This is a small effort to make people realize how much of paper we waste in the name of Advertisement and Promotions in USA. Here is what i did — On On June 8th i decided that i will watch closely on all the mail i get by post. Most of the mail goes in the trash bin anyway. The idea of this experiment is to collect *ALL* mail i get between June 10th 2010 to July 9th 2010. I sorted all the mail and separated the junk and what i really look for. Following is the outcome.
Please see this video before you read on… Paper Garbage from Mail.
Total Weight of the Mails (which correlates to paper weight that goes into junk) : 5.2 lbs (2.35 kgs)
Promotions & Ads addressed to Me : 21 mails
Promotions & Ads addressed to Previous Residents : 9 mails
Coupons addressed to Current Resident : 12 mails
Note 1: I have ALL my bank accounts, credit cards, utilities, mobile, cable bills as “paperless“.
Note 2 : Above mails are the ones that i personally never subscribed or wanted.
Whats does it mean
I can say that i get the least amount of mail and i still get 5 lbs of mail per months that i put into the trash. Lets do a simple math here. According to the latest Google public data the US population is 307,006,550 (307 million) as of July 2009.
Amount of Paper junk that comes by mail in 1 month = 307/4 mi X 5.2 lbs = 399 million lbs
Amount of Paper junk that comes by mail in 1 year = 307/4 mi X 5.2 lbs X 12 months = 4788 million lbs = 4.7 billion lbs of paper
I am sure the above math is very (very) conservative as there may be s one who totally depend on the paper based billing and others.
Is there a way to reduce this paper waste + printing chemicals + recycle costs + indirect costs and which yields NOTHING productive ?
Updated 13th July 7.00 pm PST : One of the reader pointed out that the multiplication factor is not 300 million people as these mails are per house hold. I agree! Taking that in to consideration, the new numbers would simply be 1/4 of original.
Again, these numbers are DEFINITELY not accurate. They only demonstrate the enormous paper waste. So, i would suggest readers to be aware of the fact that these numbers are not based out of scientific formula :). Thanks for your understanding.