Yeah, But

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“Going green” is the theme of the September 2009 issue of Deliver, an excellent marketing magazine from the US Postal Service. One of the statistics provided in the issue claims that:

Three billion pounds of carbon dioxide [would be] reduced if consumers replaced two trips to the mall each year with shopping by catalog.”

Yeah, but….

….how many trees will have to be killed to make the paper for the catalogs (if there are 100 stores in the mall, and each store produces a catalog, and sends one to each of the 110 or so million households in the US, then that’s a LOT of paper)?

…how many pounds of carbon dioxide will be produced to cut down the trees, make paper, and print the catalogs?

…how many pounds of carbon dioxide will be produced by US Postal Service mail trucks to deliver the catalogs?

…how many pounds of carbon dioxide will be produced by consumers driving their catalogs to recycling centers?

…how many pounds of carbon dioxide will be produced by recycling plants so more catalogs can be produced?

C’mon Deliver, you really need to think through this stuff before you publish stats like that.

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