Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Free the Trees: Lower Your Paper Profile

Earth Day is a-comin’ in (Sunday, April 22). Greenies, it’s our day! No more doom and gloom. Time to do our circle dance, singing of recycling, reducing and reuse and that closed loop of zero waste which is the greenie’s golden ring. (See "Cradle to Cradle," www.mbdc.com).

Recycling Paper

To find out about curbside collection and other recycling options in your zipcode, go to earth911.org.

Sometimes it’s not so easy: A reader writes that there’s no curbside pickup of recyclables in her neighborhood, and while she can drop off beverage containers in the next town over, they don’t take paper. What to do? First, look on the web or in the government section of your phone book for your City or County Public Works refuse department. Ask them for the nearest location to you. And raise a ruckus! Go to http://www.informinc.org/ for a toolkit on how to jump start recycling where you live. Also contact your state Public Interest Research Group for help. Find it through www.uspirg.org/about-us

Easy Paper Reduction Tip

Stop the paper torrent at the source by taking your name off those catalog lists. Producing junk mail consumes about 100 million trees and 28 billion gallons of water per year, according to greendimes.com.

Do it for $1 at www.dmaconsumers.org/cgi/offmailing, the site of the Direct Mail Association (but it can take up to 6 months to get rid of all unwanted catalogs). Also see www.optout@abacus-us.com

Or, subscribe to a service, such as http://www.greendimes.com/, which, for $3/month, keeps you off new lists. And each month they’ll plant a tree in your name somewhere in the Americas, Haiti, India or Senegal, choosing drought-resistant and income-producing varieties that suit local ecosystems. This makes them my pal Erin’s choice–she says her mailbox can almost breathe.

Or just contact the companies and organizations you don’t want mail from. Andy Postman cancelled 10 catalogs in 22 minutes with 8 phone calls and 2 emails, as he reported in The New York Times, calculating that he saved almost half a tree and 154 pounds of CO2..

Now, if we could only get rid of those bills!

Please share this tip with any friends who may be interested by sending them to info@greenerpenny.com. Thanks!


Allison Lin said...

could you re-post the link for Direct Mail please?

greenscream said...

the other day a high wind blew all my junk and ad mail all over my dairy farm and i got so fed up that i taped a post-it to my mailbox: help me Mr. Postman! I want to stop this junk. Well, he kindly placed a letter from the U.S. POSTAL SERVICE listing numbers to call. And sure enough, it worked. talk about mail bonding. GREENSCREAM

Kendra said...

Hey- thanks for mentioning GreenDimes! Tell your friends!

GreenFemme said...

Direct Mail link is reposted. Green Scream, what numbers did you call?

Cher said...

Interesting to know.