Stop the Catalogs and Save the Planet

If you have ever stepped foot into a Victoria's Secret store and purchased anything, you will start receiving their catalog. Through some magic electronic relationship between your credit card and Victoria's Secret' marketing department, you could buy some hand lotion and commit yourself to a lifetime of their catalogs.

This is true of many retail stores across the country. For Christmas, my mother bought me some wine glasses from Crate & Barrel and had them sent to my office, rather than having them sit outside my condo. Now I get Crate & Barrel catalogs in my work mailbox on a regular basis.

Apparently I'm not the only one dealing with this influx of catalogs. Every year, Americans receive 19 BILLION catalogs. That amounts to 170 catalogs per household per year. This results in the destruction of 53 million trees and 3.6 million tons of paper. In addition, the energy used to manufacture all of these catalogs equals 38 TRILLION BTU's or enough energy to power 1.2 million homes per year. We're looking at carbon contributions to global warming equivalent to the annual emissions of 2 MILLION cars.


Don't get me wrong, the occasional catalog is a fine way to see what is for sale. However, I should be able to pick my catalogs, not the other way around.

Now you can do just that. Catalogchoice.org allows consumers to create a FREE account where they can enter the address where catalogs are received, then choose which catalogs to block. Its extremely easy and takes just a few minutes. If you have the catalogs you want to block handy, you can enter your customer ID number to guarantee the company knows who you are, but its not necessary.

One bonus feature of catalogchoice.org is that you can choose the reason why you are blocking the catalog. One of the options is "For the Environment." This might persuade retailers to reduce the number of catalogs they are sending and to use recycled paper.

If you love perusing through catalogs but you don't want to chop down all the beautiful forests to do it, Google has a searchable database of catalogs online that you can quickly and easily flip through on your computer.

Check it out!

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