- 5.6 million tons of catalogs and other direct mail advertisements end up in U.S. landfills annually.
- The average American household receives unsolicited junk mail equal to 1.5 trees every year—more than 100 million trees for all U.S. households combined.
- 44 percent of junk mail is thrown away unopened, but only half that much junk mail (22 percent) is recycled.
- Americans pay $370 million annually to dispose of junk mail that doesn’t get recycled.
- On average, Americans spend 8 months opening junk mail in the course of their lives.
Recycling is not the answer here, we have to solve the problem by stopping this. Too much energy, money, fuel goes into the production of the mailings, catalogs, coupons etc. that nobody wants and then again into the disposal of it. Totally unacceptable, both for the planet as well as our wallets!
In Germany I noticed that a lot of households have little stickers on their mailboxes saying "no catalogs, offers, coupons please" and the mailman won't put in local supermarket's offers. I saw this one online and am wondering whether it would help here as well.
Another step you can take to stop companies from sending you their offers is contacting them directly.
I know, it's inconvenient and takes some time, but it's worth it in the long run.
There are websites where you can register your name and address for a fee (www.mailstopper.tonic.com is one example), but there's ways to do it for free, too. Check out this online guide to stopping the junk coming into your life for some great ideas.