EnviroCitizen.org has discovered that a huge amount of household waste consists of unsolicited (junk) mail. Every year in the United States, 100 million trees are used to create junk mail. During the process of making trees become junk mail, 28 billion gallons of water is used annually. It’s hard to recycle junk mail, since the inks used have high concentrations of heavy metals. The transportation costs of junk mail amount to about $550 million each year. The average household receives about 40 pounds of junk mail every year, which accounts for more than an entire tree!
As you can see, there are a lot of reasons to get rid of junk mail, especially because it is so wasteful and unwanted. If you want to reduce the amount of junk mail that you receive, you can do it while knowing that you’re taking one more eco-friendly step to an environmentally-conscious lifestyle. To start, contact the Direct Marketing Association Mail Preference Service and tell them to remove your name off of every list. This action should yield a considerable reduction in the amount of junk mail that you’re getting. However, if you want to eliminate all of your junk mail, you’ve got to take a few more steps. Contact the major credit bureaus, your bank and your credit card companies and tell them not to release any of your contact information for marketing, mailing or promotions. This is an important step because there was a Federal law passed in 2000 that states that citizens have a right to tell companies not to sell their personal information. These companies that you work with have a legal obligation to not release your contact information.
These actions will get rid of most of the junk mail, but if you’re really ambitious or really want to live an eco-friendly, junk-mail-free lifestyle, there are still a few more things that you can do. Contact all of the magazines that you subscribe to and tell them not to release any of your contact information for marketing, mailing or promotion. Again, that law passed in 2000 will protect you and force those companies to protect your name and information. You should also contact any mail-order companies that you’ve done business with, as well as frequent flyer programs or hotel affiliations that you belong to. You can also contact your cable television company and tell them not to release your information. After all, pretty much any company that you interact with will gladly sell your personal information if they can make money; that’s how capitalism works.
All of these steps will most likely ensure that you can live a life without junk mail, or at least with a large amount less. It’s a small step when you think of all of the environmental problems out there, but it can make a huge difference, especially if you encourage your friends and family to do the same. Think of the difference that just your own family could make if ten family members participate. That adds up to ten trees every year that are not being used for junk mail. EnviroCitizen.org believes that there are very good reasons to get rid of junk mail other than to de-clutter your mailbox. Start making some calls to end junk mail today!