Thirteen of the pieces of paper on my desk are from my favorite magazine, Ode, which began sending renewal notices the moment they cashed my last check.
I don’t like getting junk mail. It’s an enormous waste of paper and resources. More, it’s a waste of precious time. What about all those greenhouse gasses that result from cutting and logging the trees, transporting the logs to the mill, manufacturing the paper, shipping it to the printer, printing it up, carting it to the bulk mail processor, then the postal service, and finally, trucking to me.
Sure, one piece of mail, or one a month for that matter, doesn’t mean much in the vast sea of junk mail. Still, I’m the person responsible for those fat monthly reminders to renew, which would go unopened save for the need to shred and recycle.
So I filed my confirmation of an Ode gift subscription to a friend in case I need it for proof later, shredded pieces with my personal data, recycled the rest and asked Ode to stop sending snail-mail renewal notices. They have my e-mail address after all.
That’s what I did with my fifteen minutes tonight.
How I feel: I admit I’m discouraged that this first small pile is moving so slowly. Fifteen minutes goes by pretty darn fast. Still, it’s worth ten minutes of my time to craft an e-mail to Ode. I expect them to listen, because they’re on the greenie side too. Plus, eliminating one junk mail envelope every three weeks or so lowers my clutter ratio just that much and I won’t have to spend time sorting, shredding and recycling. That’s a good thing.
Actually, I’m starting to feel pretty good about this evening’s work. Thirteen pieces of paper: Gone. Future clutter: reduced forever. Peace of mind that I’ve removed one tiny droplet from the greenhouse gas bucket: Comforting, because it’s our collective mess I’m helping to clear, one piece of paper at a time.
Strategy update: Recognize that learning to live an increasingly sustainable lifestyle, as well as reducing the clutter in my life, requires a time investment here and there. View these time costs as investments in the future.
Next: I’ll keep working to clear the desk.