Posts tagged Recycle

Reduce Junk Mail

– Cindy Medrano

As Americans, we are all accustomed in receiving junk mail on a daily basis. Every time we check our mail we see junk mail at least once or twice a week. However, did you know that is you saved up all the unwanted junk for one year, it is equivalent to one and a half trees, which adds up to 100 million trees every year in just the United States! Just receiving junk in a single day alone can produce enough energy to heat a quarter of a million homes.

Fact: 44 percent of junk mail is thrown away unopened, but only half that much junk mail (22 percent) is recycled.

If you think receiving junk mail is a nuisance, there are many ways you can limit the amount of junk mail you receive.

One of the many options to reduce junk mail is by writing to different marketing associations, depending on where you reside, to be removed from the lists and stop unwanted mail. By doing so, junk mail intake decreases by 75%. There are various sites in which an individual can “opt-out” of receiving unwanted mail. All they have to do is type up an email s or write a letter stating to be removed from the mailing list. Websites such as:, or , can all be used to reduce unwanted mail and other intrusions, like spam in your email to telemarketing calls.

Most importantly, it is common sense that one should not forget to recycle junk mail! There are about 5.6 million tons of types of catalogs and direct mail advertisements that end up in the U. S landfills, NOT recycled!

It is a matter of everyone doing their part and recycling to reduce the tons of waste the builds up on landfills.


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Small steps to living a greener life

Walmart bag blotting out sun in Northern Michigan. Photo by Vincent Cobb, founder,

Walmart bag blotting out sun in Northern Michigan. Photo by Vincent Cobb, founder,

Knowing that recycling and reusing are the right things to do and then beginning (and remembering) to do them are a little more difficult.

About two years ago, I started shopping with with reusable bags, right after completing my first article about the damage plastic shopping bags do to the environment.

At first, I forgot to bring my bags in with me to Trader Joe’s.  I would leave my grocery basket in the store and tell an employee that I had to run to the car to get the bags.  I took many “small steps” back to the car those first few months. Now, it’s second nature.

While it still makes me sad to see flimsy, plastic shopping bags stuck in bushes,  I am comforted in knowing that they never belonged to me.

Workhorse by ACME Bags, is one of many styles of bags sold by

Workhorse by ACME Bags, is one of many styles of bags sold by

Although I think any old bag will do as long as it’s reusable, there are a number of Web sites selling reusable bags. One of my favorites is They have a set, called “workhorse” by ACME Bags, that I’ve given as gifts. The bags are so small when folded up, they fit in the palm of your hand. donates a percentage of sales to the environment and are one of the finalists in the 2009 Green America People’s Choice Awards. Check out their Web site. They have some interesting facts and photos about where those innocent-looking plastic bags wind up once the goods are emptied out of them.

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