I hate mass mailings, junk mail, direct ads - all that crap that comes in my mailbox which adds up to a bunch of wasted paper and goes directly into the recycle bin.
Today I open up my mail slot hoping for that little slip of paper that tells me my recent internet purchase has arrived, but instead I get an envelope that says, "Your signature on the enclosed petition can help reduce global warming pollution," and in the return address corner is the computer scanned signature of John McCain. (For what it's worth, in the lower right hand corner of the envelope is "Recycled 30% Post Consumer Paper.")
I usually hand my junk mail to the clerks at my mailbox place, but the whole global warming thing peaked my interest. On the back of the envelope is the sender: Environmental Defense Action Fund. I suppose there are worse mailing lists my name could be sold to.
1) A one page, double sided letter from John McCain himself telling "Fellow Citizen" that he is co-authoring bipartisan legislation, the McCain-Lieberman Climate Stweardship and Innovation Act, to help fight global warming through market-based mechanisms. The letter tells me that I can make a difference by petitioning my senators to vote for the legislation, and to sign up to be part of the Global Warming Action Network
(which, I'm assuming the other material in the envelope will tell me how to do.)
2) A two page double sided letter from Fred Krupp, president of Environmental Defense Action Fund. This one asks "Friend of the Environment" to join the Global Warming Action Network
(again, in bold type). It talks about polar bears and ice caps, then touts some of Environmental Defense's accomplishments, and reiterates much of what McCain's heartfelt letter already said, including the market based approach of the McCain Lieberman Climate Stewardship and Innovation Act. Then it tells me I can support by signing the enclosed petition, and encourages me to make a contribution.
3) A small, semi-glossy color insert with a picture of an environmental defense totebag filled with groceries, "When you join Environmental Defense Action Fund we'll send you this tote bag!" On the back it also reveals that I can get a FREE subscription of America's leading environmental newsletter. (because if the incentive to save the world isn't doing it for you, these two things should really entice you to act.)
4) Sticky return address labels with my name and address on it! Cool.
5) Standard business reply mail envelope (no postage necessary, but in a handwritten type font "Your first-class stamp will help us put more funds to work for the environment!")
6) A three-fold petition/contribution form. You can check a box to say you've signed the below petition, check a box to say you want to contribute, plus you can even check a box to opt out of receiving the free tote bag.
While I appreciate their efforts, and really hope these mailings get them some cash, I'll stick to petitioning my senators via e-mail through venues such as Environmental Action. Does this mean I'm not doing my part? Maybe - but form letters, tote bags, and address labels don't really move me to action - it really just makes me want to remove my self from their mailing list.