Here’s one of those fun, math “story” questions for you: A recent study estimates that our planet is currently losing 15 billion trees per year, with only 5 billion of them being replaced. If we have about 3 trillion trees on the earth right now, how long will it be until they’re all gone?
We’re not exactly sure what the answer to the math problem is (in fact, we don’t think we want to know). But according to Thomas Crowther, a Yale University researcher and lead author of the study, the main reason why our trees are disappearing is apparent. “Human activity came out as the strongest control on tree density across all biomes,” he said. “It really highlights how big of an impact humans are having on the Earth on a global scale.”
While various factors play a role in the eradication of our trees, this infographic from TakePart.com shows the huge impact of just one year’s worth of junk mail in America.
But Can’t I Just Recycle It?
You might think that simply recycling all your unwanted mail would be the perfect solution; after all, recycling results in a lot less paper in the landfill. However, recycling isn’t the best solution to the problem of unwanted mail. The fact is, recycling doesn’t reduce the resources necessary to create and transport the mail to your home. In addition, the collection of the mail and the recycling process itself also use a lot of resources. It is much better to simply have less junk mail in the first place. But how do you stop the tide of unwanted advertisements, offers and flyers that find their way to your mailbox?
Saying “No” to Junk Mail
It may take some effort, but you can eliminate (or at least reduce) the amount of unwanted mail you receive. A quick online search revealed these resources that you can use to just say, “No more, thanks!”
Takepart: One Year in American Junk Mail
LA Times: We finally know how many trees there are in the world
PDF: Mapping tree density at a global scale
Time: Here’s How Many Trees Humans Cut Down Each Year
PDF: How to Get Off Mailing Lists
Making This Home: Less Clutter = Less Junk Mail
Catalog Choice: Stop Junk Mail For Good
Canada Post: How do I stop receiving advertising mail?
Valpak: Mailing List Removal Request
Stop Junk Mail in the UK
How can I Reduce Junk Mail in Australia?