is the small Ohio company who produces C-Series trucks, is fulfilling orders from United Parcel Service, Inc. in the amount of 1,060 units. Workhorse is the only American all-electric OEM designing and manufacturing last mile delivery vehicles to successfully complete this level of testing with both FMVSS & CARB. With the increase of package deliveries, using people to deliver packages can be expensive, costing up to $1 per a package. The autonomous four-rotor drone, "The Horsefly" will make deliveries more cost-effective at 4 cents. Workhorse Group Inc. should be awarded the contract for the NGDVs to accelerate the USPS, and America's goals, of sustainability.

    Aug 13, 2020
  • anon

    Converting the postal delivery vehicle fleet to emission free would be the first step in my opinion.

    Aug 13, 2020
  • anon

    I think it would be grate if the USPS made a move to electric vehicles to combat greenhouse gas emittance. Are there any plans to follow what California has done, and move more towards electric vehicles?

    Aug 11, 2020
  • anon

    I would love to see the USPS explore the option of zero emission vehicles for delivery. Changeover costs for retraining mechanics could be steep, but long-term it would probably make economic sense as well. Cost of ownership for electrics is usually lower.

    Aug 11, 2020
  • anon

    Would love to see the NGDV be all electric!

    Aug 11, 2020
  • anon

    Any time a parcel is rejected by the local USPS station and returned to the sender, our environment is negatively impacted. This happens frequently when using SmartPost and SurePost and the recipient is a Post Office Box user. The only people in this world who cannot locate my home by using my name, zip code, street address, or geocode is the United States Postal Service. Two solutions are: 1) Renewable forwarding orders; 2) A more sophisticated relational database management system. The former is a no cost solution that can generate revenue.

    Aug 11, 2020
  • anon

    I think the USPO does a great job. I always use our small town post office. They are Caring, friendly, make suggestions to save, and best ever. I realize some people have to use Fed Ex or UPS. They are mostly very dependable and good companies. Thank you for all your hard work, and your employees. Stay safe and healthy! Sincerely, Linda Jones

    Aug 10, 2020

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