Catalog Cancelling Challenge

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.

(via NRDC)

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

4 thoughts on “Catalog Cancelling Challenge”

  1. I wanted to cancel a dozen or so catalogs I receive. I looked on several websites and all of them are touting how important the effort is, how many trees are being saved, how it is keeping co2 out of the atomosphere….
    I just want to cancel the catalogs! That is why I am on your site!
    Stop with the self promoting nonsense of how much good you are doing and cut to the chase.
    I already wanted to cancel the catalogs, so how do I do it?!
    Just the facts-keep the propoganda.

    Tired of the BS in New Jersey

    1. Court: we are just encouraging people to cancel their catalogs. there are thousands and thousands of catalogs out there — you need to look at the ones you receive in order to identify how to cancel them.

  2. We have devoted almost 15 years to first reduce Yellow and White Page Directories and for the past 5 years have been dedicated to providing green alternatives to catalogs, travel guides, magazines and newspapers. Online, CD’s, kiosks, PC/Mac, iPad, iPhone, and Android there is technology today to still allow the look and feel of publications without the waste.

    We wholeheartedly agree that we need to go Green.

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