Junk Mail

There was a time in my life when I enjoyed getting mail of any kind. Packages, junk mail, bank statements, ads, and newspapers were a welcome addition to my mailbox. For me those days are numbered. I am getting tired of carrying junk mail from mailbox directly to the recycling bin.

For the most part our junk mail seems fairly limited to the classic pre-approved credit cards and insurance deals. For some reason State Farm seems to really be interested in getting my wife a new insurance policy. We average three letters a month from State Farm, all exactly the same letter just from a different insurance rep in the area. (I have a hunch there is a connection between the increase in junk mail from State Farm and my wife’s crush on Aaron Rodgers, but I guess I don’t really have any evidence to support this theory. Just a hunch…)

If only Rodgers really could save the Packers on his own…

The past few months there has been an influx of junk mail, and the waste in resources really is bothering me. The fact that extra paper is being used, ink is being used for printing, and energy is wasted when the postal service handles the mail. It just seems unnecessary and thankfully I stumbled across a potential way to reduce the junk mail we receive.

The book Generation Green points to three websites that claim to remove unwanted junk mail from your mailbox. Unforunately, two of these sites are no longer registered. One of these sites, catalogchoice.org does provide a simple search option to remove your address from unwanted junk mail. As the book Generation Green points out, reducing junk mail is nice for de-cluttering your mail and helps to reduce paper waste and energy used to create and deliver the mail. Using the search link on there site you can reduce the amount of wasted paper and energy being use to create all this junk mail.

http://catalogchoice.org

In my limited experience with the site so far it is quite easy to use. Just search for the company that is sending the unwanted mail and the site will direct you to a link to be removed from the mailings or supply the phone number to call in order to have your address removed from the company’s database.
Take a few minutes now to help reduce your junk mail and in the future you just may save energy, time, and resources. As I have mentioned in the post The Starfish Parable sometimes even small steps can end up making a big difference. Peace.

The Great Lakes: Keeping Them Clear and Keeping Them Here

Growing up in western Michigan I traveled to Lake Michigan with my family before I can even remember. Photographs of being at the beach is my only evidence for how young I was when I first experienced one of Michigan’s greatest natural resources, fresh water. I have also felt the lakes presence both directly and indirectly due to the lakes great effect on the local climate and its affect on the ecosystem. The Great Lakes contain 95 percent of the United States fresh water supply, and only trail the polar ice caps and Lake Baikal in Siberia in total volume of freshwater globally. Without the Great Lakes, the entire region surrounding Michigan would be much different, including the types of jobs and natural life in and around the state. Continue reading

iNaturalist

Have you ever come across an odd spider, insect, or plant and thought, “Hmm, what is this thing?!” Enter iNaturalist.

iNaturalist is available for Android and for Apple and is completely free to download and use.

After downloading the app you can ‘Make an Observation’ by uploading a picture of the organism in question and the iNaturalist database will give you closely matched options. If the app does not automatically find a perfect match, the community of citizen scientists can suggest species information and help identify your unknown sample. Continue reading

PFAS Aren’t the Problem

Anyone who has been paying any attention to local news in west Michigan knows that PFAS are a group of chemicals that have contaminated local water sources. PFAS are a known carcinogen and the area of PFAS contamination seems to just keep growing. Initially, Wolverine World Wide in Rockford was being singled out as the source of all the local contamination from poor storage of waste product. The scenario in Rockford is not playing out very well. Home values have dropped, complex filtration systems need to be installed, and local fishing now has a “Do Not Eat” designation. Upon further testing it appears PFAS are found throughout the state.

PFAS are a problem, but I contend that PFAS are not THE problem.

The problem is a disregard for nature and the human desire for quick results rather than using sustainable practices. Continue reading