The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, December 20, 2002


Junk Mail

Do you see what I see: junk mail
Junk mail is coming to town
Its beginning to look a lot like junk mail
Junk mail all the way
Twelve days of junk mail
What mail is this?
I'll be home for junk mail
Junk mail to the world
Away in a recycle bin
I'm dreaming of junk mail
Deck the halls with junk mail
Junk mail roasting on an open fire

The holiday season brings joy, companionship, good food, presents, and junk mail. Unsolicited bulk mail, mainly catalogs, has environmental effects, social costs and monetary costs. Annually an average US family gets about 40 pounds of junk mail, resulting nationally in 4 million tons of unnecessary waste, destruction of 100 million trees, and use of 28 billion gallons of water for paper processing, according to EcoFuture ( Most junk mailers use inks with high concentrations of heavy metals like zinc and magnesium in addition to high gloss U.V. varnishes, which have half-lives of millions of years. The average American spends about eight months handling bulk mail over the course of his or her life. In 1998, US companies spent $39.3 billion on direct mail, about half of which was thrown away unopened. Disposal of junk mail costs $320 million of tax money annually. (Junk mail, including envelopes with glassine windows, can be recycled at the Carlisle Transfer Station as mixed paper.)

Homeowners can easily reduce the amount of unsolicited mail they receive. The Mail Preference Service division of the Direct Marketing Association (known as DMA) compiles a list of people who do not want junk mail. Send a signed and dated postcard or letter to:

DMA Mail Preference Service

PO Box 9008

Farmingdale NY 11735-9008

Request that your name(s) and address be deleted from all mailing and marketing lists. For five years, this will stop mail from all DMA member organizations that you have not specifically ordered products from.

Similarly, to get rid of general telemarketing calls, send your name(s), address, phone number and signature on a postcard to:

DMA Telephone Preference Service

PO Box 9014

Farmingdale NY 11735-9014

Request that your telephone number be placed on "do not call" lists.

Please send ideas for future Green Corner articles, or complete articles, to Dan Scholten,

2002 The Carlisle Mosquito