JUNK MAIL: Wasted paper and ink.

Advertising a product or a service has become the part and parcel of doing business. This has been done by generations before us for decades. Even in the age of digital information, we are still hooked on to print advertising. This type of advertising is considered old school but it is said to work. This is also one of the most expensive form of advertising in terms of its effect on nature, wasted paper and Billions of gallons of ink. Today we have learned to take the availability of paper for granted. Right from our toilet tissues to the paper we use for printing, it is readily available to us. No wonder we are all spoiled.

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The amount of junk mail that we receive both in office and at home is exorbitant in scale. Each day they are stuffed into our mailbox with little room to spare for real mail. They come into our mailbox without our consent. In fact they are coming into our lives unsolicited. We do not want them, but they keep coming whether we like it or not. When we consider each and every home that is receiving such mail, the amount is staggering sum. Most of which ends up in landfills and ends up being burnt. Along with this paper, this ink also gets vaporized into the atmosphere. This is what we breathe in.

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Just like having an option to opt out of emails, we need to have a regulation in place to opt out of junk mail. Today we live in a World where there is information overload. That is too much of information and too little time. This is a deadly combination for waste to materialize. Any advertising material is glanced just for a few seconds. Then it is tossed out as garbage. So the decision of yes or a no happens in a second. If that’s the case why don’t we give the option to the customer to state their buying habits. Once we know their likes and dislikes, if they request information on that particular product or service, we could send it to them instead of bombarding them with junk mail. This is a precisely targeted advertising model.

Whether we love or hate junk mails for the coupons and the sales, it is filling up our landfills very fast and their inks are doing their part in polluting our streams, rivers, lakes and oceans. Charging vendors for unsolicited mail may be a great idea. It may even bring the quantity of junk mail down to a trickle. Unless we get our act together to stop stuffing unwanted and undesirable mail in our mail boxes, we will be contributing more to environmental degradation knowingly than unknowingly. In the ever increasing process of encouraging more subscription based products and services, we will be bombarded with even more junk mail than what we are receiving now. Pretty soon we will be running out of mail box space and will soon find our real mail scattered on the streets for everyone to peek into.



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