Catalog and Direct Mail’s Slippery Slope: The Environment, Some Facts and Mail Suppression Files
It seems that a lot of you are pretty shy. Over on my personal blog, I’ve been getting a lot of comments to my last article on the evolution of our industry. There's been some back and forth about going green and its impact on direct mail — the typical “direct mail kills the environment” issue.
Does direct mail really destroy the environment? I don’t think so. The Direct Marketing Association, on its DMAchoice Web site, has published the following information about direct mail being the “green” way to shop:
“Facts About Direct Mail:
Some people come to the DMAchoice mail preference service planning on completely stopping all the direct mail they receive, because they think that doing so will help save paper and the environment. But before you do this, here are some numbers you may find interesting.
- Direct mail is a green way to shop. If Americans replaced two trips to the mall each year with shopping by catalog, we’d reduce our number of miles driven by 3.3 billion, a 3 billion-lb. reduction in carbon dioxide and a savings of $650 million on gas alone.
- Mail represents only 2.4 percent of America’s municipal waste stream.
- The production of household advertising mail consumes only 0.19 percent of the energy used in the U.S.
- Mail is made from a renewable resource. The vast majority of paper produced in America today comes from trees grown for that specific purpose. The forest industry ensures that the number of trees each year is increasing, so trees are not a depleting resource. In fact, forest land in the United States has increased by 5.3 million acres in the past three decades.
- Direct mail is critical to the economic well being of communities, businesses and charities throughout the U.S. Last year it represented more than $686 billion in sales, supporting jobs at more than 300,000 small businesses across the country.”
Makes sense, right?