Sunday, March 9, 2008

Lose More Waste Fast!

According to 41pounds, "By reducing your junk mail for 5 years, you’ll conserve 1.7 trees and 700 gallons of water, and prevent 460 pounds of carbon dioxide from being released into the atmosphere."

Clearly, your personal reduction can really add up. Right now, in order to produce America's unwanted mail, over 100 million trees are churned into junk mail annually, and 28 million gallons of water are needed to produce the 4.5 million tons of unwanted catalogs, magazines, and solicitation mailings that we all find in our mailboxes. After all of this, 44% of this mail is thrown away, unopened.

Fortunately, there are several easy ways to get yourself removed from the junk mail lists and prevent these wasteful mailings from ever being created with your name on them.

If you are a do it yourself-er, you can opt out of the mailing lists maintained by credit reporting agencies, which are in turn sold to credit card and insurance companies for mass solicitation. Just call the agencies' opt out number at 888-5-OPTOUT. You can also eliminate many of the unwanted solicitation letters and catalogs by following the steps outlined in Eco-Cycle's Stop the Junk Mail Monster guide.

There are also several companies ready to help rid you of 90 -95% of your junk mail both easily and inexpensively: is a service that costs $20; however, the company plants 5 trees when you initially sign up ,as well as one tree for each catalog you opt out of receiving. is run by a nonprofit organization that gives 1/3 of the $41 junk mail reduction fee to a charity of your choice. allows you to opt out of receiving catalogs, magazines, book clubs, and nonprofits for $19.95 a year. is a project of the Ecology Center, and their service, which allows you to opt out of receiving catalogs, and their service is free!

Also, don't forget that most of your bank statements, investment reports, and bills can all be paid online. Contact your companies and ask for paperless statements. Let's be frank - the only mail we want to find in our box is a new movie to watch anyway, so make it happen and save some precious resources at the same time!

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