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Postal service offers ideas for going green

The U.S. Postal Service can help shippers go green and save green by sending holiday gifts and shipments in eco-responsible packaging from the comfort of home or office at, the Post Office that's always open.

"The Postal Service is one of the greenest mailing and shipping companies in the world," said Chief Sustainability Officer Thomas G. Day. "We offer more than a half-billion eco-responsible mailing and shipping supplies, free package pickup, and almost everything you can do at the Post Office, you can do online. So skip the trip and save fuel this Yule."

Skip the Trip -- Do More Online

Easy, convenient and multi-lingual, can help with most holiday mailing, shipping and gifting needs:

Buy holiday stamps, gifts, supplies online: They'll be delivered with your mail.

Free shipping supplies:

Create package labels:

Pay for postage online with Click-N-Ship:!input.action

Request free package pickup:!input.action

Prepare domestic mail shipments:

Prepare international mail shipments:

Fill out customs forms online:

Holiday shipping deadlines/mailing dates:

APO/FPO/DPO mailing guidelines:

Going away for the holidays? Use to put your mail on hold:

The Postal Service offers customers ways to help reduce their carbon footprints, just as it consistently seeks to reduce its own environmental impact.

Green Packaging

The Postal Service has established rigorous sustainable green packaging standards for its Priority Mail and Express Mail supplies, and a majority of ReadyPost boxes, envelopes and labels. By buying packaging made with recycled content, USPS reduces greenhouse gas emissions to the environment. Priority Mail and Express Mail supplies are free to customers and can be delivered at no charge by ordering from the Post Office that's always open 24 hours a day.

Green Postage

Postage stamps are recyclable and stamp adhesives are environmentally benign and recycling compatible. Tens of billions of postage products, including stamps and stamped envelopes and postal cards, are made with post-consumer recycled content. Festive holiday stamps can add just the right touch to seasonal greeting cards and holiday stamps and customized holiday cards are available at the Postal Store.

Green Shipping

Customers can order 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 cheer loved ones wherever they are. Skip the trip and save time, money and fuel this holiday season. Learn more about our shipping services and prices.


At the Postal Service, recycling always is a priority. More than 22,000 secure recycle bins in nearly 12,000 Post Office lobbies make it easy for customers to read, respond and recycle their PO Box mail during the holidays, and helped customers divert more than 30,000 tons of paper from landfills last year. The Postal Service recycled more than 215,000 tons of material in 2011, which avoided more than 700,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions, the equivalent of removing nearly 128,000 passenger vehicles from the road. Customers can go online to find one of 100,000 recycling centers in the country. And, with the MaxBack® program, customers can get cash back when they go green and recycle eligible small electronics and inkjet cartridges.

Green Delivery

The Postal Service will deliver more than 18 billion cards, letters and packages between Thanksgiving and New Year's Eve using one of the largest civilian fleets in the world -- nearly 214,000 vehicles, of which nearly 41,000 are alternative fuel-capable. This includes three-wheeled electric vehicles with zero gas emissions that operate at a cost of only 2 cents a mile, as well as vehicles that can operate on ethanol, biodiesel, compressed natural gas, propane and electricity.

"The Postal Service's 'fleet of feet' delivers mail the greenest way possible, by walking," Day added. "More than 8,000 of our carriers will be delivering holiday mail on foot this season. We have nearly 70 bicycle routes, and close to 80,000 'park and loop' routes, where carriers drive vehicles from the Post Office to neighborhoods and then deliver holiday packages and cards on foot."

For more information about going green with USPS, visit and the usps green newsroom.

The Postal Service has won numerous environmental honors, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) WasteWise Partner of the Year award in 2010 and 2011, the EPA's National Partnership for Environmental Priorities award in 2011, The Climate Registry Gold award in 2011 and the 2012 GreenGov Presidential Award.

USPS participates in the International Post Corporation's Environmental Measurement and Monitoring System, the global postal industry's program to reduce its carbon footprint 20 percent by 2020 compared to 2008.

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