Friday, January 19, 2007

Goodbye, junk mail. Hello, forest.

I hate junk mail, but my husband REALLY hates junk mail. As in tirades. As in lectures. As in preaching to the choir....

He once patiently phoned and wrote to all of the catalog purveyors who sent to us, only to realize that mailing lists get sold and updated nearly every time we make a purchase of anything.

But then we discovered that there are companies who do nothing but keep on top of this. And some of them even plant trees.

So in late November, following (once again) a tip from my friend Stephanie's blog, Surviving the Workday, I signed us up for GreenDimes.

For a dime a day ($3 per month), they get your name off direct mailing lists and keep it off--and plant a tree for you every month.

According to GreenDimes,

  • 100 million trees are chopped down every year for junk mail sent to American homes.

  • 28 billion (that’s 28 with 9 zeros) gallons of water are needed to make all the paper used for junk mail.

  • Paper makes up a third of the 235 million tons of waste Americans send to landfills each year.

  • The typical American household receives about 70 pounds of junk mail a year.

  • The amount of junk mail sent grows by 3 billion pieces a year.
The company launched on September 18, 2006, and it has a running tally of its estimated impact. As of this writing, it has stopped almost 71,000 pounds of junk mail, planted or saved 55,000 trees and saved 181,000 gallons of water.

It also keeps a little tally of my impact: to date, 17 pounds of junk mail stopped, 2 trees planted or saved, and 43 gallons of water saved.

Baby steps.


Stephanie said...

Well, I'm glad that tip worked for you. We don't get preventable junk mail (Ever heard of what to do with those grocery store flyers?), but I'm really glad Green Dimes worked.

Elizabeth said...

How is it that you don't get tons of credit card offers? Do you not use credit cards? That was the bulk of our junk mail.