Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Magazine Recycling

The holiday magazine onslaught is in full swing. I get a minimum of half a dozen a day, and I order hardly anything from them, so I can only imagine how many other people get; today I got two different catalogs from Restoration Hardware, which has never tempted me to place an order. All of my catalogs go straight into the recycling box, which is only marginally better than the garbage can; at least with newspapers, there are ways to reuse them before recycling (packing material, soaking up oil from frying corn tortillas, etc). I wonder how many trees we could save each year if we put more emphasis on the first priority, Reduce, and restricted catalog companies to, say, one catalog a quarter per address. And how happy the Post Office could make consumers if it doubled the cost of mailing catalogs while reducing the cost of sending real mail. The Post Office could even set up the rate structure so that the first magazine in a quarter was inexpensive, with each subsequent mailing getting progressively and aggressively more expensive, increasing revenue and/or reducing repetitive catalog mailings. That would give my recycling box a break; now I just need to figure out a way to get rid of all the garbage in the newspaper.

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