PaperKarma smartphone app decreases junk mail


The record number of wildfires and heatwaves so far this summer makes one consider the actions we can take in our daily lives to mitigate these events in the long-term. Readers of this blog know that part of the solution is reducing our carbon footprint. Just a little reduction by each of us can go a long way.  One small, yet collectively powerful method is getting rid of junk paper - the kind of paper frequently found in the snail mailbox called "junk mail'.

The Heinz Center for Science, Economics and the Environment, according to Yahoo Answers, performed

... a life-cycle analysis of the paper that goes into a couple of magazines and found that 0.30 to 0.32 tons of carbon (1.11 to 1.17 tons of CO2) are emitted for every ton of paper produced. That includes emissions during the tree harvesting, transportation, printing, binding, and everything. (emphasis added)

Well, now there is a way to easily reduce our "paper footprint"? Yes, there is an app for that. Reviewed by Katherine Duncan in the July 2012 issue of Entrepreneur magazine, the new app is called PaperKarma:

Available on Apple, Android, and Windows Phone platforms, the free mobile app enables users to automatically unsubscribe from mailing lists by taking photos of unwanted mail - essentially turning the smartphone into a filter for paper mail.

Duncan quotes PaperKarma CEO Sean Mortazavi:

For every piece of mail you want, you get an average of about 18 you don't want. 

Download PaperKarma to your smartphone through their site. And don't worry about the companies producing "junk mail" such as catalogs. PaperKarma has plans to enhance the system so you can request electronic versions of catalogs you do want. Businesses benefit by reaching interested customers at a lower cost and you've just lowered the stress on the environment.