Are We Burying Ourselves in Junk Mail?

You may remember the great mailbox debate of 1990. The very first of 50 Simple Things You Can Do To Save The Earth was to “Stop Junk Mail.” We were each chewing up one and one-half trees a year with our daily load of bulk mail, reported the little blue book form the Earth Works Group, and we were all producing almost two million tons of garbage. For what? Why not tell Ed McMahon to keep his $10 million, the underwear sirens at Victoria’s Secret to get dressed, and the panda bear at the World Wildlife Fund to nibble on berries instead of our bleeding hearts? Junk mail wasn’t the most serious crisis in the world, but it was a sign of our consumer culture run amok, a vast paper slick hitting almost every mail slot in the land.