Take the No Catalog Pledge!

Green businesses and consumers unite!

We live in what’s known as the boonies of suburbia; it’s a small area of paddocks and bushland smack bang in the middle of a rapidly encroaching suburbia. No street lights yet, no sewer (we have a blackwater recycling system), no mains gas – and no mail service.

As a result, we get very little junk mail; although occasionally enterprising souls will sneak up a dump a bundle of various catalogs on our driveway. It’s instances like these that remind me of why I’m so glad we have no mailbox :).

Does your mailbox overflow with catalogs? I hate to imagine how much paper, ink and other resources go into cranking out and delivering these promotional items each year; with the vast majority of them hardly glanced at and many winding up in landfill.

We can recycle these catalogs, sure – but not everyone does it and that doesn’t solve the problem of the amount of resources the creation and distribution of junk mail consumes, nor the annoyance factor.

A “no junk mail” sticker on your mailbox may help, but often these are also ignored. If you have such a sticker and find that you still get junk; contact the company and complain – tell them to ensure the distributor doesn’t defile your mailbox again and mention the environmental impact also.

If you email the company with your request, cc it to 100 of your closest friends and start a trend! Your friends might start doing this too and the company will see all the all the cc’s and know you mean business! If they receive enough such emails, they might start reconsidering their approach to paper based snail mail promotions.

Others have come up with more creative tips for dealing with junk mail

The No Catalog Pledge

Some eco-savvy businesses such as Real Green Goods *are* taking heed of consumer distaste for junk mail and the associated environmental impact by taking a “No Catalog Pledge” – I think this is a great idea. I received an email from Debby from Real Green Goods about the concept  – it would be wonderful to see this catch on!

The No Catalog Pledge is very simple – merchants undertaking not to inundate consumers with paper-based junk mail. For businesses, this is another way you can demonstrate to your customers that you care about the environment. Use the cash you save to find other environmentally friendly and creative ways to reach your client base instead of the untargeted clogging of people’s snail mail boxes. Be sure to promote your No Catalog Pledge extensively on your web site – as that in itself is excellent promotion to green consumers!

Even if paper based promotions are very necessary for your business, perhaps try using more environmentally friendly materials – recycled paper, treeless paper, soy based inks etc. Try to target your distribution a little better and include a “recycle me!” statement on the promo.