The Newest Junk Mail Hater
According to the crawl on Shah’s Web site, he has stopped 1.6 million pounds of junk mail, planted 320,000 trees and saved $4 million gallons of water.
Shah—with 50,000 members and 16 employees—has a dream: to stop 95% of all junk mail.
Actor Matt Damon, who sits on Shah’s board, did the talk show circuit to promote the GreenDimes Web site. Included on his rounds: “Oprah,” who mails tons of junk mail solicitations to get subscribers to the magazine that bears her name.
“Everybody gets junk mail, and nobody likes it,” crusader Shah told The New York Times.
A Look at the Numbers
Stop 95% of all junk mail and a First-Class stamp would cost somewhere between $5 and $10—maybe more.
Because of junk mail, the United States Post Office is in business, reaching every address in America every business day.
Does nobody like junk mail? According to the Direct Marketing Association (DMA), direct mail generates $700 billion in sales.
That seems to me a lot of people like junk mail and happily spend money as a direct result of it.
When I tell people that my career was spent creating junk mail, more often than not the response will be, “I hate junk mail.”
“Do you hate catalogs?” I ask. “No, I love catalogs.”
“Then you don’t hate junk mail.”
In addition, nobody likes an empty mailbox. If I receive no mail (it very seldom happens), I get a brief pain in my gut. Nobody cares about me. My letter carrier is the one person from government who touches me every business day and lets me know the system is still working. Did he have a heart attack and die? Or is the system busted? Has the government run out of money? In short, mail is a good thing.