Don't Junk Junk Mail

It's easy to justify spending your hard-earned money on catalog shopping - those direct mail advertisments are not the enormous waste contributors most people think they are, according to a report prepared for the U.S. Postal Service's Environmental Management Policy office by Sterling, Va.-based Project Performance Corp.

The report, which covers 1987 to 1996, pegs the environmental cost of "junk mail" at $126 million per year, or less than $0.2 per piece, and at 2 percent of the waste stream. Other solid waste materials account for the remaining 98 percent of the nation's municipal solid waste, according to the study.

But do all those catalogs and ad circulars really help the environment? "Direct orders from catalogs replace shopping trips typically made in automobiles. Thus, [they] reduce the number of traffic accidents, the amount of pollution emitted by automobiles and the amount of gasoline consumed," the report states.

Source: Direct Newsline