Eco-entrepreneurs

Published on January 16th, 2008 | by Maryanne Conlin

12

Earth Class Mail: An Eco Way to Manage Mail

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Ron Wiener is acutely aware of the challenges of receiving and responding to mail while on the go. A serial entrepreneur, Weiner often finds himself out of the office managing his growing business, Earth Class Mail.

Billed as, “The Ultimate P.O. Box”, Earth Class Mail delivers your mail online 24/7 wherever you are. Tired of opening up junk mail? Earth Class Mail will receive your mail for you, scan the envelopes and send them to you online. You decide which get forwarded, which gets shredded and which get recycled. Perfect for nomadic executives and small business owners, Earth Class Mail is also a greener way to manage mail.


Post offices are generally among the largest consumers of energy in their respective countries.

Various studies report that the average person recycles perhaps 20% of her mail, while Earth Class Mail customers recycle more than 90% of their mail, with a click of a mouse.

For every ton of paper we recycle, we reduce the marginal air pollution generated by new paper production by 74%, and water pollution by 35%.

Simply sign up online to have your mail forwarded to one of Earth Class Mail’s P.O. Boxes in 20 major US cities. Each piece of unopened mail is bar-coded scanned and uploaded to your secure online mailbox. With a click of a mouse, you decide whether to recycle unwanted mail; have the contents scanned for you to read online or have the mail forwarded to you or another individual.

Earth Class Mail uses disabled veterans with Department of Defense clearance to perform the opening and scanning functions and videotapes the service. You can even watch them open your mail!.

Currently active in over 120 countries, the three-year-old company has just raised their second round of funding and plans to open a storefront location in mid town Manhattan to be followed by locations in 18 other U.S. cities.



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About the Author

Hear Maryanne speak on Social Media for Socially Conscious Brands at Expo East on September 27th! Maryanne Conlin is CPG brand marketer and digital marketing expert, CEO of RedRopes Digital and Partner Digital Strategy, 4GreenPs. A Shorty Award winner for best Green Content on Twitter, she was a member of the IAA team that won the Green Award in 2010 and most recently was a finalist for the PRSA - Los Angeles PRISM awards for social media. She and her team focus on providing strategic marketing direction, custom content for web, mobile and social platforms, social media community management and online promotions and digital advertising solutions for companies in the green, food and Hispanic space. Follow her on Twitter @maryanneconlin



12 Responses to Earth Class Mail: An Eco Way to Manage Mail

  1. Noelle says:

    How much does this service cost? It’s pretty cool.

  2. Joel says:

    Forgive me if I’m be stupid but how does this help the environment? Surely it’s just a timesaver, though perhaps a small proportion more will be recycled. Seems to me you would be better off reducing the amount of mail printed and posted in the first place by using one of the many “stop junkmail” services out there.

  3. MC Milker says:

    Joel,

    Absolutely! The best way to reduce junk mail is to join the stopjunkmail organizations. But also to recycle things like envelopes, letters, etc. This makes it easier.

  4. Pingback: Start-Up Junkies – Green Doesn’t Just Mean Money on New Show : Ecopreneurist

  5. liljebeck says:

    sounds ridiculous! saving energy????? you are resorting mail that has already been sorted by the post office – you are doubling the energy used for each customer you have!!!
    I don’t buy it – I can already pay all my bills online – I don’t even need to open envelopes – so all the paper gets recycled and shredded.
    sorry – I am not a believer!

  6. casdhed says:

    Receiving your mail at earth class is good for the environment. The idea is that normally mail will be thrown into the bin, but with services like Earth Class and http://www.privatebox.co.nz mail is recycled in bulk.

  7. Pingback: S.O.S. (Save Our Shredders): the Junk Mail Deluge : Sustainablog

  8. Alan Friedrichsen says:

    The concept of ECM is great, but the reality is somewhat lacking. For starters, one thing they don’t tell you up front is that it costs at least $10 per shipment to have a piece of your mail physically delivered to you, even if it’s a single envelope! They refuse to use the USPS to forward mail, insisting on using only couriers that provide item tracking. Thus, their cheapest shipping option, even for a single envelope, works out to about $10 when you include taxes, etc. It’s probably more expensive on the East Coast or the farther you get from ECM’s Oregon sorting facility.

    ECM is clearly targeting customers who receive lots of mail per week and can take advantage of bulk shipments or customers who can get away with reading their mail online and never need to physically receive it. In my case, I need to physically receive a handful of letters per month (legal documents, for instance), so unless I’m willing to wait until the end of the month to get these (which is difficult, since some of them are timely), I have to pay as much as $50/month extra to physically receive my critical mail. Other services forward through USPS for as little as $2-3/item. ECM needs to do likewise.

    I didn’t find out about this limitation until I received my first critical piece of mail. I was forced to pay $10 to ship that piece of mail, but thereafter, I immediately asked ECM to cancel my account … which they promptly did, but they neglected to tell me until the account was actually canceled that they would not be refunding any of the months I had already paid in advance!

    Buyer beware.

  9. Evan Fell says:

    Eco this eco that. This service is awful. They are EXTREMELY slow. They took my mail receipt time from 3 days to 3 weeks or more. They don’t offer check cashing like advertised. I hated this service and had to cancel.

    Also, how is this service eco friendly if every piece of mail I get in Boston is sent to Oregon then sent back. AWFUL.

  10. Pingback: Zumbox: A Viable Paper Mail Killer? : Sustainablog

  11. John B says:

    Hey, I travel overseas a lot and find Private Box Ltd ( http://www.privatebox.co.nz ) do a great job outside of the USA.

  12. Rony Arnold says:

    Thank you for sharing this article. It’s very informative and interesting.

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