Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Just Say No To Junk Mail

Today was recycling day in our community. As the boys and I emptied our blue box this morning, I was struck by the amount of junk mail heading to the curb. Recycling is great, but I realize it should be my last resort. Reducing our household waste, whether it is garbage or recycling, should be at the top of my list.

I’ll admit, I’ve been rather lazy in dealing with the junk mail dilemma. Our mail is delivered to a large Canada Post community mailbox and I wasn’t quite sure how to communicate my desire to pass on the junk mail. I decided to perform a “Junk Mail Audit” to assess the situation. Yes, in my former life I was an accountant and auditor so this seems to be my method for tackling a problem! Once an accounting geek, always an accounting geek.

There are three classifications of junk mail coming into our home:

• Unaddressed items in our mailbox. These do not have our names on them.
• Addressed advertising in our mailbox. These items have our names and addresses listed.
• Flyers and community newspapers dumped at the end of our driveway.

My web search on the matter lead me www.reddotcampaign.ca. If you live in Canada, please take the time to review this site. It gives you all the information you need to take action to stop the flow of junk mail into your life. Visit the frequently asked questions section which explains the specific steps you need to take.

I decided to participate in the Red Dot Campaign and purchased a sticker to post in my mailbox. Just a note to anyone with a community or post office mailbox, you need to post your sign on the inside lip of your box and not on the inside our outside of the door. I’m also going to register with the Canadian Marketing Association's Do Not Contact registry. My personal “Junk Mail Audit” produced a list of catalogues I no longer wish to receive that may not be covered under the Canadian Marketing Association since they are US Companies. I’ve started contacting these companies directly to remove me from their mailing lists.

My biggest dilemma is the weekly dumping of flyers at the end of my driveway. In my view, this represents outright littering. Our strong coastal winds quickly send these flyers straight to the ditch. They are a pet peeve our mine!! I need to do a bit more digging on how to deal with this one. My short-term plan is to post a large visible sign at the end of my driveway. Somehow, I’m not convinced this will do the trick!

A quick look around my home reveals that my auditing work has just begun. I’ll be taking inventory of our garbage and compost over coming weeks. This could get messy!

1 comment:

Gypsy said...

Good on you! No junk mail stickers are really common here in NZ and most Councils will give you one for free - but it still amazes me how many houses don't have one and to see the flyers spilling out. A rubbish audit sounds fascinating! Our council has just changed to accept plastics 1-7 in recylcling so my rubbish should reduce heaps!