Dreaming of a green Christmas?

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While Ty Pennington, TV handyman extraordinaire and Sears' spokeshunk, toyed with his toolbelt in Times Square last week during a Sears Wish Book catalog promotion, Santa and his reindeer tried to call a halt to the action in the name of the environment.

OK, so ForestEthics' stunt, an attempt to take Sears to task for what it cited as environmental cruelty (the Wish Book is some 200 pages long), didn't exactly steal the headlines. But, it does speak to the concerns that catalog marketers are addressing in terms of the environmental impact of their bread and butter.

Sears, in relaunching the Wish Book this year, said that it had shrunk the size down to 200 pages in acknowledgment of the trend among consumers to be more cognizant of how much paper passes through their lives. For some groups, that's still 200 pages too many, regardless of previous sizes, whether it's recycled or whether it's going to fewer people.

Marketers are more under scrutiny than ever for the effect that the production of their products and services have on the environment. For direct marketers who use direct mail, that goes double, as the printed medium has to be printed on something. So, just how much do consumers really evaluate the amount of direct mail they get in terms of its environmental impact? And, do they hold similar standards for other aspects of their lives, such as faithfully recycling household waste and thinking about carbon offsets?

To answer these questions, and some more besides, DMNews has partnered with Pitney Bowes on a consumer survey, Direct Mail and the Environment. The results, with accompanying editorial, will be in the December 17 issue — just in time to learn how much consumers really think about whether they will be dreaming of a green Christmas.


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