One of the first things I did before embarking on my low-trash month was to cut back on the amount of paper I have coming into my home. The first call I made was to the New York Post to put my subscription on hold for a month. I enjoy reading the tabloid newspaper, especially on the subway, where it’s light and easy to carry. I already missed it this morning. On the plus side, I won’t have to be embarrassed to claim the paper as mine in our lobby on those certain mornings where the cover is just ridiculous or covers “Who cares?” news stories like the one on Taylor Swift’s love life from this past Tuesday.
To replace it, I have started reading the paper online and am reading USAToday on my iPad. I’m considering signing up for an online subscription of the Wall Street Journal and/or the New York Times.
I changed my WWD subscription to online only. Like the Post, I also like to read it on the subway, but I love their iPad app. Because the paper is short—it topped out at 12 pages today—it’s easy to virtually flip through. Plus, all the additional photos and slideshows are amazing, especially come fashion week, which we all know is right around the corner.
I also requested that all my bills be sent to me electronically. I was at about 50 percent before.
Then today I called the companies who send me the odd catalog, J. Crew and L.L. Bean, among others, and asked that they stop sending me the paper catalogs. There are services that do this for you, but from a quick Google search, the ones I found want you to pay, which I’m not into. If you are so inclined, check out 41pounds.org. The company gets its name from the 41 pounds of junk mail it says each American receives every year. They also make the claim that junk mail produces more C02 than 9 million cars. I’m not sure where they get their stats, but it’s obvious to me that stopping junk mail is a good thing. You pay $35 to have them help reduce your household’s junk mail for up to five years.
So far, I’m keeping my magazine subscriptions, but I’m sure I will make the switch to online versions sooner or later. There’s a reason I’m embarking on a low trash, not a no trash month and paper magazines is one of them. (Disclosure: I will be editing the Seventeen Prom issue this fall, so I’m not going to say that all print is dead just yet. Though the magazine does have a lovely iPad edition.)