Got Junk Mail? This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

January 26, 2010
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Do you get a lot of junk mail? And no, I don't mean the spam in your Hotmail and Gmail accounts but good, old stamped and sealed “snail” mail. I never used to pay attention to anything not addressed to me. I often sifted through the many envelopes destined for the trash, but I never thought about how much junk mail could accumulate and how it could affect the environment. But recently I did an experiment that forced me to take a closer look, and was I shocked.

I started keeping track of my mail. Every day I received about three pieces of junk mail from credit-card solicitors, advertisers, and others. As the days passed, I taped the junk mail together, forming a chain of sorts. At the end of a week I had 15 sheets taped together. After some quick calculations, I found out that at this rate, I would receive approximately 780 pieces of junk mail in one year! And that's just me. Some people receive even more.

This is a problem.

Possibly the easiest way to deal with junk mail is to recycle it. Many cities are adopting easy recycling programs. If your area doesn't have recycling pickup, collect your junk mail in a box or bag over the course of a month and take it the nearest recycling area. You can also use junk mail as scrap paper around the house. You should contact companies that consistently send you unwanted or unnecessary mail and ask them to stop.

If junk mail and other paper products aren't recycled, the most obvious consequence is the useless destruction of trees. Trees are critical because they take in the carbon dioxide that we breathe out and produce the essential oxygen that we need. In addition, they provide shelter for wildlife. If less paper were needed, then fewer trees would be cut down to make paper, which would not only aid the human race, but the planet as well. It would also slow the filling of landfills, which is an ever-growing problem in the United States and my state, Delaware, in particular.

The bottom line is, it may not seem like much, but if everyone were to take the simple steps to cut back on or recycle junk mail as opposed to just dumping it in the garbage, it would have a positive effect on the planet.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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This article has 3 comments. Post your own now!

David.DZE said...
Aug. 11, 2011 at 8:47 pm
I agree with this article completly. The problem I'm having, though, is the writing structure. It is to formalized. It is robotic and even choppy at parts. Obviously if this was put into the magazine, it is a great work, but I personally feel that this piece could be conveyed in a better and more flowing way.
Sara! said...
Feb. 3, 2010 at 6:33 am
Amazing article! I agree COMPLETELY! Thanks for writing it!
Maurice G. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Feb. 3, 2010 at 4:06 pm
Thank you very much, your feedback is greatly appreciated!
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