Earth Stewards Blog

A variety of information and inspiration on how we as Christians can be better stewards of God's gift to us, our planet

A Tragedy: Waste for No Reason

Posted by admin on December 1, 2012

Have you ever stopped to consider the particularly thorny issue that junk mail creates? We all receive unbidden pieces of mail daily. The average adult American receives 41 pounds of junk mail annually and 40% of that goes to the landfill unopened. Try to visualize a large dog food bag filled with junk mail for each adult American that has to be taken to a recycling center and then recycled or, worse, buried in a landfill, every year.

This is not just a nuisance, it is a travesty.

The majority of our household waste is junk mail. 100 million trees are destroyed annually to produce this trash and 42% of the timber harvested nationwide becomes pulpwood for paper. We spend 70 hours a year dealing with junk mail. The pulp and paper industry is the single largest consumer of water used in industrial activities in developed countries. Creating and shipping junk mail produces more greenhouse gas emissions than 9 million cars.*

So, we are gobbling up our natural resources of trees, water and clean air to produce and deliver a product that most of us do not even want. Are you ready to do something about it? Like most entrenched aspects of life in America, it won’t be a quick remedy but it can be accomplished to large extent and shouldn’t cost you a penny, and eventually will save you countless hours annually while simultaneously protecting our natural resources and air quality. So whether your bailiwick is preserving your own nest or that of your children and grandchildren or whether you are concerned about the diverse ecosystems in peril, here is your chance to make a difference in your daily living.

Log on to CatalogChoice.org and create a free account. Bookmark this page and make note of your account log in information because you will be making a visit to this website frequently as the junk mail continues to roll in daily. Once you have your free account created, you will enter the company information of the junk mail you wish to no longer receive and an opt-out request is delivered to the company.

Make a stack of the junk mail you receive beside your workstation and tend to it on a regular basis. This website provides an easy, secure way to reduce clutter and waste. If you prefer, you can directly contact each company by finding contact information for them through their printed material or your own research. Personally, I started using the Catalogchoice.org site about a month ago and I am already having the occasional day when I go to the mailbox and there is nothing there but first class mail. It is so refreshing. You can read all about Catalog Choice on their website. Good luck and start exercising your American consumer choice!

*Data gathered from EPA.gov and 41pounds.org websites. 

Submitted by Helen Bushnell Beets for Earth Stewards Team, December 2012