Association for Postal Commerce
"Representing those who use or support the use of mail for Business Communication and Commerce"
"You will be able to enjoy only those postal rights you believe are worth defending."
People In Glass Houses Should Never Throw Stones
Those who seek to destroy our industry often convince themselves and their allies into thinking their version of the facts actually is the truth. In many instances, some of the environmental groups that lend their support to these mail-destroying efforts know very little about how mail is used and is important to the lifeblood of their own organizations. Here is a sample letter that can be used with environmental groups that have lent their support to some of these "do not mail" efforts.
Letter To Environmental Groups Supporting Do-Not-Mail Efforts
I am in the mail business and rely on a healthy United States Postal Service. I am writing to your organization because it is an organization that claims to be a "nonprofit" that supports the environment. I have learned that your organization is supporting efforts to restrict the use of the mail, to urge consumers to "opt out" or not want the mail, or to create do-not-mail laws. In other words, your organization has launched an attack on my livelihood, my business, and a communication channel relied upon by millions of Americans.
Let me get one thing straight. I do support the environment. But I will not send any funds to your organization because of your support of laws or efforts to restrict or limit mail use ¾ and hurt my business. I will urge everyone I know to take the same position.
I would encourage you to rethink your position and funding to restrict use of the mail.
Lets take a look at how environmental groups have used the mailstream. We're mailers and we support environmental causes.
Sometimes when people hear that we support green organizations they look at us and wonder if we have three heads. How is it possible, they ask, that mailers donate to environmental groups?
The presumption seems to be that environmental groups and mailers are always fighting, that we do not share common views or that we have nothing to learn from one another.
Such thinking is ridiculous.
The fact is that e Every major environmental organization is a significant and substantial user of the mailstream. Not a single national environmental organization has ever suggested that it makes sense to downsize the postal system and remove millions of jobs from the economy. When asked if Greenpeace was contributing to the nation's environmental problems because the group uses direct mail, Peter Bahouth, a former Greenpeace executive director, famously told ABC News that "accusing environmental groups of paper pollution is a bit like saying that we need to get the ambulances off the street because they're loud."
Need evidence? Just look at a few 2005 tax returns:
The National Audubon Society spent $2,701,028 for fundraising postage and shipping.
The National Resources Defense Council spent $1,147,114 on postage and shipping for fundraising -- and raised $518,164 renting lists.
The National Wildlife Federation spent $1,516,178 on postage and shipping for fundraising, spent $185,736 to purchase list rental services and raised $916,034 from list royalties.
All of this mail was sent at reduced postage rates. The rates nonprofit organizations pay are close to Postal Service "costs." Businesses like mine pay our own way and then some. We pay the Postal Service overhead that groups like yours avoid with preferred (subsidized) nonprofit rates. To make our mail low cost for the Postal Service to handle, we engage in high levels of worksharing.
Our mail has lue to our business and our customers. Our mail products help local businesses get in business and stay in touch with customers. It gives consumers shopping news and the convenience of planning purchasing decisions in their homes. This saves them money on sales as well as gas and transportation costs.
Advertising mail products are essential to the survival of the United States Postal Service. Without mail volume, the Postal Service would have to charge all users higher rates, could not support its universal delivery mission of 6 day a week service and would be forced to close Post Offices.
I must also take issue with factual basis for your suggestion that my mail product, or advertising mail in general, hurts the earth and the environment. Your campaigns to create do-not-mail laws or urge consumers to restrict access to mailbox suggests that mail is destroying forests, and filling landfills. These emotional attacks on my business simply are not true. Here are the facts:
The EPA reports that 37.7% of all Standard mail was recovered in 2006. As municipalities expand their collection of paper products from newspaper to all papers, this number is growing.
Landfills are not overflowing with advertising mail. The percentage of advertising mail that is not recycled and goes to landfills is minuscule. ¾ ¾ About 5/10,000% of the waste stream.
There are more forest lands in the United States today than there was 50 years ago. The producers of advertising mail purchase most of their paper from sources using tree farms to produce paper stock. Our industry is a major user and supporter of the use of recycled paper stock.
My business, and a large portion of the American economy, depends on an affordable and usable Postal Service. We depend on the American tradition of free speech and unrestricted access to the mailboxes of businesses and consumers. This has made our Postal Service the largest in the world, it helps countless small businesses compete with large concerns, it has fostered a healthy and competitive economy, and is estimated to be the source of approximately nine million jobs within the boarders of the United States tied to the mailstream.
I will continue to support environmental causes and do what I can as an individual, and within my business, to be mindful of how each action we take can effect the earth. But I will not support any organization that is funding, or supporting efforts, to restrict the Postal Service or destroy my business.
We Can All Be Friends Of The Earth...If We Have The Facts