WASHINGTON — Customers can trust their holiday mail to one of the greenest mailing and shipping companies in America. A proven environmental leader, the U.S. Postal Service is helping green-minded customers do their part to help protect the environment as they mail cards and ship gifts this holiday season. 

“From free eco-friendly packaging and free package pick-up, to the largest fleet of alternative fuel-capable vehicles in the world, to pick-up and delivery of your holiday mail, the Postal Service is the leader in green mailing, shipping and delivery,” said Sam Pulcrano, USPS vice president, Sustainability.

Green Packaging
The Postal Service is the only mailing and shipping company that has earned Cradle to Cradle™ certification for the environmentally friendly design and health standards of its Priority Mail and Express Mail supplies, Ready Post envelopes, tape and labels, which are 100 percent recyclable. Priority Mail and Express Mail supplies are free and delivered at no charge. They can be ordered from the Post Office that’s always open, 24 hours a day, at usps.com/green.

Green Postage
Festive stamps add just the right touch to holiday cards. Find an assortment of custom holiday postage at the Postal Store (usps.com/green.) Personalized stamped envelopes and stamped postal cards also are available at the Postal Store and are printed using water-based inks made from soybeans and contain no lead.

Green Shipping
usps.com/green can help customers save even more fuel this Yule. Use online shipping services to request 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 loved ones wherever they are. Skip the trip and save time, money and fuel this holiday season.

Green Delivery
The Postal Service will deliver 16.5 billion cards, letters and packages between Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve. The largest civilian fleet in the world — 195,000 vehicles, including 43,000 alternative fuel-capable vehicles, driving 1.2 billion miles a year — will be used to transport the nation’s holiday mail. T-3s, three-wheeled electric vehicles, deliver mail in certain parts of the country with zero gas emissions and at a cost of only 4 cents a mile. With 10,000 “fleet of feet” routes, the Postal Service delivers mail the most energy efficient way possible: it’s walked.

The Postal Service has made recycling a priority. Secure recycle bins in 6,000 Post Office lobbies make it easy for customers to read, respond and recycle their mail during the holidays, helping customers divert 24,000 tons of paper from landfills this year. The Postal Service recycled 274,000 tons of paper, plastics and other waste in 2008, enough to fill to the top the tallest building in America, the Willis Tower. Customers can go to usps.com/green to find one of 100,000 recycling centers around the country. The Postal Service is making it easier for Americans to “go green.”

The White House, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Climate Registry, Direct Marketing Association, Postal Technology International are a few environmental leaders who have honored the Postal Service with more than 75 prestigious awards for its environmental stewardship, including the Climate Action Champion award and the international Environmental Achievement of the Year award.

The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses, and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations