Do you like fresh air, do you like the environment, do you care? Considering the data about junk mail may make you feel green in a whole new way. Read it and weep and then pick up your phone and cancel all those Pottery Barn and Frontgate catalogs you get weekly in your mail box. Do you really need those catalogs? Do you even want them? You are probably getting catalogs and junk mail from companies that you have never even heard of. The truth about the volume may shock you into action. Read it and then contact one of the links below. Breath deeply…now grasp the facts…
More than 100 million trees’ worth of bulk mail arrive in American mail boxes each year – that’s the equivalent of deforesting the entire Rocky Mountain National Park every four months. (New American Dream calculation from Conservatree and U.S. Forest Service statistics)
In 2005, 5.8 million tons of catalogs and other direct mailings ended up in the U.S. municipal solid waste stream – enough to fill over 450,000 garbage trucks. Parked bumper to bumper these garbage trucks would extend from Atlanta to Albuquerque. Less than 36% of this ad mail was recycled. (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency)
Americans pay $370 million annually to dispose of junk mail that does not get recycled.
The production and disposal of direct mail consumes more energy than 3 million cars. (New American Dream calculation from U.S. Department of Energy and the Paper Task Force statistics)
On average, Americans spend 8 months opening junk mail in the course of their lives.
250,000 homes could be heated with one day’s supply of junk mail.
There are several easy and painless (read the Lazy Environmentalist) ways to reduce your junk mail burden. Do yourself a favor and take advantage of one or more of the free (or slightly cheap) services listed below:
…and the Coup De Grace, goes to an organization founded by a college student from Missouri who was perplexed by the unsolicited yellow and white pages delivered to his doorstep and the daunting task of recycling all of them. He founded http://www.yellowpagesgoesgreen.org/
Over 500 million of these directories are printed every year. That is nearly two books for every person in the country! These directories produce a staggering amount of waste, not only in terms of misused natural resources but also in filling of valuable landfill space.
To produce 500 million books:
- 19 million trees need to be harvested
- 1.6 billion pounds of paper are wasted
- 7.2 million barrels of oil are misspent in their processing (not including the wasted gas used for their delivery to your doorstep)
- 268,000 cubic yards of landfill are taken up
- 3.2 billion kilowatt hours of electricity are squandered