In a digital world where you can do almost anything online — from dating to purchasing a car — actual letters and snail mail are fading into the past. And yet, mailboxes across America continue to be jammed with junk mail.
The photo displays a thick book of ancient phonebook proportions described as a “wasteful chunk of paper.”
To add insult to the fury, “They send this … in the mail every month,” the Redditor rightfully griped.
Junk mail, as its name would imply, is more than just annoying — it’s extremely wasteful. According to Heal the Planet, 33% of all mail delivered worldwide is junk mail. The Washington Post reported, citing the Sightline Institute, that Americans receive an estimated 41 pounds of unsolicited mail annually.
The amount of money, water, and wood marketers waste creating and sending these unsolicited mailings is highly problematic. Especially, when it all gets thrown away or, hopefully, put directly into a recycling bin. However, the Environmental Protection Agency reported that 60% of all junk mail ends up in landfills, per the West Contra Costa County Waste Management Authority.
The Product Stewardship Institute reported that 100 billion pieces of unwanted marketing mail are sent out each year in the U.S. — about 300 pieces of junk mail per person, per year. Per the PSI, this wastes enough water to fill 160,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools.
This amount of junk mail cuts down the equivalent of about 100 million trees, PSI estimated. This means a massive number of forests are chopped down to support this production. These trees are some of the most effective and natural ways to cool down our planet. It also destroys the homes of wildlife who depend on this habitat for food and shelter.
Websites like DMAchoice can help you opt out of junk mail from select companies. If you’re constantly receiving credit card offers, you can use OptOutPrescreen.com. Use CatalogChoice.org to unsubscribe from unsolicited catalogs one by one.
If you’re still feeling helpless, you can always plant a tree.
The overall reaction to the post was shared annoyance.
“Such a g****** waste,” one Redditor wrote.
“Imagine … the cost of printing each of those stupid catalogs,” said another.
“That’s depressing,” a third commented.
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