Kill a Catalog; Save a Bird

Lately I’ve been learning about the Boreal Forest, a large area of Northern Canada (with small pieces extending into Maine and Minnesota, depending on exactly how you define it) that is the breeding grounds for billions of birds every year. (That’s not a made up number by the way. There really are billions that breed there.) For a long time the inaccessibility of the boreal forest protected most of it, but that’s beginning to change. They’re a number of pressures on it. One of the most significant is paper production, mostly for consumption in the United States.

There are several things you can do to help reduce the pressure on the Boreal Forest. The first is to unsubscribe from catalogs you don’t want. Instead of just tossing all the unwanted catalogs you receive in the trash, take a few minutes to call up the company and tell them you don’t want their catalog any more. The way I figure it, every catalog I unsubscribe from equals approximately one bird saved. (That is a made up number, by the way; but it feels about right.)

This morning I unsubscribed from the OfficeMax and MacConnection catalogs. It’s not like I actually need them. I used to, but these days I just go to their web sites when I want to order. Why waste the paper? A side benefit: my mail box is less full; more days of mail fit in it; and that means I can go away for longer trips without having to go to the post office when I go back to retrieve the mail I actually need.

One problem is that most companies including OfficeMax and MacConnection will put you right back on their mailing list as soon as you order something else from them. MacConnection suggested I order over the phone, which would allow me to tell them not to send me catalogs every time I ordered. Online ordering doesn’t work though. Most stores have a “Don’t Spam Me” checkbox on their order forms. We need to start asking that that apply to our snail-mail boxes too.

One Response to “Kill a Catalog; Save a Bird”

  1. Mokka mit Schlag » Met Museum Sells Personal Info Says:

    […] I just found out something interesting when I called to unsubscribe from yet another catalog I hadn’t requested. The operator from White Flower Farms asked me if I wanted to know who they’d gotten my name from. The answer was the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I bought my wife’s Christmas present from their store last year. I won’t do that again. « Banded Geese Continue […]

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