While I was in Chicago, I caught a spot of The Today Show on NBC in which they profiled the Park School in Massachusetts at which the children and their families participated in a “Catalog Canceling Challenge.” Now, this caught my attention as just before leaving for Chicago, I hauled a ridiculous amount of wasted paper in the form of catalogs that I neither wanted nor requested off to the recycling station at our town dump. It was all a total waste - I do most of my browsing and ordering online - I rarely ever look at catalogs.
I've already signed up to not receive credit card solicitations in the mail as well as to not receive your average piece of junk mail. This is all well and good but the bulk of the junk in my mailbox is in the form of catalogs. Even worse, when my in-laws changed their address temporarily to my home in-between living in Massachusetts and Illinois, we inherited their catalogs as well. My mailbox was weary and these kids and their teachers were touting a website called CatalogChoice.org that they used to cancel 4,175 catalogs. There is actually a website out there that will cancel your catalogs for you for free. Rather than sitting at your phone all day calling every single company separately, you can opt-out of all of your catalogs from one website!
Well, today, I signed up at CatalogChoice.org and canceled 28 catalogs. I would have canceled more, but I hauled every catalog in the house to recycling before I left town two weeks ago. (It's best if you have the customer ID number printed on the catalog when you request for its discontinuance.) I received 28 catalogs in the two weeks I was away and canceled every single one of them through this free service. As more catalogs show up, I can log back in to the service and add them to my list of catalogs to discontinue. Every single catalog I wanted to cancel was represented. However, if I did have a catalog to cancel that was not on their list, I could enter it as a suggestion. You don't have to cancel ALL of your catalogs - you only decline the specific catalogs that you no longer want to receive.
It went very quickly as I didn't need to re-type my name and address repeatedly and I could even add my mother in-law's name to my account in order to opt-out of all of the catalogs that we inherited from them. The site was very easy to use.
CatalogChoice has over a half-million members and according to its website, the membership has collectively opted out of over 6 million catalogs. That's a lot of trees - and a lot of other energy saved in the process of creating and delivering all of those catalogs. CatalogChoice is endorsed by the National Wildlife Federation and the Natural Resources Defense Council. I'm sold.
The Park School in Massachusetts has issued a challenge for other schools to participate in the “Catalog Canceling Challenge” during the month of February and the winner of this challenge will be announced on The Today Show.
We don't have any children in our home, but are participating on our own through CatalogChoice and I invite you to participate as well.
Video from the Park School. Kids and teachers doing something really great: