Eric Wilson of the New York Times made me very happy. Wilson wrote today ('Deforest Your Mailbox') on a new online service called Catalog Choice that helps people to reduce the number of repeat and unsolicited catalog mailings they receive to their mailbox. And no less important - this service is free of charge!
Any news about an attempt to reduce the amount of catalogs sent to people's mailboxes is great news. Every year 19,000,000,000 (yes, 19 billion!) catalogs are mailed in the US. According to Catalog Choice's website, over eight million tons of trees are consumed each year in the production of these catalogs. Take into consideration the fact that most of the catalogs go directly to the trash bin (or recycling bin in the best case scenario), and you've got pure waste of natural resources.
Catalog Choice is according to the site "a sponsored project of the Ecology Center. It is endorsed by the National Wildlife Federation and the Natural Resources Defense Council, and funded by the Overbrook Foundation, the Merck Family Fund, and the Kendeda Fund." Its mission, besides reduction of the number of the mailed catalogs, is to "promote the adoption of sustainable industry best practices. We aim to accomplish this by freely providing the Catalog Choice services to both consumers and businesses."
I tried it and it's a very easy and user-friendly process. You register yourself and then can indicate which catalogs you no longer wish to receive. Afterwards, they update the businesses with the list of consumers no longer wanting to receive their catalogs.
I like Catalog Choice as it creates a win-win-win situation: Customers benefit from reducing their junk mail at no charge, the companies benefit since they save money by not sending catalogs for customers that don't wish to receive them, and of course the environment benefit due to all the trees that won't cut down.
You are welcome to check it out. According to their website, 29,726 people already registered to the site, having opted out of over 103,490 catalogs. And they're online only since last Wednesday!
And last word - if you want to stop receiving any kind of junk mail, check out other services available like one of my favorite sites, GreenDimes.
Founded in 2007, Eco-Libris is a green company working to green up the book industry in the digital age by promoting the adoption of green practices in the book industry, balancing out books by planting trees, and helping to make e-reading greener.
To achieve these goals Eco-Libris is working with book readers, publishers, authors, bookstores and others in the book industry worldwide. So far Eco-Libris balanced out over 179,500 books, which results in more than 200,000 new trees planted with its planting partners in developing countries.