My yearly plug to cancel your catalogs

catalog choiceDespite canceling dozens of catalogs two years ago, and despite canceling about a dozen more last year, now that the holiday catalog season has arrived, I’ve begun to receive some again. Ever notice how each catalog company sends you a holiday catalog in September and then sends your 6-10 more of the same catalog (different front cover – same stuff inside) over the next three months. It’s such a waste!

Last year, I wrote a post for Sustainablog called NOW is the time to cancel your unwanted catalogs. A few statistics from that post:

According to a 2002 report issued by the Environmental Defense, in the United States about 17 billion catalogs are sent out each year. That’s about 3.6 million tons of paper. Eight years after this report was issued, I can only assume that the statistics are even higher.

Here are some other statistics. Over 95% of American catalogs are printed on virgin paper. If all of those catalogs contained just 10% post consumer recycled paper, which has no significant cost or quality differences from virgin paper, 1 trillion 702 billion pounds of wood could be saved annually. That translates into saving a whole heck of a lot of trees that could be absorbing carbon dioxide.

There is a very easy way to cancel unwanted catalogs. It’s called Catalog Choice and it’s a free service that lets you cancel catalogs from the ease of your computer in just a few minutes. You can also subscribe to iCatalogs from their site. If you still want to know what’s out there this holiday season but you don’t want the paper catalogs, you have an option.

If you act now, you may still receive some unwanted  catalogs since most companies take a few weeks to get you through their system, but you’ll probably receive a lot less than you would have this holiday season.

  1. Thanks so much for this tip! I ordered a few Christmas presents online a couple years ago and have been getting catalogs ever since. No more! :)

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