Updated: Jan 6
Mother Teresa said, "Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love." Inspired by my Marie Kondo book and Netflix binge I started to think about extending my desire to "tidy up" not only my closets, rooms, and storage spaces but my mail box as well. If you are like me you are getting less and less "snail" mail. Well, I should restate that ... I am getting less "first class" mail. You know those notes from Grandma, bills from cable company, even greeting cards come in digital form these days. What I was still getting a lot of is junk mail!! Credit card offers, solicitations, catalogs, the list goes on and on. I started to really look at how much went right from the mailbox to the recycle bin every day and it made me sad. I thought "What are we doing to this planet and it's natural resources?" "How many trees had to die for this junk mail?" After a few clicks online I found the answers which is heartbreaking, you can read the "Story of Junk Mail above" but for more statistics read on...
The majority of the 4 million tons of junk mail that Americans receive annually ends up in landfills.
The energy used to create and distribute junk mail in the US for one day could heat 250,000 homes.
On average, Americans use 650 pounds of paper a year.
The United States throws out the amount of office paper it would take to build a 12-foot wall from Los Angeles to New York City (2,794 miles).
Americans make nearly 400 billion photocopies a year, which comes out to 750,000 copies every minute.
Making new paper from recycled materials uses less energy than producing paper from virgin tree products and leaves more trees to absorb excess carbon dioxide.
For every 1 ton of paper that’s produced, roughly 390 gallons of oil is used to make it.
1 trillion pages of paper equal 8.5 million acres of trees. That is an area greater than the state of Maryland.
2,000 pounds (or 1 ton) of recycled paper helps to save over 350 gallons of oil, 17 trees, and a large portion of landfill space.
A single American consumes roughly two trees annually in paper products.
Of the 62 million newspapers printed daily in the United States, 44 million will be thrown away (roughly 500,000 trees).
If 1/10 of all discarded American newspapers were recycled annually, approximately 25 million trees would be saved.
It does not take that much effort to recycle but what if you got the process to stop earlier, never even receiving that junk mail? Good News!!! You can and for free. With a bit of time and some key strokes I stopped 90% of my junkman and catalogs. now I find I have more time in my life to do the things I love (not having to sort through it), more space in my home, a lightness in my heart, and the knowledge that I can doing my part in creating a healthier planet.
Maya Angelou said "When we know better we do better" ... now that you know go sign up today:
For sources to stop junk mail visit: www.ecocycle.org/junkmail
To stop catalogs sign up at: www.catalogchoice.org.