Blog Action Day – The Environment

Blog Action DaySo apparently I missed blog action day yesterday. Since it involved such an important topic (the environment), I figured I’d put in a late post anyways.

Today I went to the CMA‘s web site and completed the Do Not Contact Service registration. I’ve heard rumours that it doesn’t work very well, but hopefully it will reduce my volume of junk mail a little. I really do mean “a little” as the registration page clearly states “this service cannot stop flyers and other unaddressed advertising mail.” Flyers and unaddressed envelopes make up the bulk of my mail and doesn’t get a second glance before ending up in the recycling bin. So, I decided to do some research and find out why we get junk mail, who’s responsible, and if it’s even possible to put a stop to it.

So who’s to blame for this junk mail? Ultimately, it’s the corporations having it sent out, but Canada Post is the one doing the sending. Not only are they doing the sending, they are marketing their service, providing case studies, and pushing to increase their admail business:

About 20 per cent of revenue comes from “addressed and unaddressed advertising mail” — which most Canadians call “junk mail” — and Canada Post hopes to expand that market.

Keeping true to it’s promise last year, the crown corporation introduced a policy this summer to improve their admail program in the eyes of marketers. The addressed admail policy “requires carriers to deliver addressed admail, even if the name on the address doesn’t belong to the person who lives there.”

Despite having posted a profit each year for over a decade, Canada Post still pushes its admail programs. Junk mail is not good for the environment and most Canadians hate it, yet the government fails to steer its crown corporation away from it.

However, there is still hope for us. Buried in Canada Post’s FAQ, I found a definitive answer to my question: “I do not want to receive advertisement mail anymore, what can I do?” It turns out, a little “No Admail Please” sign on your mailbox is all that it takes. Exciting! I’m going to put my sign up right now! Hopefully it works.

Update (2008-01-29): I’ve been Admail-free for the past 3 months now.  It’s incredible how well this works!  Amazing!