Guardian Goes Green, Supports U.S. Mail

The recent hike in postal rates to 41 cents prompted the GUARDIAN to recycle a “green idea” while supporting the U.S. Post Office at no cost to you and me. Not bad when you can help the environment and the economy at the same time for free.

Here is how it works:

Every day we get offers–mostly for credit cards–which have “Postage Paid” envelopes enclosed. We used to rip them in half and toss them in the trash. Some folks even go so far as to shred them before sending the junk mail paper to the land fill.

We have taken to locating the postage paid envelope and stuffing the trash back inside–best to tear off your name and address. Then, we just pop it in the mail and the useless trash goes to a processing center in South Dakota or Delaware. This is not an original plan, but it is more “cost effective” since the rate hike.

The Post Office gets ANOTHER 41 cents, a single mom on the prairie earns $9 an hour to open it, and there is one less piece of paper in the Ada County land fill.

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. I think the USPS will earn some cash but not the whole $.41. Bulk mail usually travels out at a lower rate and probably back to the culprit at the lower rate. Fill them with extra nuts, washers etc…..

    Or RECYCLE the paper.

  2. Michael Quinlan
    Jun 15, 2007, 7:21 am

    The rates for Business Reply Mail (BRM) are at http://pe.usps.com/text/dmm300/507.htm#wp1044635. For “High-Volume Qualified BRM” it is 38 cents for the 1st ounce plus 17 cents for each additional ounce plus 0.5 cents per piece.


  3. Dave – you mean you don’t recycle? All waste paper that comes in the mail, all newspaper, all cardboard can be recycled at the curb with the exception of those astrobright papers. There is never a reason to throw it away.

    I know this sounds incredibly granola headish but think of it this way. The less that goes into the landfill means the farther out into the future the County jacks the rates through the roof.

    EDITOR NOTE–We do indeed recycle MOST items and even have our own sorting system for cans, plastics, and newspapers.

  4. I’ve been doing what you describe – sending back business-reply junk mail – for quite some time, Dave. Welcome aboard! (I’d heard that it was a regular first-class rate if you send it back.)

    I do one additional thing, however. Rather than tear off my name and address, I write a cheerful-and-polite “no thanks” across the application in big letters, usually with a happy face, and put it and all the accompanying mail-detritus back in the envelope and send it on its way. I want ’em to know who I am – maybe they’ll quit “spammin'” me.

    (A lot of that stuff goes to Young America, Minnesota. I bet life is great in a place called Young America… until you turn 30 and they whack you with a corn-chopper. But I digress.)

  5. New found thing??
    I’ve been doing it for years. I even tear the one’s out of magazine and send them back to them.
    It’s a hobby. Well okay i’m trying to piss em off.

  6. I take it one step beyond. I include (if it fits in the envelope) additional junk mail from spammers who are too cheap to send me a return envelope. This way I am (1) preserving the land fill for my milk cartons, and (2) helping the Post Office volume-there by keeping the workers from being disgruntled and grabbing guns.

  7. sam the sham
    Jun 17, 2007, 7:53 am

    I have also been doing this for years – in addition to recycling. Does not appear to stop the junk mail, but it is, as robert says puts it, a hobby.

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