What does a Garden Gnome do when she is not gardening, in the kitchen or doing genealogy? Well the answer might just surprise you so read the entries to find out more. This blog focuses on everything we do to make our house a home. There will be a strong emphasis on home energy efficiency and do-it-yourself (DIY) projects. At the same time there will also be crafts, knitting and crocheting projects along with any other little tips we do to create that down to earth, I want to be here home. Please enjoy your visit :)

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Store Flyers Are Not Eco-Friendly

Store flyers have been a pet peeve of mine for years way back into the early 1980's when recycling programs were just starting.  Back then the amount of flyers were nowhere what they are now but even then there were many jumping on the green bandwagon to say no to both flyers and junk mail.  There were many battles fought with some residents winning but not often.  Over the years those steadfast in their commitment to reduce paper have continued by protesting in one way or another, including hanging signs to indicate they do not want junk mail or flyers.  Unfortunately this is not an effective approach as a result of how flyers and junk mail are paid for to be distributed.  Once in the hands of the delivery or mail person it is their responsibility to deliver it whether you want it or not.

excessive store flyers
We live between two communities that in a bit of a cost savings measure combine one newspaper inside of the other.  This is the free, weekly newspaper delivered to everyone whether you want it or not.  Inside of the two papers is and I kid you not a duplicate set of flyers because the advertiser is paying to have distributed by both paper with no regard to overlapping homes.  This really annoys me!

What are we supposed to do with a duplicate set of flyers?  What are any of our neighbours supposed to do with a duplicate set of flyers?  I should point out that some of these flyers are for stores a good 40 minute drive from us if not more so what is the likelihood of us driving that distance to save $1 off of cheese?  Honestly, these corporations need to become a bit more environmentally conscious.  

weight of excessive store flyers
I actually weight out an average week's worth of flyers.  By average that means no extra holiday flyers as that is considerably heavier than average for most of the 6 weeks prior to Christmas.  The average week's flyers come in at 1.5 lb or 78 lb per year or about half of one pine tree.  This is just for the flyers, not the newspapers or any additional inserts.  This is for one household!  Our street alone the flyers add up to about 14 pine trees in one year.  What am I missing here?

The internet was supposed to reduce the paper we use.  Every single one of these weekly flyers can be found online.  In fact you can sign-up to have them delivered right to your inbox.  You can even sign-up for them to email you in store specials or other specials you might be interested in.  Not only is it cheaper for them to do this it is also more effective because they are already sending to a customer they know will buy.  And a happy customer spreads free advertising through word of mouth.  So it is a win:win paperless way of achieving good sales without the flyers. 

On a personal note I am fighting the flyer issue.  Hopefully at some point those sending out the flyers will see that their actions are not environmentally friendly.  At this point any eco-friendly changes we can make will have some type of benefit in the long run.  I can only hope they will listen...

Garden Gnome