07 July 2010

United States Postal Service proposed rate hike makes paperless options even more desirable


The United States Postal Service (USPS) is considering raising the cost of First-Class stamps by 2 cents to 46 cents, due in large part to decreased mail volume. The USPS blames the precipitous drop in demand for their services on the recession and increased Internet usage leading to a deficit of nearly $7 billion for the next fiscal year.If the Postal Regulatory Commission approves the price change it would go into effect January 2, 2011.

“There is no one single solution to the dire financial situation that the Postal Service faces,” said Postmaster General John E. Potter. “These proposed rate adjustments are moderate and part of a fair and balanced approach to insuring mail service for all Americans well into the future.”

Additionally, a new line of Forever Stamps that lock in the current 44 cent rate will be launched this October, just in time for the holidays. Ironically enough, the stamps will feature 4 different evergreen branches. When considering the source of the massive amounts of paper utilized in our mail delivery service, the stars of the new stamps would most likely protest, if they could.

Junk mail’s worst enemy, 41pounds.org, claims:

“To produce and process 4 million tons of junk mail a year, 100 million trees are destroyed and 28 billion gallons of water is wasted. And, global warming gases equivalent to 9 million cars are produced. In addition, $320 million of local taxes are spent to dispose of junk mail each year instead of providing parks, libraries, health care and other valuable services. Lastly, we found out that the credit card applications and other junk mail we receive may be used in identity theft and fraud.”

Additionally, according to a study conducted by PayItGreen—The Electronics Payments Association coalition—“if 20-percent of American households switched from paper to electronic bills, statements, and payments, nearly 2 million trees, 151 million pounds of paper, and more than 100 million gallons of gas would be saved every year.”

The same study revealed that consumers who switch to online-only statements and bill pay report greater satisfaction with their bank and/or credit union.

So instead of fuming at your local postal carrier for the impending service rate hike, do something good for the planet and your pocketbook and kick the snail mail habit altogether.

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