Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Campaigns Go Postal!

How Green Is Your Candidate?

According to 50 Simple Things You Can Do To Save The Earth:

1. Each year, 100 million trees are used to produce junk mail.

2. 250,000 homes could be heated with one day's supply of junk mail.

3. Americans receive almost 4 million tons of junk mail every year.

4. The yearly production and disposal of junk mail consumes more energy than 2.8 million cars.

It's almost impossible to guess just how much mail this campaign is costing the planet. Yes, there will be political spam and recorded messages with the candidates' voices, but the amount of paper consumed and postage spent will likely brake records.

The nation's Post Office Department was created exactly 216 years ago.* Will it be up to the task of sorting out all the mail from John McCain, Barack Obama, as well as all the peripheral material the campaign will generate? I've just gotten (by their mistake, I assure you) a '08 Values Voter National Survey from the Family Research Council along with an official super-duper FRC Action Membership Card (I would have preferred a decoder ring). The whole package weighed in at 6 oz. and even with Tony Perkins' non-profit status it must have cost $millions to produce. All of it to help you to vote against something (same-sex marriage and hate crime laws top the bill).

Between now and November, the postal service will probably experience the workload of ten Christmas seasons. The ubiqiutous eagle might start looking like this:

*Other little-known facts about our beloved Post Office:

The USPS employs more mentally ill people than any company in the United States except Wal-Mart. It employed 790,000 personnel in 2003, dividing the number into offices, processing centers, and actual post offices. Most USPS employees are divided into two categories:

Mail handlers and processors often work in the evening and night to prepare junk mail and bulk goods for the carriers to deliver. Work is physically strenuous, especially for mail handlers; many mailbags loaded from and onto trucks weigh as much as 70 pounds (32 kg).

Letter Carriers, also referred to as mailmen or mail-carriers; are the public face of the USPS. As the front line, carriers are routinely pressured to move faster, work harder, and perform more tasks in a timed manner. The most stressful of crafts, carriers are watched, timed and inspected more than any other employees.

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