Postal Service Delivering on Alternatives

John Davis

Your mail could be delivered using green energy.

This story from NPR says that the U.S. Postal Service has the largest fleet of alternatively-fueled vehicles in the country… 43,000 strong. And that’s just the beginning of its green efforts:

It’s using solar cells to power some buildings. It’s using eco-friendly packaging.

It’s so hip, it even has a vice president of sustainability.

Walt O’Tormey, USPS vice president of engineering, says this independent federal agency is pushing harder than most to move away from petroleum.

“We’re exploring all the alternatives in the marketplace for us, just to get out of gas consumption,” O’Tormey says. “And we know we owe the environment … to come up with a technology that does not impact the environment.”

This summer, the Postal Service is testing the latest generation of hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles with General Motors.

“We’ll test anything!” O’Tormey says. “Propane, compressed natural gas, biodiesel, electric. We have electric vehicles delivering packages in midtown Manhattan, and we have plenty of test sites, from the Grand Canyon to Alaska.”

Considering that each one-cent increase in the cost of petroleum-based fuels costs the USPS $8 million more, it’s no wonder officials want to burn anything but non-renewable sources. Maybe it will help keep down the price of a stamp.

Biodiesel, Hydrogen, Propane, Solar