Thursday, March 27, 2008

Who support junk mail?

I hate junk mail. Even though I recycle all of of it, we're talking about so much waste of paper, energy, pollution, etc. that I get mad every time I find it in my mailbox. Now I've learned from the Washington Post that there's an organization that thinks junk mail is good. No, I'm not talking about the marketers, I'm talking about USPS - United States Postal Service.

Lyndsey Laton reported last week in the Washington Post ('Effort to Block Junk Mail Slowed') that "barred by law from lobbying, the Postal Service is nonetheless trying to make its case before a growing number of state legislatures that are weighing bills to create Do Not Mail registries". If you're wondering what reason the Postal Service can find to support junk mail, the answer is simple - their business. The Postal Service, according to the article, claims that junk mail (they call it "standard" mail) became a very important part of their business and that many jobs are depended on that.

Well, this argument is not very strong, isn't it? If we'll act in accordance with the Postal Service's logic, then we shouldn't stop any polluting or environmentally damaging activity like driving SUVs or using coal to generate electricity because of its consequences on the suppliers of these products/services.

I really wish that USPS will focus more on how to create new revenue engines, hopefully green ones, instead of trying to maintain services with such enormous environmental impacts (not to mention the fact that junk mail is so annoying!). I want to remind USPS that eight million tons of trees are consumed each year in the production of the 19 billion catalogs that are mailed in the U.S. every year!

I believe that eventually the interest of the public will win and junk mail will be limited by law, so it also makes sense business wise for USPS to get prepared for that day instead of wasting money on lost bottles.

I also want to remind you the great service of Catalog Choice to prevent receiving further catalogs by mail. I wrote about it few months ago and last week I used it for the first time to prevent receiving more catalogs of Pottery Barn, which I really don't understand why they send me in the first place. Anyway, it's a very user-friendly service and it's free, and I hope it will help me now to keep my mailbox safe.

Raz @ Eco-Libris