31 July 2012

To Receive or Not To Receive (Catalogs)

Austin has a goal of zero waste by 2040 (as I wrote about here), and Austin Resource Recovery (formerly Solid Waste Services, the city department responsible for garbage service) is leaving no stone unturned in that quest. Not only are they encouraging recycling, but reducing and reusing are definitely in their tool bag as well.

Earlier this year, Austin Resource Recovery partnered with Catalog Choice to make it easier for Austinites to reduce the number of catalogs they receive.

Instead of having to call each catalog's customer service number and ask to be removed from their mailing list, Catalog Choice lets you create an account and then choose all of the catalogs you want to stop receiving. So easy!  (It works best if you have a catalog with you so you can enter the customer number, etc., from the back, so I add them every time I find an unwanted catalog in my mailbox.)

One of my favorite things about Catalog Choice is that the website keeps a running tally of how many trees have been saved through their efforts, as well as how much paper, water, and greenhouse gases were saved, and they also tell you how much you have saved.

So far, I've submitted 16 requests, of which 12 have been received and processed (according to the status page of my account).  That translates to one tree, 234 pounds of greenhouse gases, 83 pounds of paper, and 562 gallons of water (because paper processing, like electricity, is water-intensive).  Just by taking 10-15 minutes over the last few months to request less mail!

All of this is available to everyone -- free -- not just to Austin residents. (And have I mentioned how easy it is to use?)

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