604873445431 East 5th ave. Vancouver, B.C. Canada

Junk mail’s bad karma.

I get alot of junk mail… and up til now i have not thought much about it.  In North America 44% goes into the garbage unopened and only 22% of all junk mail ends up getting recycled.  There is an old addage that a thousand mile walk starts with one step,  or recently i heard Desmond Tutu quote “how do you eat an elephant?  – one piece at a time”.

My first step began with stopping delivery of these massive catalogues.  They are full of cool things to buy so i keep them… but in hindsight whenever i actually buy something,  it’s online.  And I always look for the most current information on the website first.


•North Americans consume the most paper in the world… upwards of 500 lb / person

•Over 40%+ of logging goes into making paper

•12% of the worlds industrial energy goes into logging, and the paper and pulp industry is also the fourth largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the manufacturing sector

•Paper represents one of the biggest components of solid waste in landfills – 26 million tons (or 16% of landfill solid waste) in 2009.  When paper decomposes in a landfill, it releases methane, a greenhouse gas 23 times more potent than carbon dioxide.

5.6 million tons of catalogs and other direct mail advertisements end up in U.S. landfills annually

•The Canadian Boreal forest is being logged 2 acres a minute, 24hr. a day to produce junk mail and other paper products.


Fortunately cancelling the magazines was easy,  I just needed to go to a link listed on the back and click ‘unsubscribe’.    Do not open unwanted 1st and 2nd class mail addressed to you: their postage includes return service, so you can write “Return to Sender” (front of envelope) and “take me off your mailing list” (back).  This is the easiest way to get removed and exposes the marketing losses to them.

Generic mail to ‘occupant’ or ‘postal customer’ doesn’t get returned… it will take a bit more effort to contact them each directly.

Yellow pages opt out:  http://delivery.ypg.com/en/US/Home/Index/

So in the course of writing this blog,  i made the studio a bit greener… I cancelled my giant magazines and removed the yellow page delivery.  Over time this will add up – Stopping all the junk mail is daunting task, but now you have a couple tools to make steps towards making the world better!

Stats from forestethics.com and about.com