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Thursday, April 26, 2007


Earth Day was this past Sunday, April 22. Although no junk mail was delivered on Sunday, on the Monday following, American households received almost 13 thousand tons, numbering around 200 million pieces. Approximately 98 percent went in the trash, ending up in landfills that disfigure rural areas and pollute ground water, according to Saving Our Resources Today ( SORT claims that if one individual eliminates junk mail for one year, you’d conserve 1.7 trees, amounting to 205 pounds of the waste, and conserve 28 billion gallons of water. It would also save you 8 hours each year having to dispose of it. 100 million trees are required annually for unsolicited mail, and because of the heavy concentration of heavy metals in the ink, the paper is hard to recycle. 41 reports that the production and disposal of junk mail requires more energy than 2.8 million automobiles. They also say that the state of California spends $500,000 each year collecting and getting rid of AOL’s junk mail disks alone. I know statistics are boring, but it’s hard to keep the alarm bells from going off when you look at these figures. How many publications would stay in business if they had a readership of 2 percent, which is basically the share of recipients that seriously look at their junk mail? So how do these people stay in business? They sell your names and personal data for an astronomical figure of $4 billion each year. That’s the reason they are so secretive over how this private information is manipulated and used for maximum profit. Try asking the junk mailer you buy from just how much they make from the sale of their list of names. More on this later.

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