ForestEthics reckon that American mailboxes are inundated with more than 100,000,000,000 pieces of junk mail annually. Such is the volume of US junk mail that it amounts to 33% of all mail delivered. Worldwide. Yet 44% is said to go in the bin unopened. What a monumental waste of resources.
And a precious resources at that. Over 100 million carbon storing trees need to be felled to satisfy this American mailbox madness. Each year. ForestEthics say that many trees would be like clearcutting the entire Rocky Mountain National Park three times a year. So you can see why they might be moved to point the finger at the worst offenders and pat the back of those doing something positive. Hence their 4th annual 'Naughty/Nice List' of 21 major catalog suppliers.Nice
Three outdoor companies topped the list this year. Timberland score brownie points for getting out of the catalog game entirely. Patagonia got a nod for their high recycled paper content. And Recreational Equipment Inc (REI) for selecting Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified paper for their catalogs.
In fact, overall the news was said to be encouraging, with 11 companies making Santa's 'Nice' list this year, up one from 2008, and about four times the 2006 figure.
Not that this means there is room for improvement. Citi and Chase received the full on Naughty treatment, because "they continue to send millions of pieces of junk mail-sourcing paper from Endangered Forests in the Canadian Boreal and US South."
See the full 2009 Naughty/Nice List (PDF)
Do Not Mail
ForestEthics have taken a multi-pronged approached to dealing with the issue of junkmail. As well as shaming and congratulating catalog companies, they've been running their "Do Not Mail" campaign to establish a national US registry of people who don't want to receive junk mail. So far the petition has garnered 100,000 signatures.
::ForestEthics Direct Mail Scorecard, via Fast Company
• ForestEthics Keeps Up The Pressure against SFI Certification
• Stop Junk Mail: 7 Ways to Reduce It and Opt Out for Good
• Forest Ethics' "Naughty and Nice"  List of Treekillers