ForestEthics has started a petition to enact a Do Not Mail registry, similar to the one that’s sort of in effect (when marketers choose to abide by it) for telemarketing. Their reasoning: junk mail is enormously wasteful and damaging to the environment. We agree, but we’re in favor of the registry for the simple reason that less junk mail means fewer uninvited distractions, ID theft risks, and trash we’d have to deal with every day.
From ForestEthics’ press release:
ForestEthics is urging Americans to sign a petition at http://www.DoNotMail.org demanding a national registry that will finally offer citizens control over the unsolicited coupons, credit cards, catalogs and advertisements that fill their mailboxes on a daily basis.
The production of the 100 billion pieces of junk mail that Americans annually receive requires more than 100 million trees, while producing as much global warming emissions as 3.7 million cars.
Junk mail distributed in the United States currently accounts for 30% of all the mail delivered in the world, though 44% of it goes to landfills unopened.
Polls consistently show that between 80 and 90% of respondents dislike junk mail and are eager to find a mechanism that will address their frustration and concerns about the problem.
Vermont State Representative Christopher Pearson, who is sponsoring Do Not Mail legislation in Vermont, added, “If our experience in Vermont is any indication, Americans are eager to assert their right to protect their privacy, their right to stop needless waste, and their support for a Do Not Mail Registry.”
The downside—we think a Do Not Mail registry would land a devastating blow against the USPS, which relies on all that crap to make any money. But seriously, we’d pay to support the USPS if it meant cutting junk mail in half.
“Stop getting junk mail” [DoNotMail.org]
“Phone numbers and websites to opt out of junk mail” [DoNotMail.org]