Mother Earth Living

Recession Helps Environment: Less Junk Mail in Your Mailbox

Notice an emptier mailbox? Businesses hit by the declining economy are sending less junk mail to save money.
By Kirsten Hudson
August Web 2009
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The declining economy means less junk mail in your mailbox.
Photo By Auntie P/Courtesy Flickr


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Don’t expect your usual bulky catalog this year. Williams-Sonoma Inc. , parent company of Pottery Barn and West Elm , plans to hack its catalogs in half by 2011. J. Crew Group Inc. already cut its catalog circulation by 27 percent.

Credit card solicitations are decreasing, too. Companies mailed almost 1.4 billion fewer credit card offers in 2008 than in 2007.

Junk mail destroys more than 100 million trees annually and produces more than 51 million metric tons of greenhouse gases each year. Those numbers may have been a little less this year though. The volume of junk mail was down 16 percent from last fall to this summer compared with the same time a year ago. Because of increased shipping costs and hits from the declining economy, businesses have had to reduce the junk mail they send out—or stop sending it altogether.

The bad news? Cheaper e-mail promotions are becoming more popular for businesses. So expect a full inbox next time you log on.

More about junk mail

• See how artist Sandy Schimmel Gold creates pop art mosaics out of junk mail .

• Reducing the amount of junk mail sent to you is just one way to decrease your environmental impact. Discover eight other ways to make a difference this year.

• Don’t just toss your junk mail in the trash—recycle it! Learn how to easily organize your recycling.








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