Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Declaring War on Junk Mail

Advocating for a better world for animals includes not only their treatment, but the environment they - and we - live in. One of the needless ways we destroy the environment: junk mail. A waste of trees, money, and our time.

Here are some startling facts from ForestEthics:
*More than 100 billion pieces of junk mail, nearly 900 pieces per household, arrive in American mailboxes each year.
*Junk mail in U.S. accounts for about 30% of all the mail delivered in the world and more than 100 million trees a year are cut down to produce it. Almost half of it goes to landfills unopened.
*It takes the equivalent of 290,000 garbage trucks to dump unrecycled junk mail into landfills and incinerators each year.
Check out ForestEthics' Youtube Channel.

What can you do?
Sign ForestEthic's petition to support a Do Not Mail Registry. Learn more about the campaign here.

New American Dream gives tips on reducing your junk mail.

When you receive an unwanted catalogue, take a few minutes to call the 800 number to be removed from their list. Unfortunately, this takes time out of all of our busy schedules, but this will put a dent into your junk mail.

A fellow friend of animals who runs a blog called "On Loving Animals" recently bemoaned in one of his posts the number of mail he receives from animal advocacy groups. I'm glad I'm not the only one whose noticed this.

In an "after the fact" move, I decide to check out the privacy policies of some of the groups I support. The wording of their privacy policies vary, but they all essentially say the same thing: they share your personal mailing address with other groups:
Humane Society of the U.S. Opt-out: e-mail humanesociety@hsus.org.
PETA Opt-out: e-mail Donations@peta.org or call at 757-622-7382.
Farm Sanctuary Add your name to their do-not-share list, e-mail info@farmsanctuary.org or call 607-583-2225 ext. 221.
ASPCA Opt-out: email: website@aspca.org, or call 800-628-0028

Check out privacy policies before you give, and if you do not want your name shared, let the group know. In my case, I feel frustratingly that my information is now out there, so I now have to spend more time e-mailing groups to not send me any more solicitations.

If you only want to be contacted once a year, make sure you tell them, otherwise a stream of letters will undoubtedly arrive asking for more.


Anonymous said...

Wow! Thanks for the detailed info about how my name gets shared. The tips for stopping junk mail are great. I'm blogging about the same topic and included a link to your post.



Vegan Good Life said...

Thanks! I like your blog. It's great to see people are spreading awareness about this problem. It does involve a little work on everyone's part, including e-mailing or calling companies to be removed from their lists, but until we get a "Do No Mail" law, the ball is in our court to take action.