Monday, November 26, 2007

Environmental Impact ... of Catalogs?

The facts about the environmental impact of all the little things we take for granted never ceases to amaze me. As we enter the holiday season, see for example, the unbelievable impact of using paper catalogs for shopping

Paper use has a huge impact on the environment – and catalog printing and mailing is a huge part of that. Each year, 19 billion catalogs are mailed to American consumers. This uses 53 million trees (between 300,000 and 500,000 acres of land cleared or thinned) and comprises 7.2 billion pounds of paper. Processing and transporting this paper results in 5.2 billion pounds of carbon dioxide emissions which equals the annual emissions of two million cars. It also requires 53 billion gallons of fresh water.


National Wildlife Federation and National Resources Defense Council and others have started a new on-line consumer service called Catalog Choice. It gives people the choice of which catalogs they will receive in the mail (and which ones they wish to stop).

Check it out at:

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That is good to know. Making people aware of simple and common sense things they can do to be environmentally savvy (and often save themselves time and money) can make a big difference. I am working with Southern California Edison right now to encourage people to replace traditional light bulbs with CFLs (compact fluorescent lightbulbs). The benefit if substantial: CFLs use 75% less energy than incandescent bulbs, and they last up to 10 times longer.

SCE is holding a contest, too…you can enter a video or photo of yourself with a CFL in a contest they are holding - the winner may be selected to appear in an SCE television commercial. Check out the details at