Our good friend Derek Markham wrote a great post over on Natural Papa recently encouraging us all to organize a Catalog Cancelling Challenge. Great idea. Derek writes:
I don’t think I’m alone in being really annoyed at the amount of senseless waste we generate in our country – and a potent reminder of that waste is a mailbox stuffed full of catalogs and junk mail on a daily basis. It really adds up to a lot of wasted energy, paper, and time.
For example, did you know that in the U.S. alone, over 19 billion catalogs are mailed per year?
Altogether, they use up:
- 53 million trees (the equivalent of clear-cutting 2,000 Central Parks)
- 53 billion gallons of water (enough to fill 81,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools)
- enough energy to supply 1.2 million homes annually (38 billion BTUs), thus causing…
- CO2 emissions equal to 2 million cars annually (5.2 million tons of CO2)
- the industry’s own research shows that less than 2% of the catalogs received in this country actually result in a purchase – 98% of catalogs are unused
- 95% of those catalogs are made from virgin forests (i.e., with no recycled paper content), at great ecological costs to our atmosphere, biodiversity, water, rare forests, landfills and incinerators.
One teacher is making a difference in this with the Catalog Canceling Challenge. His name is Ted Wells, and he’s a 4th grade teacher at The Park School in Brookline, MA.
Read more about Ted’s success so far and about organizing a Catalog Cancelling Challenge yourself over at Natural Papa.
Photo Credit: be.refreshed via flickr under a CC license