Saturday, October 30
Inundated (not with chickens)
The past few weeks have proved to be a bad week for trees.
We have been absolutely inundated with political mailers here at the house. I go out to check the mail and I am greeted with glossy 8 1/1 x 11 flyers, printed front and back, with either very nasty or very positive messages about a particular candidate.
Inundate means, literally, a flood. "To overwhelm as if with a flood" according to Webster's. and we are drowning in 'em. I have been keeping track.
We are up to 25 8 1/2 x 11 glossy political mailers in the past few weeks. And yesterday I was greeted with 5 more of the previous plus the bonus round edition of a 15" x 12" poster. Seriously??!!!? The thing hardly fit in the mailbox! It was from Maggie Brooks (shame on her for wasting so many resources). I just toss them. I don't think I can recycle them because of the glossy print. I used to throw them in the fire pit in previous years but when I hear them sizzling and popping in there, I know that can't be good.
In this day of internet and television, I just don’t understand why this form of "getting your name out there" is still done. It is a waste. Any candidate, especially those serious about environmental reforms and who promises them as part of their campaign, should not send out a single one of these things. And it is not just the people who are running for a particular office - special interest groups are sending them out to endorse someone. Even people who do not use the internet are hounded by the commercials on tv all night long. Every commercial break has at least three ads, usually one right after the other.
This makes me glad we have this little thing that lets us record local tv and then skip all the commercials. Just like DVR or TIVO but for local stations.
The exorbitant amount of money wasted from their campaign funds on these mailers could better be spent elsewhere. Although I don’t want to see another tv commercial or billboard. Maybe they can just not spend it? Maybe there should be a limit on the number sent out. Each candidate should only be able to send out so much information.
The amount of money spent on political crap is ridiculous, and I really don't think it changes the way people are going to vote. Personally, I go to the websites of each candidate running in my district and compare what they have to say on the issues that are important to me. Then I make my choices. I do not like to be influenced by someone else’s negative spin.
So my mailbox is full - of mailers and bills, and animal organizations asking for donations (more on this later). It has gotten to the point where the glossy junk has out-numbered my regular mail. It just feels so wasteful and unnecessary.
I searched around the election sites for my district and could not find an 'opt out' form to stop getting political mailers. I did find that Clark County, Nevada has one, but that does not help me. I emailed both NY state and my county to see if could get some answers and have yet to hear back. I did find some sites for opting out of junk mail, which may be helpful since sometimes organizations, including political ones, share lists of names.
Junk Your Junk Mail
Federal Trade Commission
8 Ways To Opt Out Of Junk Mail Lists
So it has been a bad few weeks for trees, and for the environment in general. Not only do we have junk mail galore flooding the mailbox, but I am betting that the printing of all those things produces a ton of waste product. And, all those signs that litter peoples yards and public spaces on roadways came from somewhere, and they must go somewhere after election day. Came from: forest. End up: landfill.
I am dreading the trip to the mailbox today.