Archive for the ‘Stop junk mail’ Category
Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ocean Futures Society has been a fantastic partner for years now. We have worked together on many great projects and are very grateful for their support. I wanted to forward along a blog that they wrote concerning our 5 year anniversary.
Ferndale, Mich. – 41pounds.org celebrates five years of progress to stop junk mail from deluging our mailboxes, ravaging our forests and burdening local communities. Founded in 2006, 41pounds.org has stopped 5 million pounds of junk mail, saved 44,000 trees from destruction and raised more than $300,000 for environmental organizations.
“We started 41pounds.org because we were frustrated with the huge waste of trees and time involved in junk mail,” said Sander DeVries, Co-Founder of 41pounds.org. “Then we learned it also uses massive amounts of energy and water, and makes climate change worse. At the end of the chain, about half of junk mail goes to the landfill unopened – at taxpayer expense.”
Once Sander and his two brothers, Tim Pfannes and Shane Pfannes, figured out how to stop their own junk mail, they created a systematic way to stop junk mail for their friends and family. As experts in computer technologies, they refined the process and launched a public service: 41pounds.org. The name comes from the amount of junk mail the average American adult receives every year.
The 41pounds.org service gives people a way to say ”NO” to unwanted catalogs, credit card offers and other junk mail in their mailbox. It keeps more trees in the forest protecting a healthy climate and wildlife habitat. It’s also good for business and charities – so they don’t waste money sending marketing mail to people who don’t want to hear from them.
- More than 100 million trees are destroyed each year to produce junk mail.
- The world’s temperate forests absorb 2 billion tons of carbon annually to help keep the planet cool and healthy.
- Junk mail produces more greenhouse gas emissions than 9 million cars.
- The average adult spends 70 hours a year dealing with junk mail.
41pounds.org stops household junk mail by contacting dozens of direct mail companies to remove our customers from these marketing lists. Customers also specify which catalogs and charity solicitations they want to stop receiving. The service covers everyone in your household for five years and costs $41, including a $15 donation to the environmental organization of your choice. Together 41pounds.org and their customers have advanced important work by groups like American Forests, Trees for the Future, StopGlobalWarming.org, Carbonfund.org, Center for Biological Diversity, Outward Bound and Habitat for Humanity chapters.
Gorav Seth, head of partnerships at Trees for the Future, said, “41pounds.org provides a valuable service for their customers, keeps more trees in the forests and helps us plant millions of trees.”
To learn more about junk mail and efforts to create a national Do Not Mail registry, go to www.41pounds.org/junk-mail-landscape.
To sign up for the 41pounds.org service or give a gift, go to www.41pounds.org.
Contact: Sander DeVries
Energy-efficient homes in San Francisco may soon receive an official certification from the city, potentially boosting their resale value.
San Francisco officials are developing what they call the “green grade,” a designation that the city would place on the property records of homes that meet certain efficiency standards.
The certification could help homeowners charge more for their property when they decide to sell. Potential buyers would know up front that green-grade homes have up-to-date equipment, low utility bills and a relatively light impact on the environment.
City officials see the green grade as an incentive for homeowners to improve the efficiency of their houses, taking such steps as adding insulation and upgrading their heating systems. Those upgrades help curb the state’s energy demand and lower greenhouse-gas emissions, bit by tiny bit.
The green-grade program could start later this year.
- Baker, David. “S.F. ‘Green-Grade’ Home Program May Boost Value.” 8-17-2011. http://www.sfgate.com
I found some great websites offering clear and easy instructions for art projects using recycled newsprint, junk mail, or other scrap paper.
EcoKids is a program of Earth Day Canada offering environmental information and educational resources for teachers and kids around the world. Their website includes instructions for making paper out of recycled paper using recycled newspaper or other scrap paper, water, a blender, and vegetable dye (or leaves!). What a great, fun way to teach kids about recycling and the need to keep trees in our forests!
Junk Mail Jems is a company that not only sells unique gift items made from junk mail, but also shares some of the tricks of the trade with us. Their website includes a do-it-yourself page that provides instructions for innovative ways of reusing junk mail. Though I will have to search far and wide for junk mail scraps around my house (I’m a subscriber to the 41pounds.org junk mail reduction service), I love the Junk Mail Jems instructions for how to make your own junk mail gift bag.
Can you imagine it? Beautiful hand made recycled paper delivered in a one-of-a-kind recycled gift bag. I know what I’m doing with my kids this weekend…
The US Postal Service is proposing cutting back its delivery service from six to five days per week. Which day would be cut from the delivery schedule is not yet known, but I’ve read Saturday or Tuesday. The reason? Budget crisis – an issue not new to the US Post office.
Whatever the reasoning, at this day in age, I think this reduction in the mail delivery schedule makes great sense. Many people today are using the internet to connect with friends and family, to receive and pay bills, and to learn about new products and ideas. In fact, in 2008, the US Postal Service delivered 9 billion fewer pieces of mail compared to 2007. Though not so great for the postmaster, this is clearly great news for trees! Cutting back delivery service will, I hope, encourage the use of modern communication technology, making us all less dependent on paper mail, and improving our environment. Think about the C02 emissions from all of the little (and big) mail trucks that wouldn’t be making their way around our neighborhoods and across our states on Saturdays (or Tuesdays).
Flatbed Press in Austin, Texas opened an exhibit earlier this month by artist Annette Lawrence that highlights the amount of junk mail that one person receives over the course of a year. The exhibit, called “Free Paper,” displays the artist’s junk mail shredded into two-inch wide strips and then stacked in 12 piles — one for each month of 2008. The total weight of all of her junk mail is 265 pounds. The tallest (and heaviest) stacks of junk mail are around the winter holidays.
Because I like things to be generally nice and tidy, I find the stacks oddly comforting to look at, almost beautiful. (Granted, I have only seen images of the exhibit via the Internet.) Still, the message behind the artwork is clear. In an interview with KXAN, a local Austin news channel, Lawrence says that she wants visitors to the exhibit to take a way a sense of “wow, that’s a lot of paper.”
And a lot of paper it is!
If you’re in Austin, check out the exhibit, which runs through February 6th at Flatbed Press and let us know what you think!
Have you been doing some online holiday shopping recently? I have. Just last weekend I sat in front of the computer with my sons’ Christmas lists and started shopping. Walkie-talkies, monster trucks, and a chess set — my kids will be pleased. And since I was feeling generous, I also bought myself a subscription to a new gourmet cooking magazine.
This is not only the time of year when we pull out our credit cards and spread holiday cheer, but it’s also the time when many of us tend to spread our name and address around…and around. That toy company I just purchased walkie-talkies from, they have my name and address now. And that cooking magazine I just subscribed to, well they have my name and address too. I’ve just been listed, again. Both the toy company and the magazine publisher are going to rent or sell their list to others and then suddenly I will start to get catalogs in the mail from all kinds of companies — trying to sell me more toys, kitchen utensils and dried fruit.
The best way to avoid the catalog deluge is to make one simple request each time you buy something — whether online or by phone or in the store. Tell the company not to send you any of their catalogs AND not to rent, sell, or trade my name and address.
And remember, if you’re a 41pounds.org customer, anytime you get a catalog in the mail that you don’t want, simply contact 41pounds.org and tell them to get you off that company’s list.
Over the last two years, the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) has saved $10 million by consolidating delivery trips, thanks to a new transportation optimization system. The savings came from a very limited number of test markets, so the national potential for cost savings is much, much higher.
This is important to the fight against junk mail since USPS depends heavily on revenue from marketing mail, and cites financial concerns whenever someone proposes new rules or pricing for catalogs and direct mail. And, USPS estimates that for every 1-cent increase in gas prices, it pays $8 million a year, so budgets are strained these days
USPS has been using the Highway Corridor Analytic Program (HCAP), created in conjunction with IBM (PDF), since 2006. Developed with the ILOG CPLEX optimization software, the program helps the USPS determine the best way to allocate mail among its transportation resources. Using the HCAP, the USPS inputs its existing network and routes, and sets constraints such as pickup and delivery times, truck capacity and start and end points. The program analyzes existing operations and figures out alternative loads and routes to reduce costs.
USPS piloted the program in select areas, finding savings of $1.3 million annually in Chicago, $3.7 million annually on the West Coast and $400,000 annually in Greensboro and Pittsburgh, adding up to more than $5 million and about 615,000 gallons of gasoline saved a year. USPS plans to continue using the program to develop efficient routes and loads elsewhere.
Let’s hope the next step for USPS is to upgrade its fleet to get off of gasoline!
Last week The Wall Street Journal showcased 41pounds.org for its complete service stopping junk mail — including catalogs, credit card offers, magazine offers, coupons, sweepstakes entries and more.
Kudos to Journal reporter Nancy Matsumoto for noticing that ProQuo makes money by selling their customers’ names to marketing companies.
Meanwhile 41pounds.org is also mentioned as a great way to stop junk mail in X-Biz, which serves the adult entertainment business community.
Just another day in the world of junk mail…