Think of paring down the amount of junk mail coming to your mailbox as not only being a time saver, but a world saver, too. According to an article last year in Time Magazine, Americans get an average of 18 pieces of junk mail for every personal letter. The environmental cost of all this junk mail is 100 million trees each year. Not to mention that 44% of junk mail ends up in landfills completely unopened.
In an effort similar to the Do Not Call Registry, some states are trying to limit the amount of junk mail crammed into mailboxes each day. Florida is working on a just such a bill backed by state Representative Mary Brandenburg and state Senator Dave Aronberg.
On the other hand there is The Direct Marketing Association, the trade group that argues advertising through the mail helps the economy and that should outweigh the environmental costs. Forest Ethics, a San Francisco based environmental group, has launched a Do Not Mail campaign hoping direct marketers will find new and innovative ways to advertise that will waste fewer natural resources. A staggering statistic from the Do Not Mail website states 30 percent of all mail delivered in the world in U.S. junk mail.
The article in Time noted that few states are likely to hop on the Do Not Mail bandwagon. According to Time, direct mail is a billion dollar business, estimated to bring $646 billion in sales annually. However, there are other alternatives for consumers that are less than trilled by the fliers clogging their mailbox.
Catalog Choice, a free service, allows consumers to reduce junk mail by deciding which catalogs to receive. By logging into the website at catalogchoice, a few clicks can reduce the number of catalogs coming to your mailbox.
Another free service is ProQuo, which enables consumers to stop the direct marketing offers they don't want. This site emphasizes the importance of consumers being in control of their own personal information. "Consumers don't know it, but their personal information is being traded and sold in support of a $10 billion legally operated industry, without their participation, and without their consent. The result is volumes of unwanted mail and solicitations, manipulation and potential abuse of their personal information, and increased potential for identity theft."
ProQuo stresses that consumers should own their personal information outright. On their site, at ProQuo.com, people can see their personal information, edit it, or delete it at any time. This site is not bent on necessarily eliminating junk mail, but rather allowing consumers to have control over what kind of marketing comes directly to the mailbox in a "highly targeted, yet thoughtful manner."
Ki is a real estate broker in Austin. His site was created to help people interested in Austin real estate
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