You've got way too much mail Wednesday April 20, 2005, 8 comments

I think it’s time to declare war on unsolicited direct-marketing mail. Seriously. I live in a town in southern Ontario which probably has one of the most aggressive anti-junk mail programs in the province, and at least 75% of what appears in my mailbox is advertising.

About 10 years ago, the city instituted a program in which residents could post a notice on their mailbox specifically stating they don’t want to receive junk mail.
Residents could call a number with the city and report any advertisements which made it to the mailbox. Advertisers were fined heavily for any infraction. This put the onus on the advertisers to ensure that junk mail carriers didn’t violate the bylaw. This almost immediately ended the barrage of junk mail residents were experiencing – a barrage which at one point saw some people putting three recycling blue-boxes full of junk mail out at the curb every week.

For a while, residents were blessed with emptier mail boxes, filled only with bills and newspapers. Then the advertisers got smart. They started putting the junk mail INSIDE the newspaper. Yes, our two local newspapers went from a thickness of 1/8 inch to a thickness of 1-1/2 inches in a matter of a few years.

We now get more junk mail than we ever did before.

What we need is a moratorium on unsolicited advertising. Ads on television. Ads on radio. Ads on billboards, the sides of buildings, the backs of cars, the shirts of teenagers everywhere, in our newspapers, EVERYWHERE. Don’t even start me on the problems with internet advertising. How many trees die in the name of unsolicited advertising?

This problem goes beyond conspicuous consumption into the realm of gross negligence.


Physics Boy Wednesday April 20, 2005

Cancel your papers. I did. It’s a mental enema.

Adrian Wednesday April 20, 2005

I don’t get any papers. They are delivered without my permission or desire. These are the “free” newspapers. You, living in the same city as me, know exactly what I am talking about.

I’ve discussed with the carrier the possibility of not delivering to my house, but it’s too much for his limited mental capacity to handle, the concept of NOT delivering a paper.

K Wednesday April 20, 2005

same problem here… your mailbox is always too small for all the paper…

but my question is, how big is recycling in your country? i live in the i would say most extreme recycling areas in germany. we almost have no residual waste. we recycle everything and we have to bring all the stuff sorted (!!!) to a so called “Wertstoffhof”.
normally you just have to throw your yogurt mugs or milk cartons into a yellow bag, but not here in and around Böblingen ;o)
one of the funny rituals for visitors – sort the garbage *g*

you have to experience it!

Adrian Wednesday April 20, 2005

We sort out garbage too. One of the few cities in Canada to do so to the level we do.

We have three streams, a green bag, which contains compost, a blue bag which contains recyclables, and a clear bag which is what is called “waste” and is neither recyclable or compostable.

I am not sure what the diversion numbers are for out garbage system, nor am I sure it’s the best system, but I am fairly sure we divert a lot more out of landfills than other cities around here.

Something I’ll have to look into.

K Wednesday April 20, 2005

… if you want to know more.

Physics Boy Wednesday April 20, 2005

Cancel your papers. Seriously, it was driving me purple with fury. Call them and tell them you don’t want your papers. Problem magically disappears. Seriously.

Jorge Thursday April 21, 2005

The problem is, if you remove advertising then the costs of everything you like will go up.

Or maybe they’ll go down because there will be no cost for advertising…


You KNOW they’re currently working on a direct-to-brain marketing gimmick. Right now it involves shouting in people’s ears or shoving print adds up their nostrils.

Soon though, they will start shoving USB hard drives up your nose.

You’ll see…

Physics Boy Thursday April 21, 2005

And just think of all the ads they can shove up other places!

Commenting has ended for this post, but I'd still love to hear from you.

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A Rain of Frogs is written, designed and built by Adrian Lebar, a twenty(!) year veteran of web design and development. He is currently managing web and mobile development teams at Canada’s largest and most beloved classifieds site, Kijiji!

He is a father, sailor, snowboarder, skier, cyclist, writer, artist, graphic designer, classically trained musician and afraid of heights.

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