Now, I'm no tree hugger by any stretch of the imagination, however, I love the environment just as much as the next guy and hate to see waste. What's annoying to me is when I get duplicate catalogs the same week from the same company. Often times the catalogs come in my wife's name and my name. Or worse, I get one under Tom Keating and another under Thomas Keating. Uh, have you heard of de-duping? Almost as bad is when they send nearly the identical catalog the following week. Don't bother - and don't waste the space in my mailbox, which is already overflowing with tons of other catalogs.
It's like the companies blasting out these catalogs just don't care. All they care about is the Almighty Dollar and making sure they are in your face as much as possible since they are competing with other catalogs, window shoppers, and of course Christmas shoppers that shop online.
I don't think the Big J or the Big G for that matter would be pleased at such wasteful utilization of the planet's resources and especially not in their name. If this waste keeps up, I just may have to join the War on Christmas, the liberal plot to ban Christmas.
Ironically, I was thinking about how wasteful catalogs are when I received an email this morning about a company offering services to reduce catalog waste. Melissa Data's new NCOALink SmartMover real-time tools prevents duplicate mailings, mis-addressed entries and outright bogus online requests. The new Web service tool provides businesses and mail houses with the ability to keep their customer lists current by matching them to the weekly updated USPS® NCOALink change-of-address file.
Using the SmartMover Web service ensures mail pieces (like catalogs) reach their intended recipients without duplicates, delays, detours, or flat-out returns - thereby reducing waste and saving valuable time and money.
Here's some interesting stats on catalog waste I received from Melissa Data:
- Over eight million tons of trees are consumed each year in the production of paper catalogs.
- Nearly half of the planet's original forest cover is gone today. Forests have effectively disappeared in 25 countries, and another 29 have lost more than 90% of their forest cover.
- More than one billion people living in extreme poverty around the world depend on forests for their livelihoods.
- There are other significant environmental impacts from the catalog cycle. The production and disposal of direct mail alone consumes more energy than three million cars.
- The manufacturing, distribution, collection and disposal of catalogs requires energy which will generate "global warming gases" - if you believe in the whole global warming thing. Personally, I'm skeptical about global warming being caused by humans and not the sun or other natural cycles, but I would like to see us reduce waste regardless.