HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » General Discussion (Forum) » Junk mail is environmenta...
Introducing Discussionist: A new forum by the creators of DU

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 05:12 PM

Junk mail is environmentally destructive, pollutes, uses energy, & we can't even stop it from coming

I have added myself to lists to stop junk mail, countless times over the years.

I have removed myself from other lists designed to get me sent things.

I don't sign up for deals and whatnot, to keep my address of yet more lists.

I've moved almost all charitable giving to anonymous in order to stay off those lists.

I've attempted to stop the half dozen phone books that come to my address each year, without success.

I've tried to stop the local, free newspaper from being left in my driveway multiple times per week.

I don't want any of this stuff. While I've been able to stop a fair amount of it, there is an amazing amount of crap that still comes through. Even friends who check mail while I'm gone comment that I receive less junk mail than they do. In other words, most people receive a lot of wasteful crap in the form of junk mail that they don't want and that they throw away.

This is environmentally destructive. The waterways in my area are polluted by trash. The waterways in many areas are likewise. Moving unwanted paper around, roundtrip, through mail delivery, and back via trash or recycling and associated hauling, uses resources, uses money, etc. etc.

And it's for stuff most people DON'T WANT...worse for stuff most people CANNOT STOP.

I think our mail carriers are good people for the most part. I want them to have jobs, to have pensions, to deliver mail on Saturdays or have something else to do by their employer that makes them a living.

But I don't think it's necessary to have a good mail system while inundating people with a ton, tons of tons, of unwanted junk mail deliveries that are destructive to local creeks, fill local landfills, and even when recycled, require a great deal of fossil fuels to recycle (not just the hauling, but the resources to recycle it into something, like, oh, maybe more junk mail!).

It's enough. There's got to be a better way.

56 replies, 2336 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 56 replies Author Time Post
Reply Junk mail is environmentally destructive, pollutes, uses energy, & we can't even stop it from coming (Original post)
CreekDog Feb 2013 OP
leftstreet Feb 2013 #1
NightWatcher Feb 2013 #17
we can do it Feb 2013 #2
northoftheborder Feb 2013 #3
tabbycat31 Feb 2013 #4
Gormy Cuss Feb 2013 #35
robinlynne Feb 2013 #5
CreekDog Feb 2013 #7
robinlynne Feb 2013 #20
CreekDog Feb 2013 #34
robinlynne Feb 2013 #44
CreekDog Feb 2013 #46
robinlynne Feb 2013 #47
Mariana Feb 2013 #27
pintobean Feb 2013 #6
shenmue Feb 2013 #8
CreekDog Feb 2013 #9
redqueen Feb 2013 #14
Gormy Cuss Feb 2013 #37
2on2u Feb 2013 #10
Yavapai Feb 2013 #11
Mariana Feb 2013 #28
robinlynne Feb 2013 #51
Louisiana1976 Feb 2013 #12
RebelOne Feb 2013 #13
lindysalsagal Feb 2013 #15
stuntcat Feb 2013 #18
Brigid Feb 2013 #16
FrodosPet Feb 2013 #25
Brigid Feb 2013 #29
CreekDog Feb 2013 #45
robinlynne Feb 2013 #53
HiPointDem Feb 2013 #19
CreekDog Feb 2013 #21
HiPointDem Feb 2013 #23
KitSileya Feb 2013 #22
u4ic Feb 2013 #24
Phentex Feb 2013 #26
Recursion Feb 2013 #30
CreekDog Feb 2013 #31
meow2u3 Feb 2013 #32
robinlynne Feb 2013 #54
OldDem2012 Feb 2013 #33
DCBob Feb 2013 #36
CreekDog Feb 2013 #39
DCBob Feb 2013 #40
CreekDog Feb 2013 #41
DCBob Feb 2013 #42
marions ghost Feb 2013 #43
justiceischeap Feb 2013 #48
marions ghost Feb 2013 #38
Cleita Feb 2013 #49
kudzu22 Feb 2013 #50
CreekDog Feb 2013 #52
apocalypsehow Feb 2013 #55
AndyA Feb 2013 #56

Response to CreekDog (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 05:13 PM

1. They should have drones drop it on our enemiez!

I hate junk mail

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to leftstreet (Reply #1)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 07:34 PM

17. Just not on Americans without due process

That'd be wrong....unless there are coupons for Olive Garden

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to CreekDog (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 05:33 PM

2. I agree and I've tried, too.

on the other hand, it is supporting postal workers and printers.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to CreekDog (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 05:40 PM

3. I agree totally with you about the junk mail.

I thought when I moved, that all that stuff, at least that had my name on it, would stop, because supposedly the Post Office doesn't forward third class mail. But no, I get all the same catalogues, fundraising letters, political stuff. How did they get my address??? I think the PO must send that info to senders as soon as they get a forwarding address. It is such a waste. And all that stuff that is packed into the daily paper, is usually more paper than the paper itself, now that they are downsizing dailies. I don't know what the answer is.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to northoftheborder (Reply #3)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 05:42 PM

4. I can tell you how political parties get your address for direct mail

And that is from the voter file, which is public information. How companies get it is beyond me.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to tabbycat31 (Reply #4)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 12:16 PM

35. Companies pay for change-of-address data

and can also just buy the data in bulk from data miners.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to CreekDog (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 06:01 PM

5. It should be easy enough to create a do not mail list, like the do not call list. or to pass local a

anti junk mail ordinances. Noone wants junk mail, junk email, or junk phone calls.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to robinlynne (Reply #5)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 06:10 PM

7. Actually San Francisco attempted to reduce delivery of phone books

through an opt-in program.

and the courts turned it down, also jeopardizing the program in Seattle.

this is a joke.

free speech doesn't include leaving books i don't want on my doorstep or in my mail slot.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to CreekDog (Reply #7)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 08:34 PM

20. Do you know what reason the court gave?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to robinlynne (Reply #20)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 12:09 PM

34. Here:

http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/2019445681_apcasanfranciscoyellowpages2ndldwritethru.html


SF phonebook ban in trouble after court ruling

A federal appeals court decision striking down restrictions on the distribution of Yellow Pages in Seattle has imperiled San Francisco's own phonebook ban.

...

A federal appeals court decision striking down restrictions on the distribution of Yellow Pages in Seattle has imperiled San Francisco's own phonebook ban.

The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Monday that Seattle's 2010 law violated the First Amendment. The law created a registry - paid for by fees levied on publishers of the directories - that allowed residents to opt out of receiving phone directories. The publishers were additionally required to advertise the availability of the opt-out registry on the directories' front covers.

Seattle estimated unwanted phonebooks generated 1,300 tons of waste a year that cost taxpayers nearly $200,000 to dispose.

San Francisco's law is more restrictive, making it even less likely to stand up in court. It prohibits the distribution of Yellow Pages to anyone who does not specifically opt in.

Supervisor David Chiu, who authored the law, told the San Francisco Chronicle (http://bit.ly/Rw1UCb) that the appeals court misread the First Amendment and protected "giant corporate polluters."

He said he will evaluate potential changes to San Francisco's law, but intends to continue pushing to cut down on phonebook waste.

In the Seattle case, a district court had upheld the law, saying the directories represented commercial speech and were therefore not entitled to the full protection of the First Amendment.

But the appeals court disagreed, siding with Yellow Page companies.

...

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to CreekDog (Reply #34)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 04:35 PM

44. first ammendment... thought it might be.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to robinlynne (Reply #44)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 05:02 PM

46. but it isn't a First Amendment issue

not allowing me to opt out of phone book delivery is not about the First Amendment.

by that standard, i'd have to allow any kind of mail delivery to my house, including all the junk mail i've already blocked.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to CreekDog (Reply #46)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 05:07 PM

47. I'm with you. I dont allow phone span into my home. Mail spam is the same thing.

the last thing I want in my home is advertisements. and waste.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to CreekDog (Reply #7)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 07:42 AM

27. I don't understand why it isn't considered Littering

to leave those things on someone's property without their permission.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to CreekDog (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 06:01 PM

6. Election season is the worst.

I don't need every campaign's stuff 3-4 times a week for over a month.

Also, I got all those freebee papers stopped by calling the delivery guy. There was a subscription card in one of the papers with his name and address. I told him to stop throwing that stuff on my property. He said I didn't have that option. I reminded him that I had his address, and I could start dumping my trash on his property. It turned out I did have that option - he agreed to stop delivering to me.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to CreekDog (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 06:17 PM

8. Recycle. Put it in a shredder and dump it in the garden for mulch.

There should be no paper ever!!!1! We gonna die!!!11!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to shenmue (Reply #8)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 06:18 PM

9. i don't have a garden and recycling still uses the energy to deliver and pick up

...stuff that I don't want.

your solution is not a solution.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to shenmue (Reply #8)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 06:48 PM

14. Most of my junk mail isn't black ink on non-coated paper.

Coated paper = less fiber & more clay = not so tasty for worms.

Colored ink = chemicals that your plants may not like and that you may not want them to consume if you will later be consuming said plants.

Most of the stuff I get has bits of plastic on it, is coated, has colored inks, etc.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to shenmue (Reply #8)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 12:22 PM

37. I shred and mulch as much of it as I can

but as redqueen points out, there are the plastic windows and other elements that aren't appropriate for compost or mulch.

I'd much rather be able to stop it at the source.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to CreekDog (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 06:28 PM

10. All the junk mail both electronic and physical would probably provide more than enough energy

 

to fund a program fully to put humans on mars.... and then some.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to CreekDog (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 06:30 PM

11. Another thing that upsets me about junk mail,

 

is the fact that the mailers get a discounted rate. Then we get to subsidize them with first class postage.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Yavapai (Reply #11)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 07:44 AM

28. Really. Anything addressed to "Occupant"

should cost double the rate of a piece that has the name of the addressee.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Mariana (Reply #28)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 05:18 PM

51. YES. what an excellent idea.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to CreekDog (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 06:37 PM

12. Well said. K&R

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to CreekDog (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 06:38 PM

13. Most of my junk mailers is flyers from local businesses.

They are not addressed to any particular person. I throw away so many flyers every week. Sometimes I will go through them to see if any neighorhood business has any sales.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to CreekDog (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 07:24 PM

15. I'm seeing it as a mild form of abuse. Honestly.

I just collect this crap and eventually have to wait for a dry day to drag it to the curb to be recycled.

Why can't we refuse mail? Why am I subject to receive whatever the world wants to send me?

Why can't we stop junk mail?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to lindysalsagal (Reply #15)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 07:36 PM

18. yah me too kinda

And I've signed up a few times to stop the stuff and I still get it.

I had to throw a total tantrum to stop the Washington Examiner from being thrown in my yard.

I feel like unwanted calls are harassment too. At least there's no trash wasted there.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to CreekDog (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 07:31 PM

16. Junk mail is a plague on humanity!

Hate it, hate it , hate it! If not for junk mail, I would get only a few pieces a week, which would be fine by me.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Brigid (Reply #16)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 01:35 AM

25. Junk mail creates A LOT of jobs

Advertising copywriters, graphics designers, printers, and of course postal workers.

Is our desire for empty mailboxes and fewer dead trees worth all these people's jobs?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to FrodosPet (Reply #25)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 09:11 AM

29. In a word, yes.

Destroying our environment for "make-work" jobs is about the dumbest thing we could do. History teaches us that civilizations that do that won't last long.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to FrodosPet (Reply #25)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 05:00 PM

45. would you like our mail carriers have to swim from house to house to make their deliveries?

being environmentally destructive is not something that can go on without limit.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to FrodosPet (Reply #25)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 05:20 PM

53. I've heard my postal worker complaining on the phone to a colleague when she has to distribute

flyers. They hate it.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to CreekDog (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 07:44 PM

19. not the mail system's fault, but congress's. when they gave the parcel service business to

 

fedex and ups, they also fixed cheap postal rates for junk.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to HiPointDem (Reply #19)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 12:25 AM

21. I'm not blaming the USPS and especially not the workers

but I would like to see things change in this respect.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to CreekDog (Reply #21)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 12:44 AM

23. Most people would -- except the bulk mailers. and the PO management, because bulk mailing is

 

their profit center.

But that wasn't by choice of the PO, but by diktat from congress.

Did you know that the PO is expressly forbidden to offer new products that could give it a competitive advantage over private carriers?

Congress has progressively tied heavier and heavier weights to the PO since 1970. It's destruction very much by design.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to CreekDog (Original post)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 12:44 AM

22. Luckily, in Norway, a sticker on your mail box fixes that.

Just put a small sticker, supplied by the post office, on your mail box and mail carriers are obliged to only put addressed mail in your mail box. Junk mail are not allowed to get/use your address, so that takes care of posted junk mail. (Any fliers that do slip by are put into the mail box by volunteers, who must canvass neighborhoods themselves.) We also have a possibility to restrict junk callers on our phones.

One trick I used prior to stopping the junk mail, was to take any return envelopes, shred my junk mail and stuff it into them, and send them back. Then the company had to pay postage on those return envelopes, and since they were so heavy....

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to KitSileya (Reply #22)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 12:59 AM

24. Here, too, in Canada

people put a note or sticker on their mailbox stating no flyers/junk mail and voila! No junk mail.

Having said that, it doesn't prevent it from being sent out by companies in the first place. I wish we could restrict that. I can get flyers by email, almost all companies send out those. I wish we could just wholly switch to that.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to CreekDog (Original post)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 06:53 AM

26. We get ads for services that aren't even available in our area!

Got on somebody's list but it's a total markeing failure if the service is limited. Idiots.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to CreekDog (Original post)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 09:16 AM

30. It subsidizes regular mail

It's how we pay for a lot of the Post Office.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Recursion (Reply #30)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 09:23 AM

31. It doesn't make it right

junk mail that people don't want and cannot stop which has negative environmental consequences (consequences which cost us money).

it may pay for some post office operations, and cost us more in other negative effects.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to CreekDog (Original post)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 09:24 AM

32. Junk mail CAN be put to good use

It makes for good birdcage lining and/or kitty litter supplement.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to meow2u3 (Reply #32)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 05:23 PM

54. link to an etsy crafter who makes beautiful things out of junk mail:

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to CreekDog (Original post)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 09:37 AM

33. I'm still getting junk mail for my Mom who passed away in 1996,....

....and for my Dad who passed away in 2009. I even get an occasional piece of mail for my first wife who I divorced more than 20 years ago and she never lived in my state! If you call the people sending that crap and request that they stop sending it, they'll tell you they're stopping it, but it still continues to arrive. I used to get really pissed off about it, but now my first stop after the mailbox is the trash bin.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to CreekDog (Original post)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 12:20 PM

36. USPS would shut down if not for junk mail.

Seems its a necessary component of life in America.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to DCBob (Reply #36)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 12:26 PM

39. No, junk mail is not a necessary component of life in America

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to CreekDog (Reply #39)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 12:29 PM

40. sorry forgot the sarcasm tag... I thought most people would get it.

FYI, I had to shut down my climate change website due to lack of funding. I still think global warming/climate change is the biggest threat to our future.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to DCBob (Reply #40)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 12:35 PM

41. thanks for the clarification.

sorry to hear about your site.

with your clarification, it seems like my sentiment is nearly universal.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to CreekDog (Reply #41)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 12:36 PM

42. Totally agree with your assessment of junk mail

I hate it with a passion.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to DCBob (Reply #40)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 12:37 PM

43. With you on that

Unsolicited Junk Mail is filling our mailboxes, filling our lives, filling our landfills, filling our atmosphere.

I consider it an assault on American citizens.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to DCBob (Reply #36)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 05:07 PM

48. Last year we had a storm that knocked out the power to the USPS

My local postal carrier told me they were sent out to deliver junk mail that didn't need to be sorted so they'd have something to do. True story.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to CreekDog (Original post)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 12:23 PM

38. hear ye hear ye



This post is timely for me. Just spent a whole weekend trying to help shovel out my elderly mother-in-law's house. All the junk mail just "got away from her" and was piled up in every corner. Her trash & recycle amounts at curbside are restricted and she was losing the battle....

I'm still quivering from the experience of hauling bag after bag of this stuff. We had to rent a van to take it to the landfill.

Junk mail is a scourge. I'd be glad to see the Post office cease to exist just to get rid of it.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to CreekDog (Original post)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 05:10 PM

49. There is a positive result. It does provide the Post Office with income.

Otherwise, I totally agree.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to CreekDog (Original post)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 05:17 PM

50. Burn it to heat your house

Save money, save landfill/recycling resources, keep postal workers employed.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to kudzu22 (Reply #50)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 05:19 PM

52. i don't have a fireplace

and i don't want to contribute to particulate air pollution in the wintertime.

so?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to CreekDog (Original post)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 05:24 PM

55. I get that garbage non-stop. Only upside to any of it is it goes to the recycle bin,

so some environmental impact is mitigated. But not near enough - I'm with you, I'd rather not see any of it.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to CreekDog (Original post)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 05:24 PM

56. RE: Marketing -- it should be OPT IN, not OPT OUT

Most people do not want the flyers, telephone calls, emails, etc., and we should not have to go through the motions over and over again in an attempt to be left alone. It's a waste of our time, their money, and natural resources.

I think there should be a law that people who might be interested in special offers or whatever, should have to opt in to get them. It would lower aggravation for those who didn't want the crap, and would improve ROI for companies because the people being marketed to are actually interested.

People could opt in for political polling, or other areas of interest. It would save a ton of resources and time. We live in a backwards world in this instance.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread