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My Part to Save the World

February 4, 2009

For a girl who works in Marketing, I really hate direct mail. It’s a waste of resources, postage and usually – it’s just trash. I know there are some people who really love catalogs, but I just can’t wrap my head around it. I do have a fondness for trade magazines, but some people are just either addicted to that pure joy of receiving mail, or too lazy to cancel stuff and would just rather toss it.

After a round of lay-offs at my company, we all started taking turns delivering the mail.  And when it was my turn, I realized  that not only were there people who really, really loved catalogs that were no longer there, or mail was coming for people who haven’t been there in years.  Or, I would give the correct or most logical person the mail, and they would glance at it, and toss it right in the trash. This was upsetting for a few reasons – one being the waste of paper and resources, and the other a pang of sympathy for my fellow marketeers and the lost money.

In an act of heroism (my term), I sent an email to the company offering to have a clearinghouse of sorts. If you receive a magazine, catalog, awful promotional plastic-y items or some other junk mail that you don’t want, give it to me. I have volunteered to remove us from all sorts of lists. I also try to deliver the mail more often, and if I see a magazine that used to go to someone else, that some one else may like, I ask them. If they want it, I have asked them to call up the company and switch the name to their own, so that it gets delivered to them in the future.

So far, so good. It takes me about a half hour each week, and I’ve been doing it about two months. Already I am seeing some improvement. I try to keep track of which companies make it easy to unsubscribe from, and which ones make it really hard. Also, I get to see all sorts of awesome trade magazines, like “the ‘only’ magazine dedicated to in house printing.” Who knew? You also wouldn’t believe how many of the same things get mailed to so many different people at the same company.

Want to do the same? Catalog Choice is pretty good for most catalogs that you may receive at home, and Ec0-Cycle has some good suggestions and links for both work and home.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Kamran permalink
    February 5, 2009 10:32 am


    Found your blog enlightning, I recently was asked to log all subscriptions coming in at work, and found exactly the same thing happening.

    I am methodically going through all magazines as they come in to filter, but have found cancelling them easier always a simple task.

    Nevertheless I should mention I work for London Recycling company so am disposing of the current surplus paper correctly.


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