We don’t often think of junk mail as an environmental hazard but did you know that the production of a day’s worth of junk mail in America is equivalent to enough energy to heat 250,000 homes? If we each saved up all the unwanted paper mail we get in a single year, each person would have saved the equivalet of one-and-a-half fully grown trees. If every person in the United States were to cut their junk mail for a year, that would amount to at least 100 million trees saved per year.
Did You Know?
Americans recieve approximately 2 million tons of junk mail every year? About 44% of that junk mail is never opened or read? Did you know that the average person in the United States spends the equivalent of 8 months’ worth of their time just openning their junk mail? In 1989, junk mail was made possible by a United States Postal Service policy that enabled bulk mailers to be sent in pre-sorted batches for their most minimum shipping rate of 10.1 cents per piece. If only 100,000 people stopped their junk mail, we could save about 150,000 trees per year. If a million people did this, we could save some 1.5 million trees. As we know, trees help reduce carbon dioxide in our atmosphere and through photosynthesis, produce oxygen–that wonderful stuff we all need to breathe and live.
Simple Things To Do
Write to: Mail Preference Service, Direct Marketing Assn., 11 West 42nd Street., P.O. Box 3861, New York, New York 10163-3861. They will stop your name from being sold to most large mailng list companies. While this may not affect the lists of companies that already have your name on their mailing lists, it will stop new comapnies from adding you to their lists and will reduce your junk mail collection by 75%. To reduce it 100%, you would have to write to each company that currently has you on their mailing lists now and change your mailing preferences.
You can also recycle the junk mail you do get. If it’s printed on newsprint, toss it in with the newspapers. If it’s quality, high grade paper, it just needs to be in a seperate pile but most recycling centers now accept both white and color print paper. Envelopes can be recycled as well so long as they don’t have the plastic windows in them.
So good luck on reducing your junk mail and think of all the trees and energy we can save!
Source: 50 Simple Things You Can Do to Save the Earth, The Earth Works Group, Earthworks Press, Brekely, California, 1989.