A report by the group ForestEthics estimates that destroying forests to make paper for junk mail releases as much greenhouse gas pollution as 9 million cars.
Another way to look at it: Junk mail produces as much pollution as seven U.S. states combined, or as much as heating 13 million homes each winter.
While the estimates may or may not be accurate, the point is indisputable: Junk mail is a waste. (To most people, it's an annoying part of the trip to the mailbox, anyway.)
Not convinced? NASA climate scientist James Hansen, one of the most respected voices on the issue of global warming and our need to do something about it, had this to say about the report:
"20 years after I first testified before Congress on the threats posed by climate change, we have reached a point at which we must remove unnecessary carbon emissions from our lives, or face catastrophic consequences. It is hard to imagine waste more unnecessary than the 100 billion pieces of junk mail Americans receive each year, and these new findings, revealing that the emissions of junk mail are equal to those of over nine million cars, underscore the prudent necessity of a Do Not Mail Registry."
Other green celebrity-types to sign on with the group's Do Not Mail campaign include Leonardo DiCaprio, Adrian Grenier, David Crosby and Daryl Hannah.
Still not convinced? Also consider that junk mail takes a huge toll on boreal forests, where the migratory songbirds so many of us enjoy in our backyards spend part of the year. Without those forests, there will be fewer birds.
If you want to stop receiving catalogs and other junk mail, see this One Easy Thing tip.
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