Making mail green: An inside look into Earth Class Mail’s process
Marlene Romo Flores
April 21, 2022
More than 129 billion pieces of mail were delivered in 2021. Once opened and read, it ends up in the trash–the average household throws out 13,000 separate pieces of mail each year. More than half of all mail processed by the U.S. Postal Service is considered junk mail. Producing a year's worth of junk mail takes 80 million to 100 million trees. This hurts our environment.
Earth Class Mail, a LegalZoom company, is committed to making and keeping mail green and helping our customers take steps toward a more sustainable lifestyle.
In an effort to offset the impact of junk mail on the environment, Earth Class Mail’s virtual mailboxes are a great solution to decrease people’s carbon footprint and motivate better recycling habits. Our customers choose to recycle most of their mail and only keep the high-definition pdf scanned copies in digital format. Virtual mailboxes are the solution to help you and your company become eco-friendly and promote your green business initiatives.
Our environmental impact
In 2018, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimated that only 68% of all paper and cardboard recycling ends up being recycled each year. Sometimes, municipal recycling departments and waste companies have shipped recycled materials overseas or the paper gets contaminated and can’t be recycled. As a result, more than 17,000 tons ended up in landfills. Of the 267.8 million tons of solid waste, only 94.2 million tons were recycled or composted.
That didn’t sit well with us. So, in 2021–we took steps to make mail green.
Just last year, Earth Class Mail recycled 186,377 pounds of junk mail, reducing 279.65 cubic yards of landfill space and helping save 1,586 trees, 35,411 gallons of oil, and 652,319 gallons of water.
We strive to keep mail green and help customers reduce their environmental impact to ensure a healthy planet for future generations. But we aren’t stopping there. When you’re an Earth Class Mail customer, you're taking steps to make a positive impact on the environment. Green businesses can cut down on paper waste with digitized mail that eliminates the need to make copies of important documents.
Our 2022 Sustainability Plan Through our established partnership with the National Forest Foundation, we are helping with reforestation efforts in California, Washington, Colorado, and 17 other states by planting 10,000 trees. In 2021, Earth Class Mail purchased 250 soil carbon credits through Grassroots Carbon to support efforts to capture and store over one billion tons of atmospheric CO2 per year. Carbon credits create an exchange between those wanting to reduce their carbon footprint with the people and programs helping the environment.
As we continue to push towards more environmentally conscious solutions for businesses, in 2022 we are engaging with Green Feet to measure, analyze, and reduce Earth Class Mail’s carbon footprint. This will help us reach our goal of carbon neutrality.
The life of your mail with Earth Class Mail
We keep our customers' mail secure and safely shredded and recycled at Earth Class Mail. We know what happens to your mail every step of the way, so we can be confident that your mail doesn’t end up as waste.
We know the step-by-step process of our customers’ recycled mail so our customers can trust that their mail is secure, shredded, recycled, and repurposed. We shred everything in those consoles and transport the remains to a paper mill for recycling. The shredded paper is turned into “pulp” where all chemicals and printing ink is removed. Finally, they are manufactured into new paper products.
How can you make a difference?
Join us in restoring and protecting our planet for future generations. Donate to the National Forest Foundation this month as they raise the funds needed to plant 50 million trees this year. Click here to donate and celebrate the earth.
About Earth Class Mail Earth Class Mail’s expansive premier network of addresses and catered plan options positions itself as the leading virtual mailbox provider. Since its inception in 2004, we’ve processed over 18 million pieces of mail.
Interested? Learn more here to sign up for a virtual mailbox and address.
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