Image by mirvettium website: mirgraphy

The majority of household waste consists of unsolicited mail – catalogs, direct mail marketing, and flyers.  The average household gets 6 pieces of junk mail each day and only 1.5 personal letters each week. That’s more than 100 million trees’ worth of bulk mail in American mailboxes every year, or the equivalent of deforesting the entire Rocky Mountain National Park every four months! US companies sent 100 billion pieces of bulk mail in 2005.  5.8 million tons ended up in the solid waste stream, or enough to fill over 450,000 garbage trucks. Less than 36% of this ad mail was recycled. The production and disposal of direct mail consumes more energy than 3 million cars.  One study says Americans throw away 44% of bulk mail unopened; yet still spend 8 months per lifetime opening bulk mail.

There are many more horrifying statistics.  Fortunately there are several stop junk mail websites to help you.  Visit 41pounds.org or stopjunkmailkit.com.  If you cut your bulk mail for 5 years, you’ll conserve 1.7 trees, 700 gallons of water and prevent 460 pounds of carbon dioxide from being released into the air.  Don’t forget to still recycle your mail, newspapers, and old phone books.

(Statistics from Conservatree and U.S. Forest Service statistics, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Postal Service, the Paper Task Force statistics and Consumer Research Institute)

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