Now here’s a way to save trees that might just work –


I love this – a nonprofit that will get all those retailers to stop sending me their catalogs.  It’s called Catalog Choice on here’s a segment on Bill Moyers’s Journal about it. 

What’s the problem?

  • There are 20 billion catalogs mailed every year in U.S., 63 for every citizen – adult, children and infants – and together they weigh 40 pounds, on average. 
  • The rate of return is 1.2 to 1.5 percent, so at least 98 percent of all catalogs go right into the landfill because most of that stuff isn’t recycled, and few catalogs are made from recycled paper in any event. 

But it isn’t easy for regular consumers to get ourselves taken off the lists of recipients, so the Catalog Choice website is doing it for us, for free.   As the catalogs start coming in, just tear off the page with the address label on it and recycle the rest.  Then on the Catalog Choice site log in and list the catalogs you no longer want to receive.  Done.

And on a gardening note (back on topic, Susan!), included in the list of retailers who are partnering with Catalog Choice to use responsible direct mail practices, like Land’s End and L.L. Bean, is good old Gardeners Supply!


  1. An excellent idea. After signing up I realized how many useless catalogs were showing up in my mail box.

    However, there are lots of folks who just like reading catalogs. They collect stacks of catalogs and love going thru every one.

  2. I have been using catalogchoice. Two observations.

    1. For many catalogs, I don’t really want to cut them off completely. I would like to get maybe one per quarter, rather than one per week. However, catalogchoice doesn’t offer this option – it’s all or nothing.

    2. After entering a whole lot of catalogs, I got an email message saying that they hadn’t actually done anything with the information – that they were just gathering it, and would submit it to the catalog companies sometime next year, and I could expect to see my catalogs start to slow down many, many months from now. So if you try this out, don’t expect things to change right away.

  3. I agree with Leslie — I don’t mind the occasional catalog. However, this year we’ve been drowning in them, from merchants we’ve never heard of and have no intention of buying from. Once one of them sells your name, fuggedaboutit.

    The funny thing about LL Bean and Gardener’s Supply is they’re both worst offenders in the “once per week” mailings especially if you are a customer. I order from both of them once or twice a year, but I don’t need 12 variations of the same catalog from Thanksgiving until Christmas.

  4. I don’t know why but I’m very suspicious of this info gathering – does anyone else find it odd or that it may indeed backfire? “Oh so you don’t want all these, but you surely want all the rest taht you did not check off or know about.” I think this registration may be opening up a whole new barrel of monkeys in your mail box.
    Better to tear mail labels off and call the 800 # or visit the web site of catalogers directly yourself and have your address removed from their mail lists. I’ve told several that I’ll be shopping with them online only or not at all – and it works – the print catalog flow has been stemmed.
    Believe me catalogs are very expensive to produce, print, and mail, they’d much rather be sending to good, valid mail addresses and then switch you to online as soon as they can.

  5. I’ve been entering the catalogs as they come in. I’m withholding my review until I see whether or not it has an impact. If they don’t stop or slow down by February, then it’s a waste of time.

    Any “opt out” scheme is a scam. Why should I have to take action to prevent something I never asked for in the first place?

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