JUNKMAIL Saturday Night Live Green

May 23, 2009 by Ambassador of Green 

Face it.. in a sustainable economy .. unwanted and even wanted Postal mail clogging your mailbox is also clogging your local landfill. It doesn’t get recycled quite as you might expect. The Junk mail lifecycle is from trees to printing to trucking, to the landfill… not one of any step in the direct marketing postal mail process is sustainable. This Article contains the pros/cons/video(fun) and HOW TO mitigate the paper pushed into your postal mail . Over 40% of landfill mass is .. Paper. See SNL CLIP video:
Junkmail tops the list of unopened postal paper waste by volume, with newspapers, catalogs and magazines topping the list by weight. Megatons. Daily.

An SNL PSA Spoof... this is surprisingly accurate. Last Night’s Video:

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Very few Magazines are prepared on recycled paper stock. Noted exceptions:

Note: We really like all these, especially Organic Spa Magazine.

We asked why Magazines and junk mail paper was not sought after by recyclers. They responded by saying the de-inking process for most all magazine stock was too expensive to process reliably, created a hard to deal with ink sludge, and contained clays and titanium dioxide whiteners…”a lot of what is in a glossy magazine is not fiber“. The incidence of staples and plastic compounded the issues with post consumer paper or business documents and handled in another way… overall the propensity of responses from recyclers was:

” A profitable volume of recycled fiber is in newsprint and corrugated cardboard. “

We asked about newsprint, the response was that de-inking newsprint was a mature and manageable thing, ( mostly black ink with a known chemistry ) that they buy in bulk through trusted collection companies. Apparently the hassle there is inserts and advertising poster/glossy sheets on non-newsprint stock as a problem, they prefer to get over-run clean newsprint stock that was easily repulped. They buy it by the pound so cheaters soak the bundled bales with water, making it weigh much more that it should, causing accurate paper volume calculation more difficult for the recycler. In short, the process of recycling is much more of a challenge than most people realize.

JUNK MAIL is by and large “Use once” and the following step is disposal. It is inflicting itself on the system to get your attention and somehow create an urge in you, to spend money. It uses a federal and regulated system as its distribution method and is one of the worst identity theft enablers ever presented to society when used by Credit Card Banks. So how this BofA, Citi et al… your next junkmail item should say 100% recycled paper.

Infact the USPS relies on it and is guilty of Greenwashing as a result.

UPDATE June 19th
Believe it or not junkmail is referred to by the US POSTAL SERVICE as “Standard mail”

THIS press release from the Direct Marketers website and its REAL and just happened.

The United States Postal Service has issued further specifics on its proposed “summer sale.”

The sale will run from July 1 through September 30 and will be open to mailers who mailed more than one million Standard letters and/or flats from October 1, 2007, through March 31, 2008. The USPS said eligible mailers will receive a rebate of 30% on any mail volume in the summer sale period, which is over the past threshold. The rebates will be adjusted if the mailer’s October 2009 volume is less than their October 2008 mail volume adjusted their mailing trend.

Mailers will pay full postage during the summer, and their rebates will be determined by the USPS after October 31. Rebates will be credited to the mailer’s permit account before December 31. The USPS will be sending eligible mailers letters that will provide the threshold as determined by USPS data systems.
Once they receive their eligibility letter, mailers may enroll in the program on the Web on or before July 1. The summer sale proposal must still be approved by the USPS board of governors and the Postal Regulatory Commission.

Such “deals” by the USPS to increase junkmail flow.. well to us anyhow… its sickening that you need to mail over 1 million junk pieces to qualify and are expected to exceed that as a junkmailer that qualifies.

There are ways to reduce junkmail, first and foremost is to prevent it. Very Hard to do without help.


My favorite = http://www.41pounds.org/
41pounds.org stops your junk mail and catalogs — protecting the environment. Junk mail wastes an incredible amount of natural resources and contributes to global warming. Our nonprofit service covers your entire household for five years, saving…

Time — No credit card offers to shred or unwanted catalogs.
Trees — Keep 100+ million trees in forests, cooling the planet.
Water — Protect 28 billion gallons of clean water.
Climate — Junk mail produces more C02 than 9 million cars.
Planet — We donate to your favorite charity when you sign up.

To start managing your mail, one of the first things you’ll need to figure out is whether companies consider you a prospect or a customer. What’s the difference? If you receive mail from companies you’ve never bought from, you’re a prospect—and your name is on a list they’re using to try to find new customers.


Don’t Let Marketers Pass Your Name Around

Any time you order a product by mail, enter a contest, subscribe to a magazine, send in a warranty card, or otherwise give your name and address to a company or organization, you may be placed on a mailing list. The company or organization may then rent, sell or trade the list with your name on it. To limit your exposure, write “Please do not rent or sell my name” or “No mailing lists” next to your name. (Also consider not sending in the warranty card for a new product - it’s usually not required.)
Check out www.newdream.org/junkmail/optout.php

OPTOUT http://mailstopper.tonic.com/
Stop up to 90% of your junk mail with MailStopper - in just 90 days. We work with over 6,500 direct marketers - to make sure you get only the mail you want.

In Many States, the DMV ( Department of Motor Vehicles ) can and will sell your contact info and address unless you specifically opt-out. Its True. the default condition is that your drivers license ( and your age and gender etc ) are sold off to list buyers and insurance companies. see this: http://www.dot.wisconsin.gov/drivers/optout.htm

One aspect of mail that we do like - Coupons. ( especially PIZZA coupons - we always use them )

– keep it green & Let us know your solutions to junk mail.

for real paperless: Go with ZUMBOX - check it out at www.zumbox.com

Slipping in a small dose of self-promotion…

For magazines of course, we suggest using CTNdigital for a virtual and more engaging equivalent to paper… that actually does things you want such as…

  1. Big crisp visuals that you can click on to go buy your stuff. ( that’s the idea anyhow right? Make it easier.)
  2. Easy to find ( CTNgreen does not get lost under the couch cushions )
  3. VIDEO right in the page - everyone loves a good 2 minute clip, no can do on paper…
  4. Actually measure who saw your magazine page ( try that with paper… )
  5. _________________________________________ ( fill in the obvious, we know you are smart )

One thing CTN doesn’t much do is brag about itself. It’s just not our way… however you should know that all our Digital Carbon costs are offset right up to the last mile that is your ISP. CTN is 100% Carbon neutral from the get-go…( Carbon fund.org and Our Host is Tigertech: http://support.tigertech.net/co2 ) but we do more than that, and we think everyone sincere about this should also do the same. See 1% for the planet. http://www.onepercentfortheplanet.org/en/ - these people can be trusted.

Excellence gets Recognition: Pevonia Botanica
It is important to us that we know who the “good guys” are and make that into news. Send us what you know. We will.


Make Current


17 Responses to “JUNKMAIL Saturday Night Live Green”

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    We avoided charts and graphs on this article, there were too many and it just didnt help. GO PAPERLESS is the best course of action.

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