Most of us end up tossing the daily influx of junk mail, catalogs, and solicitations that flood our mailboxes. Unfortunately, all that paper adds up quickly to a whole lot of waste, squandered resources, and greenhouse gases.

Direct marketing devastation

Mountains of mail

The mass-marketing industry relies increasingly on direct mail and catalogs to tempt our interest in an ever-growing slew of products and services. In fact, 90 billion pieces were sent in 2000, up considerably from the 35 billion pieces sent in 1980.[1] Every year, each adult in the United States receives nearly 560 pieces, or about 41 pounds, of unsolicited mail.[2]

Carbon and other waste

It's estimated that 100 million trees are used annually to produce all the junk mail that's distributed to US homes.[3] In addition to loss of trees, processing all that paper requires 28 billion gallons of water.[4] What's more, creating and transporting the mountains of mail results in more greenhouse gas emissions than 2.8 million cars produce in a year.[2]

Lack of recycling

A US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) study found that in 2005, 5.8 million tons of catalogs and other direct-bulk mailings were distributed in the US, and less than 36 percent were recycled.[5] Indeed, approximately 44 percent of this unsolicited mail is carted to landfills unopened and unread, costing US taxpayers $320 million each year.[2]


  • direct mail: The term used by direct marketers to describe the practice of sending large amounts of marketing and advertising materials to the public.
  • junk mail: Unsolicited mail that appears in millions of American mailboxes each day.

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First, it is not illegal to send anyone catalogs in the mail. It is illegal to spam by email, it is illegal to telemarket after being told to be put on the “do not call” list, it is NOT illegal to send print catalogs even if you ask to be taken off the mailing list. I would hear all the time “I’m going to sue you for sending these catalogs”. Yeah well, knock yourself out pal, it’s not illegal…get over it.

Fact: You can get off of a company’s list by calling them. If they know you aren’t going to buy from them they aren’t going to waste money by sending you another catalog.

Fiction: That will get you off of all lists. Not gonna happen, and contacting the list distributors isn’t going to do it either. Your information will be bought by another company and the list services aren’t going to throw money away. Also, don’t bother to ask to be taken off the rent/sell list, you wont be. Those individual companies sell your information and they too are not going to throw money away.


This is terrible! My heart is bleeding every time I get another patch of those "coupon packets" or a whole bunch of catalogs...I never look at them and would love to have a way to "opt out". Not because it's too much trouble to recycle but because it's so not eco-friendly to send me all that sh*t.
Maybe we should make the whole mailing-list illegal?

crazy for chocolate

des? r u and the other ppl talking about "water melon" or something else?
its the grl that sits next 2 u in math class

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