More than 100 billion pieces of junk mail are mailed to U.S. households each year, including 12 billion catalogs. That’s a lot of paper!
What is the environmental impact of our unwanted mail?
- Often, these trees come from highly sensitive forests, such as those in Indonesia and Brazil. Deforestation contributes to both habitat loss for wildlife and global climate change.
- The pulp and paper industry is the 4th-largest industrial user of energy. Most of this energy is used to power paper mills during the production phase, but energy is also used in the printing, distribution and disposal phases.
- Rotting material emits methane, a greenhouse gas more powerful than carbon dioxide.
- Recycling unwanted junk mail is certainly a better option than throwing it away. But many households, offices and schools do not offer paper recycling bins.
- than what is prevented by less trips to the store through catalog shopping.
There's a better way - stopping junk mail for good!
Junk Mail's Impact on Global Warming by ForestEthics.
Junk Mail infographic by the Product Stewardship Institute.
Reducing the Junk Mail Footprint by Ciara O'Rourke from The New York Times on March 16, 2009.