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Author: Subject: Towards a greener hobby
ana
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biggrin.gif posted on 26-10-2007 at 02:06 PM
Towards a greener hobby





Over the time we've listened to users' concerns about the ecological footprint of the project. Sending postcards or other items through mail involves using paper and a certain amount of travel, and those activities produce CO2, which when added into the atmosphere, contributes to climate change.


Therefore, to reduce its impact on the environment, Postcrossing has decided to regularly contribute to environmental projects, to help offset its emissions. Find out more at http://postcrossing.com/green.

Comments? Suggestions?
Leave them below! :)
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[*] posted on 26-10-2007 at 02:12 PM


well ...i think this is not a harmful hobby compared to many others :o

paper can be recycled, so postcards don´t do that much damage ...except when some people send crap :P

and if we´d all live by policy "less is more" ...it´s surely green thinking :D
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[*] posted on 26-10-2007 at 02:27 PM


This relieves my conscience! I feel easier in my mind.


Thank you and viva postcrossing;)
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[*] posted on 27-10-2007 at 08:37 PM


Hm... at one case, I am happy to know that we are taking at least one little step towards a greener environment, but I must agree with mingshu... If there is something that causes global warming it definitely isn't postcrossing - so I guess there is no need to worry about every single card sent :)
And I think I am quite "green" no, I am not obsessed, but I do my best for protecting the environment, for example recycling bottles, printing on both sides of paper and of course I don't have a car either :)
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[*] posted on 28-10-2007 at 02:22 PM


well, one postcard might not be a lot, but we're talking at about 750000 postcards already. if each of these weights 5 grams, that's 3.75 tons of paper!

we know Postcrossing isn't as harmful as many other hobbies out there, but if we can contribute to re-plant some of the trees it took to make all that paper, i'm happy! :)
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[*] posted on 28-10-2007 at 03:41 PM


Well said Ana!!! I totally agree with you!;):)
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[*] posted on 31-10-2007 at 07:36 PM


Well said by all. I don't think I wouldn't have thought about it in term of tons of paper, but since ana brought up that point, it makes so much more sense. Well done!
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[*] posted on 3-11-2007 at 03:28 PM


Seeing that people care about the carbon footprint is very uplifting. I just had a look at the website you've chosen to use to offset the carbon emission. They surely seem to do a good job. But it is a limited company not a registered charity so there’s probably some element of profit involved. Would it not be better to find a charity or not for profit project instead? There are a number of charities who offer carbon offsetting.

To be frank, I don't really understand why you've decided to offset anything. You personally are NOT responsible for what we decide to do. It's a bit like asking the oil companies to offset my carbon emission because I buy their petrol to drive my car. I think it's US that should take the responsibility to do something not you. Somebody earlier said they feel better about postcrossing because you decided to offset some of the carbon emission. It's not how it should work! It's that very person who should think what she can do herself not what others can do to make her feel better. People shouldn’t think of offsetting as a way to rid themselves of guilt with regard to climate change! Maybe she should make sure she buys postcards printed on a recycled paper, reuse the envelopes to post things instead or buying new ones or decide not to make special trips to the post office to post something unless she can walk or cycle there. It really seems a bit of a pointless exercise for you to be offsetting our postcards ... even more so that we don't physically put hands in our pockets to pay you for this privilege. I personally think you shouldn’t do it at all. It’s a bit like a parent who cleans their children’s room instead of making the kids clear up their own mess. Make us think about it and decide what we can change. Maybe make a small 'green' section on the website with a few tips on how to be a greener postcrosser (i.e. reuse envelopes etc) and provide a link to a carbon offsetting website for those who feel REALLY bad and want to offset it themselves.
Maybe something you can think about for the future is moving to a green server ... powered by the wind - yes ... they are around.

Any comments?
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[*] posted on 3-11-2007 at 06:26 PM


750,000 card - 3,75 tons of paper...
This is approximately the amount of paper which is used for advertising and marketing during one of the great fairs in my town, I think... and we have lot of such fairs during the year...
So I agree with apotomak - to live a little bit greener is always a good idea, but every postcrosser have to do this change in mind by himself. But maybe this discussion will cause some people to think something over, so this idea is not lost.
:)
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[*] posted on 3-11-2007 at 06:39 PM


I have been thinking "green" since I was a kid many decades ago. Now, I have found a hobby that gives me a bit of pleasure. I will think green and act green in other ways. Just as an add on...my biggest guilt that plagues my conscience is knowing about the vast amount of non recycleable items that the operating rooms in the hospital produces. Its incredible...especialy in rtegards to orthopeadic surgery (bone surgery)...so many wrappings, layers, etc. I work in the operating room, so I know.

I wont stop sending postcards...I have been a postcard collector since i was a child.
Thanks
TAM
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[*] posted on 4-11-2007 at 02:11 PM


Hi apotomak,

We're not trying to sell anything here and we're not giving in to users demands for us to take this action (but we heard our fair share of "why can't I send an e-card instead? it's more ecological!").
It's as if the gas companies had decided to voluntarily use some of the money you pay for gas and invest it on these kind of research of projects. Not because it would make you feel good or less guilty to buy their gas, but because they felt it was the right thing to do.

We feel it's the right thing to do.

Also, so that it is clear, Postcrossing pays itself on this matter. Paulo isn't paying this or asking you to give something - it's more of a voluntary investment of the small revenues that come from the advertisements in the website.

Besides that, offsetting works in 2 fronts: first, it minimizes the impact of the things we cannot change. This means everybody should do its fair share to reduce its own emissions in the first place (through the suggestions mentioned) but after that, we can work towards taking care of the rest.
[And that said, I think you have a point there. We should pick up on some of your suggestions and work on turning people into "greener" postcrossers, encourage that side more.]

Second, it raises awareness to this problem and creates discussion - and that's important.


I didn't know that kind of servers existed by the way, great idea, we'll check it.
And we're open to suggestions, hence this thread.
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[*] posted on 12-11-2007 at 08:24 AM


thank u for the initiative. a small act from everyone can help to make the world a better place to live in. :)
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[*] posted on 16-11-2007 at 06:18 PM


I had been thinking of the same thing--using fossil fuels and paper for an otherwise healthy hobby. I like the idea of offsetting emissions, and I am glad that Postcrossing is taking action. Also, individual postcrossers can go to care2.com and "click to donate" for Global Warming. It is a free click that generates donations from sponsors to reduce carbon emissions :D
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[*] posted on 28-12-2007 at 01:08 PM


One example of small things we could all do is the reuse of grocery plastic bags.
In USA, Whole Foods Stores, for example, credits 10 cents to each purchase if you bring your own bag.
It would take an estimated 400 years for such a plastic bag to fully bio-degrade in a forest, for instance.

1/6 of all the aluminum world production per year goes into soda and beer cans.
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[*] posted on 14-2-2008 at 04:18 PM


Oh my! Postcrossing is really not the problem. This whole climate change hysteria is getting really on my nerves.:(
Would be better to have less cows - the methane they produce by belching and farting is THE main contributor to greenhouse gas accumulation.
Can you plant trees in the rain forests being destroyed by the hour? I guess not. But that would be of prime importance!
All this shows good intention, sure - but that's about it.
Cheers;)
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[*] posted on 5-3-2008 at 03:17 PM


I loved these. Really :) And I am doing my best... but... :D
Quote:
Az eredeti ?zenet szerz?je Student
1) Reuse/Recycle enveloppes (I personnaly recycle the enveloppes I get from the postal services such as NZ, Swiss Post, charity organisations and so on)

Unfortunately most of these envelopes I get (from my bank, for example) are not standard-size :( And when I want to post an envelope like that, I have to pay extra fee. But I am planning to make envelopes from the paper of old calendars... I really hope people will appreciate the uniqueness :D

Quote:
2) Use enveloppes/writing pads made of 100% recycled paper without bleaching products. There's no holy rule that says all mail has to be send in plain white enveloppes;)

Hm... I wonder if I can get envelopes of recycled paper anywhere. But not so long ago I saw that they sold non-bleached envelopes in a small bookshop. At least it's a positive thing - I am going to buy some when I'll be around there some day.

Quote:
6) Use refillable pens/highlighters and so on to write.

Somehow all the refills I buy for my pens stop writing after a few days. Is that my fault or...? (I am just curious :D)

Quote:
7) Print on both sides of the paper or reuse old courses and so on to print things for personal use. (I'm doing this allready for years and it saves you a lot of paper and money)

I am doing this as well.

Quote:
8) When wraping things, reuse old paper to wrap them in. I usually wrap gifts for birthdays and so on in old maps or newspapers. It's quit original, especially if the receiver in interested in news, history, geography and so on.

That's cool. I wonder what my relatives would say if they got their gifts packed in World Business Daily. ;)

Quote:
9) Get our electricity for our computer (to get to this forum) from a company that provides it using green sources such as windmills, solar energy, hydro energy and so on.

This can not be done in every country. Nor can you choose your electricity provider in several countries, including mine. However, there are plans for the liberalization of the energy market here. I wish.
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[*] posted on 5-3-2008 at 03:24 PM


It isn't the paper we use .It's the shipping that pollutes. All the airplanes and trucks involved to get a little postcard to me.

Do I feel guilty ? No because I get a ton of useless junk mail every week that I didn't ask for. Getting rid of that would do lots to clean up the environment

Who decides what Climate Care does with the money it
receives ? Offsetting carbon emissions doesn't reduce the amount that is being used, it's just a feel good campaign.
It's like putting a ban aid on cancer
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[*] posted on 6-3-2008 at 03:50 PM


It's great to see that Postcrossing is thinking and doing something positive in regard to carbon foot prints.

Now I get to stand on my soap box. I believe in the KISS principal (keep it simple stupid) - basicaly I have no wish list when it comes to postcards. I am always delighted by the surprises I receive.

If other postcrossers did the same maybe, just maybe are carbon footprints would be a little less.

What is wrong with free cards or ad cards (if they are not sent - then they become someones rubbish) in your collection.

What is wrong with home made cards - oh no - they could be made of recycled materials ! ! !

Oh, and I almost forgot, in this flurry of we use so much paper. Postcards were designed to be written on and stamped. Not put in envelopes - so maybe postcrossers should consider removing that request from their profiles.

I honestly thought Postcrossing was about discovering more about my world and making friends along the way, not if I receive a particular postcard.

Snail mail may leave a carbon footprint as no doubt does a computer.

But remember every card and stamp is tied to not just to a fellow postcrosser but also the people who created them, be it the graphic designer, the artist, the photographer, the printers, the vendor, the postal workers (from those who sell the stamps to the person who put that card in your letter box) we are contributing to someones employment. Free cards even more so.

I live in a house which uses solar energy for hot water, all my light bulbs are green friendly, I take part in my local councils recycle scheme, sorting my rubbish as I go. How big does that make my carbon footprint?

I keep my postcards, like treasures, so I don't feel guilty about the possible loss of trees, but maybe next time you buy a postcard check and see if it is made from recycled paper. That can be the First Step.

Off my soapbox now - hoping I have not offended anyone, only given who ever reads this something to consider.
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[*] posted on 6-8-2008 at 03:43 PM


hello guys, what a great and intelligent discussion we have here!
I'm new to this forum and it's nice to get some ideas and to think how to make little changes.
We can all try to make difference in environment.
I think postcrossing is making difference in another way, keeps us connected, amused, excited, curious.... sometimes this is missing from our everyday boring lives.

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[*] posted on 20-8-2008 at 08:28 PM


Quote:
Originally posted by Student
I don't know about Canada, butover here, you can ask a sticker from the local government to put on your mailbox asking not to send you junk/commercial mail and leaflets to sell you things. You might could put that on your mailbox; They're quit effective over here.



I had the job to deliver the commercial mails into people houses... I don't know how it works in your county, but here in Czech Republic you get an amount of leaflets according to the number of inhabitants living in the town - my hometown have 2500 inhabitants so I used to get 1250 leaflets to deliver.

Ok, when somebody has that sticker at his postbox, I didn't put the leaflet in, but... When I asked my boss what to do with the rest of those leaflets... Guess what - she told me to throw them away. Of course I threw them into a paper container, but not all the people here are concerned about enviroment...

I know that the girl who does the job right know isn't delivering all the leaflets, because she's too lazy - and, to be honest, nobody cares that he doesn't get this junk... Guess what she does with the rest of the leaflets? The boss told her the same as to me, so the girl just burns them, or, and that's worse, she leaves them anywhere in the woods.

So, the sticker on the postbox is not always the best solution. My family don't have this sticker, we receive all this mail but then we throw it away into the paper containers...
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[*] posted on 4-9-2008 at 04:41 AM


Kudo's to Postcrossing for considering the carbon print
of our hobby. :cool::):cool:

I do have have another suggestion, to fellow postcrossers,

Stop Being So Fussy

1. Accept homemade cards (they are often made of recycled
material and can be very interesting)
and can be made from anything including
junk mail.

2. Accept Advert of free cards, they are usually made
of recycled paper.

3. Don't ask for your postcard in an envelope.

4. Don't list what you want and have the other
postcrosser driving or travelling all over their
city or town trying to find what you want or
will accept!

5. Have a go at making your own postcards -
it can be fun.
The artist in me gets to play.

The fun for me with Postcrossing has always been the surprise.

With my belief being the K.I.S.S. Principal (Keep it simple stupid).

I have never been disappointed by any postcard I have received,
appreciating every single one of them.


Now I am stepping off my Soapbox - hoping no one is offended.

But have given anyone who reads this
"food for thought" and if even one person
takes something from this, I and they
will have made a difference.

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[*] posted on 4-9-2008 at 05:49 AM


To cdbass1957 :

I like your ideas!! :) Thanks for sharing!
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[*] posted on 19-9-2008 at 06:55 PM


Ana,

I have a concern about the use of tape and stickers on envelopes for private trades.

Stickers and envelopes CANNOT be recycled contrary to popular belief. I have contacted the recycling department for several cities across Southern Ontario around Toronto and each one has told me, that stickers and tape should be removed and placed in the garbage.

Postcrossers are contributing to our landfills by unnecessarily using tape on envelopes. This is not Green!

Come on postcrossers, stop using tape!!

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[*] posted on 26-9-2008 at 04:48 AM


As much as I would love to help our environment by stop taping my envelopes, I don't think it is a very wise idea when it comes to posting items. I have received several parcels insuffecienly taped and hence arrived open. I always tape all the four sides and across the flap.. it just prevents the envelope from opening during the travel.

I don't usually send cards in envelopes and even if i do, I don't tape those envelopes.
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[*] posted on 26-9-2008 at 05:06 AM


Quote:
Originally posted by truptispostcards

Postcrossers are contributing to our landfills by unnecessarily using tape on envelopes. This is not Green!

Come on postcrossers, stop using tape!!



wow i think that is a bit extreme :P not using tape/stickers ...is only a little thing among many other that we all should be more green :D

so what if i use stickers/tape ...i recycle clothes, cardboard, books, cans, glass, batteries ...and i favor as much as i can local and fair trade and organic agriculture products ...and im vegetarian ! so i think im already doing unusually well my share ;)

if someone never uses tape/envelopes but throws candy wrappers in the streets, supports mass production (coca cola, adidas etc), eats meat every day etc. this is definitely not green :D

cdbass1957, i appreciate your ideas though :cool:
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