(updated December 20, 2011)
Of junk mail, that is. The average adult receives 41 pounds (approximately 560 pieces) of junk mail each year. That’s a total of 4 million TONS!
What does it take to make 4 million TONS of junk mail (remember, this is PER YEAR)?
- 100 million trees (we need these to soak up CO2 and keep the planet cool)
- 28 billion gallons of water (think of the 884 million people who lack access to clean water!)
- more CO2 than 9 million cars (uh, hello?!)
More stats to raise your blood pressure:
- The statistics above do NOT include yellow pages!
- $320 million of local taxes are spent to dispose of junk mail each year.
- And you hear about (or maybe have been an unfortunate victim of) identity theft. Stopping the flood of pre-approved credit card offers and other junk mail can reduce your risk PLUS you’ll stop wasting all that time and electricity shredding your personal info.
The good news is, you can stop most junk mail dead in its tracks–catalogs,too. Sign up at 41pounds.org and they’ll do the heavy lifting for just $41 (that’s 1 per pound of junk mail). 1/3 of your fee is donated to the environmental organization of your choice! For those not ready to take the full plunge, you can cherry pick the catalogs you can’t live without.
There are certain companies that require your signature to opt-out of receiving their mail. 41pounds.org will send you addressed post cards for you to sign, stamp and mail. EASY! Your junk mail will be reduced by 80-95%. And if you ever get a catalog after the process is complete, you can just drop 41pounds.org an email and they’ll take care of it!
But the yellow pages are unstoppable by 41pounds.org. 500 million directories are delivered across the nation each year! Every time one arrives, I take it out of the plastic wrap and dump it in the recycle bin, grumbling to myself that I have to give them a piece of my mind. Then I get distracted and forget. But now 41pounds.org has made it easy for me. Along with the postcards, they provided all of the directories’ phone numbers. Tomorrow I’m picking up the phone to stop the madness once and for all!
I urge you to say no to the yellow pages–there’s so much waste involved in getting these behemoths to your doorstep:
- 19 million trees
- 1.6 billion pounds of paper
- 3.2 billion kilo’s of electricity
- 7.2 million barrels of oil to produce
Need I say more? You can sign up with YellowPagesGoesGreen.org and, at no cost, they’ll contact your local phone company for you. But, if you’re like me, you get more than one directory dumped at your mailbox/doorstep every year. Here’s some numbers to call, just to be on the safe side:
- Verizon (Superpages/Idearc): 800.888.8448
- Dex (Yellow Pages): 877.243.8339
- Yellow Book: 800.373.3280
- AT&T/YellowPages (formerly SBC/Bell South): 800.792.2665 for AR, KS, OK, MO and TX only/All other states call 800.848.8000
The irony–just last week I got a sales call from a Yellow Pages rep wondering if I wanted to advertise with them. I told him he was barking up the wrong tree (hehe).
The catalog breakdown:
- Each year, 19 billion catalogs are mailed to American consumers, which uses 53 million trees and 3.6 million tons of paper.
- To produce this volume of paper requires 38 trillion BTUs, enough to power 1.2 million homes per year!
- The energy used to produce catalogs contributes 5.2 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions, equal to the annual emissions of two million cars!
For a $1 fee, sign up with the Direct Marketing Association’s Mail Preference Service (MPS), DMAchoice.org, to receive only the catalogs you actually want.