Filling mailboxes all over the world with postcards fills us up with happiness… but it also has an impact on the planet. We are committed to running Postcrossing in an environmentally friendly way, and have been working on this goal over the years. Today we would like to update you all on our choices and initiatives, and invite you to join in as well!
To run an online platform like Postcrossing, we need servers. Since a few years ago, all our servers are running in a carbon-neutral datacenter in Europe, run by Amazon AWS. Their sustainability program builds wind and solar farms that offset the energy consumption of their data centers, with the long-term goal of having their infrastructure 100% powered by renewable energy. We’ve also switched to a renewable energy provider for our tiny home office.
We believe these are steps in the right direction, but we also wanted to do something more tangible. So a while ago, Postcrossing started to regularly donate to Quercus, a Portuguese non-profit environmental organization whose initiatives include reforestation projects and the nurturing of existing woods. In a country devastated far too often by fires, this cause was dear to our hearts and seemed like a good way to improve on the environment around us.
As part of our donations, we were invited to plant some trees, so last weekend, in a different kind of Postcrossing meeting, we got together with some volunteer postcrossers, rolled up our sleeves and planted a thousand trees in central Portugal. A tiny Postcrossing forest made of two different pine species was born! We took some pictures to show you:
The event took place in the historical Pinhal de Leiria, a pine forest created in the 13th century to stop the nearby dunes from advancing inland, and whose trees provided wood for the Portuguese ships that sailed all around the world. Sadly, this forest burned down almost completely in October of 2017, and it is still heartbreaking to walk those woods with their charred tree skeletons… but at least we’re making a tiny difference in its rebirth. Everyone loved the experience, and we plan to repeat this initiative in the coming years.
And finally, there are always choices each one of us can do to make this hobby more eco-friendly. For instance, prefer postcards made with FSC certified paper, or walk/bike to the post office instead of driving there. We’ve compiled a list of green tips on this page, and welcome further ideas on the forum or on the comments below.
We believe that every action counts, so join us in making Postcrossing a greener hobby, one small step (or tree!) at a time.