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  • Writer's pictureCaterina Sullivan

Get Your Junk out of my Mailbox

This week, I’m using my reflection space for a bit of a rant.

I have a sign on my mailbox, “No Junk Mail”. Each time I check my mailbox, low and behold, it is full of junk mail.

Upon my return to Canberra from trips away, I check my mail to find leaflets upon leaflets about the need to decrease our use of paper. The irony is not at all lost on me.

I cannot understand for the life of me why an organisation which is advocating for saving the environment would send out a paper information sheet. There must be a far better way to do this, including approaching small businesses to provide space in their e-newsletter for the environmental organisation as part of the business’ corporate sustainability commitment.

While I understand that mail drops are a successful way to market, as the owner of a letterbox that asks for no junk mail, all junk mail is immediately put in the recycling as a matter of principle. On top of that, my respect for organisations advocating for the environment and using this method of advertising drops significantly. With the incredible influx of social media and marketing agencies, there must be a way to advertise their ideals and simultaneously stay true to their values.

In my work with Strategic Sustainability Consultants, one of the main aspects of sustainability for which I advocate, especially in small businesses, are the easy, low-hanging fruit when it comes to sustainability practices. One of these is lowering paper consumption as part of Goal 12 of the Global Goals: Responsible Consumption and Production. A commitment to the sustainability of our environment is not all that difficult, and it disappoints me when I see organisations, especially organisations working in the space, who are unable or are ambivalent to a commitment to a sustainable future for generations to come.

This is my call for organisations to become innovative in their approach to sustainability. And this is also my warning for organisations - I will begin contacting organisations who are putting junk mail in my letterbox, asking them not to do so, not only out of respect for my request but out of respect for my children and my grandchildren. If after my polite plea for this to cease, I will be ruthless in my naming and shaming. I invite my fellow humans to do the same. We cannot save the planet individually; we must create a movement of activism to ensure we secure a sustainable economy, society and environment.

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