What do the catalogues in your mailbox say about you?
The retail world has me profiled as an upscale interior designer-landscaping-gourmet chef with a serious interest in high-end electronics, telescopes, and cosmetics, requiring enough outdoor gear for a quick climb up and down Mt. Everest before a breakfast of mail-order sausages and assorted pears. Well equipped with an array of undergarments of various levels of practicality, I am not only prepared for any possible weather conditions or encounters, but ready to cope with the possible consequences of quick changes in and out of my collection of western riding boots, cross trainers, and four inch spike heels, because I am fully stocked with more orthopedic foot product options than a podiatrist.
When the sheer volume of mailings started to increase last fall, I decided to take inventory. I deliberately saved each catalogue that we received in November and December. On January first, they weighed in at 24.2 pounds! That's a lot of weight sneaking into the mailbox a few ounces at a time, over a two-month period, resulting in NOT ONE SINGLE PURCHASE and ultimately ending up in the recycling bin.
With all of the downsizing I've been doing, I realize that I've been focusing more of my efforts on household exports than imports, and I've overlooked an important opportunity to eliminate waste at the entry point. It's certainly good to recycle this stuff, but for the sake of trees, ink, and the human and fossil fuel energy involved in transporting all of it to and from my home, it would be better to prevent unnecessary mail from showing up in the first place.
If you should chose to accept, this week's Downsize Challenge is to remove your name from mailing lists.
This step won't impact the solicitations you are getting from credit card companies, charitable organizations or political parties, or stop the arrival of mail addressed to a deceased loved one, but I promise to tackle those challenges sometime after I load the 24.2 pounds of catalogues into the back of my car for delivery to the recycling center.
UPDATE TO POST: January 27: I finally sat down today to tackle the registration form for mailing list removal. I found the DMA site to be exasperating...I followed the tip from KellyP recommending https://www.catalogchoice.org/ and just spent THREE HOURS entering each of my catalogues from the 24.2 pound stack. Fortunately some were duplicates. I have more confidence in this user-friendly site and would recommend it to others who are trying to eliminate the catalogue mailings. If you enter just a few at a time, it won't take you all afternoon.