I’m reading Annie Leonard’s The Story of Stuff at the moment, and was reminded of the everyday waste that is junk mail. The amount of junk mail we create is staggering. I couldn’t find any well-cited facts for Canada, but the average American household receives 848 pieces of unwanted commercial mail a year. That’s more than a billion pieces of junk mail a year.
I finally got around to creating a little sign that enables us to opt out of junk mail we receive in our mail box.
I made a sign for my mailbox. Then it occurred to me that it would only take me ten or fifteen minutes to make a bunch of signs to enable my neighbours to opt out as well. Here’s what I ended up with (click to enlarge):
I came down the next morning and all the signs had been removed off my poster. Unfortunately, about half of them had been stuck on the outside of mail box doors, instead of inside:
Speaking as somebody who’s written a lot of instructions in my life, humans are universally lousy at following them.
Make Your Own Signs
Want to do this for your own apartment? Awesome. I updated my poster so that “inside” is bigger, and post a template for the signs and the poster itself on Doc Stoc. Just click through and you can download the PDFs. I recommend printing them out, cutting them up and attaching tape to each sign like I did. The more work you can do for people, the better.
If you do this (or already have), leave a comment and let us know.
UPDATE: Incidentally, you can also opt out of junk mail from Canadian Marketing Association members. I suspect that this represents just a small amount of the total junk mail I receive, but I’ve emailed the CMA to confirm that.