41pounds: Helping You Lose the Weight of Junk Mail


Junk mail has that name for a reason; TreeHugger definitely thinks that it's earned the moniker for repeatedly showing up in mailboxes everywhere without permission. For Earth Day, why not pledge to stop it? It's easy to do with organizations like 41pounds, who pledge to cut your junk mail back by 80 - 95%. Why the name 41pounds? Because that's how much junk mail the average adult receives each year, from the credit card offers to the sweepstakes entries and catalogs, and it really adds up; in wasted time, paper, water and energy. More than 100 million trees are destroyed each year to produce junk mail, and 42% of timber harvested in the US becomes pulpwood for paper. More than 62 billion pieces (4 million tons) of junk mail are produced each year, wasting 28 billion gallons of water between production and recycling. After all this, 44% of it goes to the landfill unopened. Somewhat similar to greendimes, 41pounds offers to help cut back on all this waste by contacting 20 to 30 direct marketing companies and catalog companies and instructing them to remove your name from their distribution lists. This includes almost all credit card offers, coupon mailers, sweepstakes entries, magazine offers and insurance promotions, as well as any catalogs you specify (and, because some direct marketing companies require your original signature on the unsubscribe request, they send you several stamped, pre-addressed postcards that you sign and mail). A $41 subscription gets you five years of freedom from junk mail; if it should start showing up again while your subscription is still active, just let 41pounds know, and they'll take care of it, free of charge. By signing up for their service (and ditching junk mail for five years), they figure you'll conserve 1.7 trees and 700 gallons of water, and prevent 460 pounds of carbon dioxide from being released into the atmosphere. "More than 1/3" of the fee goes to support a non-profit of your choice; included on their list of supported organizations are American Forests, Trees for the Future and Friends of the Urban Forest, along with more tree-friendly and other green and community nonprofits. Learn more about their service, and sign up, at their website. ::41pounds

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