The Confused Environmentalist

‘Tis the Season
by Jennifer Weiss -- November 16th, 2012

I swear I’m not a scrooge.  I really do love the holiday season – the music, the festivities, the food, the shopping.  Okay, maybe not that last part, but I do love watching as the excitement and the holiday spirit spreads through the Weiss family and extends out to our friends and family.  I even enjoy the nip in the air and the expectation that maybe, just maybe, we will wake up Christmas morning to a blanket of snow.  Yes, sometimes it snows even in North Carolina.

For everything that I love about the holiday season, there is one thing that I simply can not tolerate.  No, it’s not the extra pounds I seem to accumulate each year.  It’s not the endless songs on the radio that start the day after Halloween.  It’s not even the long lines at the post office or the ‘dance’ I do with other drivers while circling in crowded parking lots.  No, the thing that most perturbs me about the holidays is … the junk mail. Pounds and pounds of catalogs, coupons, and invitations to purchase things I have never heard of and most definitely wouldn’t buy. As an aspiring environmentalist, I have dutifully taken myself off every mailing list and I try not to encourage any marketer to send me mail.  And yet, each year at this time my mail box starts to fill up.  Or, as I found out just yesterday, some days my mail box explodes.

Yesterday I opened my mail box to find not one, not two, but more than 15 catalogs, 3 invitations to apply for credit, a few magazines that I didn’t know I subscribed to and a reminder to schedule a doctor’s appointment.  With the exception of the doctor’s reminder, I did not need any of these pieces of mail. Come to think of it, I probably didn’t need to receive the doctor’s reminder either. I would have remembered to make the appointment all by myself.

Although I’ve requested to be off mailing lists many times in the past, I’ve once again begun the annual purge of unwanted mail box clutter.  A friend of mine recommended Catalog Choice as a way to get myself off the mailing lists. It’s easy to use, but a bit time consuming.  Today, I’ve dutifully entered all my catalogs.  With each catalog I add to the “do not mail” list, I begin to feel lighter, happier, a better environmental steward.  At least for now.  We’ll see what today’s mail brings …

©2016 Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University | Box 90328 | Durham, NC 27708
how to contact us > | login to the site > | site disclaimers >

footer nav stuff