The other day I signed an online petition to Congress lobbying for a National Do-Not-Mail Registry. Much like the national Do Not Call Registry, the creation of this new registry would allow Americans to opt-out of getting the copious amounts of junk mail we all deal with these days.
Here is why I think that a Do-Not-Mail Registry is a good idea:
Environmental Reasons - over the past week I have received not one but two new, competing yellow pages books. I don't use the yellow pages, I prefer this lesser known invention called "the Internet", so the books went directly into the recycling bins. Daily we are inundated with credit card offers, coupon books and catalogues all of which end up the same way. Think of all the trees that are cut down, the energy that is wasted in printing, shipping and recycling of these products that no one really wants. CO2 emissions galore.
Business Reasons - think of all the wasted money that businesses spend trying to reach an audience like my wife and I, who are completely non-receptive to their message. If there was a simple way for them to screen against a list of folks who would just chuck away their message, they could save a great deal of money. It's not how many messages you send out - it's how many people actually hear you.
Privacy Reasons - I really dislike the idea of people trading my personal information back and forth without my having the right to say "no". 'Nuff said.
Laziness - OK, so call me lazy, but I really don't like dealing with all this sorting and recycling. Every day when I come home there is a pile of junk mail to sort through and toss. These days at least 95% of mail that we get falls under the category of junk mail. By sending me all this crap against my wishes, the senders are making me do a chore that I really dislike. I have better things to do with my time.
When I think about it, other than my magazines and Netflix movies that come through the mail there is really very little mail that I get these days that does not fall under the category of junk. Yes, there is the occasional online purchase delivery, the occasional financial statement or notice from the government that I get (jury summons, voter information), but pretty much everything else is junk. Pretty much everything that I care to receive I get through e-mail. If you think about it, the USPS these days is largely an organization devoted to the dissemination of real world physical... SPAM... it's time to stop this unceasing flow of unwanted crap.
Sign the petition and join the call.