Is Direct Mail bad for the environment?
Contrary to what you may have heard from proponents of various "Do Not Mail" coalitions, direct mail is an environmentally responsible way to advertise. Yes, trees are harvested to create the pulp from which paper is made. But the harvested trees are grown specifically for that purpose on tree farms known as managed timberlands. The trees are an agricultural crop, like vegetables on a farm; the trees are not cut down from neighborhood parks or wilderness areas.
America's forestry and paper industries plant more than 4 million new trees each day (or 1.4 billion per year)-that's three new trees for every one harvested.
Recycling is another reason not to fear direct mail. Paper is one consumer product that is fairly easy and inexpensive to recycle. After first use, paper products can be made into corrugated boxes, packaging, newsprint, tissue and even writing paper. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, annual recycling rates for advertising mail have increased 700% since 1990. In 2008, 57.4% of all the paper consumed in the United states was recovered for recycling. This is the equivalent of nearly 340 pounds of paper for each man, woman and child in America. The paper industry has set a goal of 60% recovery by 2012.