Finland’s Postal Service Is Offering to Mow Your Lawn

April 29, 2016, 3:47 PM UTC
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Employees work on the automated mail processing line inside the logistics center for Itella Posti Oyj, the Finnish postal service, in Vantaa, Finland, on Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2014. Finland's government may consider privatizing companies including postal service Itella, state railways VR and airline Finnair, business newspaper Kauppalehti reports. Photographer: Tomi Setala/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Photograph by Tomi Setala—Bloomberg via Getty Images

In an effort to do more than just deliver mail, Finland’s national postal service is offering to mow its customer’s lawn.

Starting May 17, the postal worker that comes by to drop people’s mail will also be available for lawn-mowing, Posti announced in a statement last week. The pilot project will last throughout the summer, and the grass-cutting service will be provided every Tuesday, “due to the lower volume of advertisements and publications distributed on that day.”

Posti is pretty transparent about the reason behind this service: postal workers are kind of free. Mail volumes have been dropping in Finland—as they are all across the world—but mail routes do reach almost three households on every weekday. So mail delivery workers have proposed a task they can perform while they’re out on the job.

“The idea for the lawn mowing service came from mail delivery employees. We believe many customers will be happy to outsource lawn mowing when we make it convenient for them to do so,” Anu Punola, director at Posti, said in the statement.

So, for 30 minutes every Tuesday, customers can pay a monthly fee of 65 euros for the service. Those that want a more thorough cut of the backyard can pay 130 euros monthly for 60 minutes of detailed mowing.

It’s part of a diversification of services that Posti is offering its customers. The mail delivery service sends out some two million meals to Finnish homes a year, and also provides home care for people with disabilities.

Call it invention by necessity, as Posti reported a net sales loss of around 76 million euros last year. This dovetails with similar numbers by the U.S. Postal Service, which the agency is trying to combat with innovations like email notifications.