Waste in Your Mailbox

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Productivity Cafe: Stop Junk Mail

Lean Blog reader Osvaldo brought this up as an example of waste — mail that ends up in your mailbox (catalogs, solicitations) that goes right into your garbage can. Apparently, it's “National Junk Mail Awareness Week” in the U.S., so let's be aware of waste.

One stat: more than 100 million trees worth of junk mail end up in our mailboxes each year in the U.S.

I'm not a wild environmentalist, but I do know waste when I see it. Just because I bought one Christmas present from a catalog, that doesn't mean I need to get two catalogs every week. Enough. I need to do something about that. Junk mail works because it is cheap. Maybe the USPS needs to raise rates and stop subsidizing excessive junk mail? There's got to be a price, from an economics standpoint, that is high enough to slow junk mail, but still be revenue neutral for the post office. If prices are higher, the junk mailers will have to start being smarter about junk mail, which can save us all a lot of hassle.

NY Times article on the topic of how to get off junk lists.

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Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker who has worked in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. His latest book is Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More. He is author of the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, as well as The Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen. He also published the anthology Practicing Lean that benefits the Louise H. Batz Patient Safety Foundation, where Mark is a board member. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus.

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