Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Green Options - Catalog Waste Part 2: Making the Catalogs You Receive More Sustainable

As part of Eco-Libris' ongoing content partnership with Green Options Media, we feature a post that was originally published by Robin Shreeves on September 1 on Sustainablog. Today's post is about catalogs and this time how to handle those you actually want.

Last week, I wrote about the paper waste associated with catalogs in Catalog Waste Part 1: NOW is the Time to Cancel Unwanted Catalogs and Stop Paper Waste. If you're receiving catalogs that you don't want, cancel them and seriously curb your paper consumption in one easy step.

But, what if you don't want to cancel all of the catalogs you receive? Sometimes, there are catalogs that you actually do use and want to continue receiving. Do you have to be content with receiving many, many copies of the catalog when one a year or one a season would suffice? Do you have to be content with the catalog companies using 100% virgin paper?

No, you don't. Here are some things you can do:

  • Call the companies of the catalogs that you do wish to receive and tell them that you would only like to receive a certain number of mailings a year. Not all companies are set up to do this yet, but more and more companies are offering this option. If a company comes out with an "early fall catalog" and a "fall catalog" and a "late fall catalog" (this is common with clothing companies), most likely the items inside the catalog are the same, but the picture on the cover is different and the pages have been rearranged. You can request that you be sent one catalog a season. Or, if you just want a catalog to shop from for the holidays, request only one mailing a year at the beginning of holiday season.