Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Simplifying Christmas - a Ban on Catalogs

Have you noticed during the holidays that catalog companies send multiple copies of the same catalog, each with unique cover art? It is amazingly wasteful, not to mention annoying. I live in Seattle where the local government recently made recycling mandatory.

If the garbage man finds recyclable materials in your trash he can slap a fine on you. I think it is a fantastic program because I have been a compulsive recycler for a long time. I have been known to fish bottles and cans out of my coworkers wastebaskets and take them to the centralized recycling bins on our office floor. Luckily, they find this to be an endearing trait.

So it won't surprise you to know it pains me to haul a heavy load of catalogs to my recycling bin each month.  Dawn at Frugal for Life recently wrote an article about how she helped her aging mother who was bombarded with junk mail.

Earlier this year, I embarked on a similar mission with unwanted catalogs. I called the 800 number in the catalog and requested that my name be removed from their mailing list. They all agreed to do so, but informed me that I might receive one or two more catalogs before they stopped arriving. So I would tear off the cover and place it in a drawer so I knew I had already called them when a subsequent catalog arrived. You wouldn't believe how thick that stack became. Just in time for the holidays, all the unwanted catalogs quit arriving.

My load to the recycling bin is much lighter, I helped to reduce unnecessary waste, and I no longer have to deal with stacks and stacks of catalogs during the Christmas season.

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