Close Close
Popular Financial Topics Discover relevant content from across the suite of ALM legal publications From the Industry More content from ThinkAdvisor and select sponsors Investment Advisor Issue Gallery Read digital editions of Investment Advisor Magazine Tax Facts Get clear, current, and reliable answers to pressing tax questions
Luminaries Awards

Life Health > Life Insurance

Eliminate Junk Mail; Save Some Trees

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.

One of the easiest ways to make your life, and the lives of your clients, more green is to reconsider your use of paper. In case you’ve forgotten, virgin fiber paper comes from trees, which among other things turn carbon dioxide into the oxygen we breathe.

In her book, Gorgeously Green: 8 Simple Steps to an Earth-Friendly Life (2008, Collins), Sophie Uliano gives seven reasons to eliminate junk mail (not including how annoying it is).

  1. It wastes 28 billion gallons of water for paper processing each year.
  2. Most junk mailers use inks with high concentrations of heavy metals like zinc and magnesium in addition to high-gloss UV varnishes, which are difficult to recycle.
  3. The result is more than 4 million tons of paper waste each year.
  4. It costs $320 million of taxpayers’ money to dispose of unsolicited mail each year.
  5. It costs $550 million to transport junk mail every year.
  6. Landfill space is getting to the point that it disfigures rural areas and pollutes groundwater.
  7. We each get about 40 pounds of junk mail a year–more than a tree’s worth per family.

So before you send out that mass mailing to try and attract new clients, and I know you don’t think that counts as “junk mail,” consider that every year, 100 million trees are chopped down for unsolicited mailings. The equivalent of more than nine large trees worth of paper are sent to each U.S. home every year, and the response rate is less than 2%. Local taxes, including yours, are used to dispose of this mail that most people didn’t want in the first place.


© 2024 ALM Global, LLC, All Rights Reserved. Request academic re-use from All other uses, submit a request to [email protected]. For more information visit Asset & Logo Licensing.