The production and disposal of direct mail consumes over 100 million trees, 28 billion gallons of water and more energy than 3 million cars. Approximately 44% of junk mail goes to landfills unopened. Direct mail creates 10 billion pounds of solid waste, and it cost communities over $1 billion a year to collect and dispose of it!
We don’t ask for it, but we all get it. Every U.S. citizen will receive about 560 pieces of junk mail this year. If you are getting more junk mail than you want to handle, here are some resources to guide you through reducing it:
New American Dream provides a simple online form to reduce junk mail.
DMA Consumer Information and Preference Service provides basic how-to information for removing your name from mailing, telemarketing and e-mail lists.
Catalog Choice is an innovative online service that allows citizens and businesses to reduce the amount of unwanted mail they receive by removing their names from direct market mailing lists. This eliminates the delivery and disposal of all that unwanted paper, keeping it from entering our waste stream altogether. 41Pounds is a non-profit organization providing a 80-95% reduction in unwanted catalogs and junk mail for five years at a $41 fee.
Green Dimes is a non-profit organization providing a 90% reduction in junk mail in addition to planting five trees for a $20 fee.
Hold on to the Good Stuff
You don’t have to lose the “good stuff” just because you’re junking the junk. Besides using Catalog Choice (see above) to select the things you want to keep receiving, you can contact your favorite companies and request that your name and address appear on their “in-house” list only.