Junk mail is more than simply annoying. It also uses valuable resources. Each year 100 million trees are ground up to produce junk mail. Approximately 44% of all junk mail is thrown in the trash, unopened and unread. Not surprisingly, about 40% of the solid mass that makes up our landfills is paper and paperboard waste.
• Shop online and save resources: catalogue companies send out billions (17 billion in the U.S. in 2006) of catalogues each year
• The Canadian Marketing Association (CMA) offers a free Do Not Contact Service which enables individuals to reduce the number of marketing offers they receive by mail, telephone and fax by having their names removed from marketing lists held by members of the Canadian Marketing Association. You can register online at http://www.the-cma.org/public.asp?WCE=C=47|K=224217
• For companies that do not belong to CMA, or other organizations in your area, contact them directly. You can write to firms that send you unsolicited material and tell them firmly to stop. Be sure to use the enclosed Business Reply envelopes when replying through the mail, and address them to Customer Service. You can also call the firms' toll free numbers and ask to speak with customer service.
o Catalogues: find the toll free ordering number on the catalogue, call and request that they remove you from their mailing list
o Junk mail: Many offers will also include a postage paid envelope to return your order in. Put everything that was sent to you inside this envelope and write a note that says “Please remove me from your mailing list”. The extra postage they have to pay should likely help stop the mailings.
o Local junk flyers: Call the distribution company and request that they stop placing these in your mailbox
Not willing to give up your favourite catalogue?
• Discourage the use of non-recycled paper: the vast majority of catalogue companies still use virgin paper which consumes large amounts of wood, energy and water and generates significant air and water pollution and solid waste. Check to see if your catalogue company uses recycled paper. If not, call and ask them to switch to recycled paper. Alternatively, go to www.actionnetwork.org/campaign/catalogs to send a message to catalogue company CEO’s. Tell them to make the switch to recycled.
• Always remember to read, share and recycle
Kreg Weiss is a co-founder of My Yoga Online and certified Hatha Yoga Teacher. Several years ago, Kreg discovered yoga while teaching health and fitness. Yoga dramatically transformed Kreg's approach to teaching health and wellness as well as changed his personal life bringing new direction in finding physical, mental, and spiritual growth.