Feature photo by Oran Viriyincy. Photo above by Claire L. Evans

Ever wonder how many trees are cut down just so you can get more junk mail in your mailbox?

The average person in the US receives nearly 11 pieces of junk mail each week, or 560 pieces a year. This amounts to 4.5 million tons of junk mail yearly, of which 44% goes straight to the landfill unopened and unread.

Here are some more facts:

100 million trees are cut down each year to produce junk mail.

1 million trees offset 48,000,000 pounds of carbon emissions.

Eliminating junk mail in the US would offset 480,000 cars.

Conclusions

These numbers only reflect the amount of carbon emissions offset by the raw materials alone. They do not take into account all of the carbon emissions created in transporting the trees from the forest to the pulp mills, much less the emissions generated in manufacturing the paper. Nor do they take into account the carbon emissions created in distributing the junk mail via mail-trucks, planes, and cars nationwide.

It’s safe to say that were we to include those factors in our equation, the actual emissions created through junk mail would easily be in the millions of cars, perhaps in the tens of millions. Anyone want to work on that formula?

How to Stop Receiving Junk Mail

For a quick and easy guide to stop receiving junk mail, please visit the Native Forest Network.