Special Report: Sustainability & the Environment
Environmental groups Catalog Choice and ForestEthics are hot on catalogers’ tails. So are state governments, with 18 do-not-mail bills under review in 15 states as of the beginning of this year. As if catalogers didn’t have enough adversity — with postage on the rise again and the economy on the fall — they can’t afford to take the issue of environmentalism and sustainability lightly much longer.
That’s why we’ve devoted the cover section to this hot topic.
Consider the most recent events:
• On Oct. 9, 2007, relative newcomer Catalog Choice unveiled its free, Web-based service to encourage consumers to opt out of the catalogs they no longer wish to receive. The names are then sent to the respective catalogers to be removed from their mailing lists.
Although Catalog Choice is another in a long line of organizations such as GreenDimes.com, 41pounds.org, ProQuo and CatalogEnd, it got considerably more ink in the mainstream media than its predecessors.
While quick to point out that Catalog Choice doesn’t sponsor or support do-not-mail legislation, Project Director April Smith says the goal “is to provide the consumer with a convenient and free way to express their mail preferences. To reduce the number of unwanted catalogs they receive in the mail.” Smith worked with the National Wildlife Federation (one of the founders of Catalog Choice) in a consulting role regarding forestry and paper-related projects prior to joining Catalog Choice full time this past November.
• On March 11, 2008, the five-year anniversary of the National Do Not Call Registry, ForestEthics launched its own do-not-mail campaign to stop “junk mail.” Modeled after Do Not Call, the campaign seeks to honor consumers’ rights to choose what mail they receive by creating a registry where they can opt out of receiving all direct mail, catalogs included.